Unshared Childhoods at Method Juhu | Fri, 1 Sept
“Really what keeps us apart at the end of years is unshared childhood.” – A K Ramanujan
The provocation: Can a room of performers and audience members recreate the oft- romanticised Dead Letter Office – where undelivered and undeliverable post is sent– and reanimate it? To find out, we invited people across the globe to mail us real letters that were never read by their intended recipients, either because they remained unwritten or simply unsent.
The performance: An intimate, immersive experiment exploring the connection between empathy and love, located in the Dead Letter Offices of our minds. Audience members will step into the roles of the anonymous addressees and addressed, for what could become a catharsis once removed.
The assumption: To love is to bear witness. To bear witness is to love.
The challenge: Can we love people with whom we share no personal histories? Can the point of separation – unshared moments – become the point of contact?
Unshared Childhoods is a collective effort at imagination disguised as a play. Spurred on by teenage party games, Marquez’s short stories, romanticised tales of messages in glass bottles afloat at sea, and a fascination for compound adjectives, this piece explores the notion that all desire stems from a space of lack... as does all destruction.
In a volatile world where words are used as a smokescreen, Unshared Childhoods invites individuals to keep vigil in no man’s land.
The 'Unshared' team wishes to thank Marc Silberschatz and Mark Stevenson, under whose mentorship this piece was conceived and first performed at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow in September 2019. We'd also like to thank Ankna Arockiam, Samrat Majumder, Neil Johnston, and Gabriel Baicu, for their faith in and generosity with a new work-in-progress as its first collaborators.
A special mention for the ‘Using Dramaturgy’ residency (2019 – 2020) – developed and hosted by Flinn Works, Drama School Mumbai, and Goethe Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan Bangalore – and all its glorious midwives for their ongoing insights.
The commissioned patchwork quilt which is the centerpiece of the Unshared set has been handmade by Usha Poste, Dipika Mistry, Rekha Shinde, Anita Yadav, Kavita Chavan, and Priti Chavan, with help from Smita Pandey.
Concept and Design: Tanvi Shah
Music Composition and Sound Design: Anusha Ramasubramoney, Pushkar Srivatsal and Meera Desai
Live Music: Anusha Ramasubramoney and Meera Desai
Movement: Paridnya Kallyanpur
Moderation: Meghana AT
Indian Sign Language Performance: Sangeeta Gala
Indian Sign Language Interpretation: Madhu Keny
Set Design: The Quilting House at Thotpot
Production: Vidhi Mehra and Nirlek Dhulla
Dramaturgical Support: Ryan Napier
Poster Design: Disha Sanghvi
Words: anonymous writers from around the world
Duration: 80 minutes
Languages: English and Indian Sign Language
Ages : 16+
Trigger warning: The content of the crowd-sourced letters mentions real-life experiences of loss, bereavement, systemic trauma, suicidal ideation, and heartbreak. While the experience is completely immersive and the audience will be guided through the piece, individuals who do not wish to participate are under no compulsion to do so.
Please note that this is a safe space and will work to safeguard the fundamental rights to dignity and respect of every person in the room. Intolerance, ridicule, bigotry, or hate crimes of any severity will not be tolerated.
- Seating is on a first come first served basis.
- The venue is unfortunately not wheelchair accessible
- No flash photography
- No outside food and drinks allowed
- No pets allowed
- Security procedures, including frisking remain the right of the management.
- No dangerous or potentially hazardous objects including but not limited to weapons, knives, guns, fireworks, helmets, lazer devices, bottles, musical instruments will be allowed in the venue and may be ejected with or without the owner from the venue.
- The sponsors/performers/organizers are not responsible for any injury or damage occurring due to the event. Any claims regarding the same would be settled in courts in Mumbai.
- People in an inebriated state may not be allowed entry.
- Organizers hold the right to deny late entry to the event.
- No cancellation and no-refunds if you can't make it for any reason
- If the show is cancelled you will be refunded the full amount