International Women's Day with Maya Krishna Rao


Join us for the Mumbai debut of the powerful monologue Walk, theatre artist Maya Krishna Rao's response to the horrific gang rape of December 2012 in Delhi. Walk was created in a few hours as part of the strong and immediate outrage that reverberated across India and the world. Since its inception, Walk has had over 30 performances in offices, schools, colleges, on the streets, and at the 2013 Jaipur Literature Festival. The piece comes from a deeply reflective space, drawing the audience in to think, to reflect, to walk; its content has adapted to fresh events, and it is often improvised during performance.

As the world gears up to mark International Women's Day on March 8, the prevalence of deep and systemic issues of violence against women around the world remain of crucial concern. Across South Asia, as women's voices are raised for improved access to health and education, increased political participation, and financial inclusion, Walk energises, empowers, and inspires; Rao's theatre speaks to all — men and women alike — to carve a new way forward.

Maya Krishna Rao is recognised as an original, innovative, and vastly talented creator of theatre today. Since the late 1980s, she has produced a body of work that has provoked her audiences to delve into social and political issues, even as it has amused and entertained them. A founder-member of the street theatre group Theatre Union, Rao scripted, directed, and performed powerful street plays such as Om Swaha, a critique of dowry, and Dafa No. 180, on the Indian rape law, between 1979 and 1982. In later years, she has produced a succession of compelling single-actor plays. Rao has received training in Kathakali and has studied politics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, and theatre arts at Leeds University, UK. A Doordarshan film was made on her work in 1997, titled Portrait of Maya Krishna Rao. She has been featured in Women Who Dared, a book on 20 notable living Indian women of the last 50 years, published by the National Book Trust. In 2010, Rao received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for her contribution to Indian theatre as an actor. Rao is currently a Professor of Theatre at Shiv Nadar University.

This programme is part of our Women of Asia series, promoting the collaboration and leadership of accomplished women through a range of informative and network building forums that facilitate the sharing of best practices, critical issues and personal experiences. Other programmes under this series include a roundtable on women and leadership with Hong Kong's Secretary for Development Carrie Lam and the India premiere of the 2012 Oscar-winning film Saving Face. Our series of International Women's Day events last year included two programmes, About Violence and Women: The Way Forward along with the India premiere of Salaam Dunk, a discussion on gender and power.

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Event Details

Sun 02 Mar 2014
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Café Zoe, Todi Mathuradas Mill Compound, 126, NM Joshi Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai
Registration: Rs. 750. Asia Society Members: Rs. 500. Includes a drink, appetisers, and performance. RSVP required to: Limited availability; priority for Asia Society Members.
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