Exploring Exciting Text - XI - Reading and Discussion of play 'Bayen'
This month’s Exploring Exciting Texts will feature the play 'Bayen' by Mahasweta Devi. Mahasweta Devi’s 'Bayen' had appeared, like most of her plays, as a short story entitled 'Witch' in 1971, before it was dramatized during 1976-77. Here she undertakes to reveal the realities which are beyond the sight of the privileged class. In Bayen, Mahasweta Devi as a social activist purposefully shows how the atrocious oppressive mechanism reduces a woman to the level of a witch. The exploiters stretch their horrible appendages everywhere. Endowed with realistic rural scenery, Bayen depicts the effects of superstition on innocent people.
In the discussion that follows the reading, we will inquire into the relationship between women’s voices and the dramatic form. Are women writers less likely to write plays as opposed to novels, short stories and poems? Does the answer lie in the nature of theatrical performance or in the dynamics of production and reception? Is the tribe of women writing for performance growing slowly and how do we foster a diversity of women’s voices to enrich our theatre?
Apart from the play, we will also be reading excerpts from other texts like essays and interviews that revolve around the central theme of the reading event.
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