This festive season, Zee Theatre is all set to celebrate India’s multi-cultural diversity and undeterred feminine power with the much-awaited ‘Shakti Mahotsav.’
Among the strong and rich, female-led narratives on offer, is director Lillete Dubey’s ‘Womanly Voices’, a neatly woven anthology of stories by acclaimed women writers like Wajida Tabassum (Utran), Mahasweta Devi (Shishu) and Gita Mehta (The Teacher’s Story).
Suchitra Pillai, who stars in ‘Utran’ says, “I am glad that theatre has made space for complex, layered, interesting women. It is an art form that evolved substantially even before the medium of cinema and also has been an ideal space for raising women’s issues. Women writers and directors like Lillete, Usha Ganguli, Shernaz Patel, Sheila Bhatia, and Ratna Pathak have helped audiences across the decades to discover so many different layers of the female psyche."
She also pointed out that in 'Womanly Voices' alone, there is such a vast range of themes. While 'Utran' shows how a servant avenges her dehumanisation, the poignant tale of 'Shishu' portrays the horror of hunger in a neglected tribal village.
'The Teacher's Story' through the relationship between a music teacher and a child, shows how toxic communal hatred can be.
“I have always believed that feminist writers and their brave narratives need to be celebrated more and I am glad that Zee Theatre is doing exactly that through the ‘Shakti Mahotsav.’ The stories this festival is bringing to the audience, are relevant till date and continue to remind us that we have amongst us many more women whose stories as yet haven't been heard," adds Suchitra.
Shakti Mahotsav is a celebration of theatrical culture and stories of sisterhood from West Bengal and the Northeast. The festivities packed with special theatrical offerings have begun on August 20 and will culminate around Durga Puja.
‘Womanly Voices’ will air on August 28 on Airtel Spotlight and Dish and D2H Rangmanch Active at 2 pm and 6 pm and also stars Joy Sengupta, Pranav Sachdev, Ira Dubey, Deepika Amin and Adit Bhilare.