The mighty fight against gender issues on the streets

  • Ruchika Kher, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Oct 09, 2014 19:34 IST

To create awareness about gender issues, a Mumbai city-based theatre group is, literally, taking it to the streets.

Street plays have always been an effective way to create awareness about socially relevant subjects. From shopping centres to car parks to pavements, pretty much any public location can be transformed into a theatre venue.

The lack of a conventional stage also means that street theatre artists need to innovate.

Also read: Is Kashmir's street theatre dying a silent death?

While staging a street play may seem like a big challenge in ever-busy, crowded Mumbai, come October 12, a new group called Fight Back Street Theatre hopes to use the medium to draw attention towards a range of gender issues that affect our society.

Zubin Driver, the founder of the group, says, "The web and TV are effective mediums for delivering a message, but if you don't reach out to people on the road, and don't encourage discussions, then the effort will not be complete."

Members of Fight Back Street Theatre

The first performance, which will be all of 14 minutes long, will take place outside the busy Bandra station (W). A 12-member group will enact stories highlighting much-debated issues like gender equality and sexual harassment at the workplace.

"Fight Back Street Theatre involves marginalised people from various communities that need a voice. Through the plays, we hope to highlight issues that the participants themselves face," explains Driver.

At present, the initiative has two groups- one with participants from Bandra East's Garib Nagar, and the other with volunteers from Chembur's Siddharth Colony, which is primarily a Dalit locality. Some differently abled individuals are part of the group as well.

"By the end of the year, I want to create five groups from different localities, who can then highlight respective issues. That will be a more localised approach, which I'm sure will be effective in putting across their message," says Driver.

Fight Back Street Theatre Group's play will take place on October 12, 5 pm, outside Bandra station (W).

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