“Memoirs of Geisha” meets “Slumdog Millionaire” in this vibrant award-winning stage show with original music, colors of India and a riveting story that is sure to remind you of Bollywood. A true experience of India and its magnanimous culture, it comprises of old classic Mahabharata as well as the latest Bollywood references. The audience will go through the drama, action, romance, and dance and get a flavor of Indian culture alongside making a difference for trafficking victims.
Expect an hour of entertainment with dance and storytelling that is sure to engage, entertain and inspire.
This performance is 8-years in the making, now on international tour performing to SOLD OUT HOUSES and supports the women behind the story. This would also be a pioneer piece for Larcom Theater to begin bringing more critical and socially conscious (as well as entertaining work) to the community.
HONOUR: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan is a fictional story but it could not be closer to the truth for millions of sex trafficking victims. When I was a child growing up in Mumbai there were certain neighborhoods that were forbidden to us, that we would not dare to visit. While society lived by these boundaries, government did not. Public transport did not differentiate between neighborhoods and social classifications. Bus numbers 102 and 105 that would take a commuter to Walkeshwar — one of the richest neighborhoods in South Mumbai, would also take you to Falkland road, one of the many red light districts of South Mumbai. Astonishing isn’t it, that a few miles can change the world so much.
Very rarely did we take these buses but when we did, my eyes were glued to the window. Afraid to be caught looking I would pretend not to look but devoured every detail that I could see but was forbidden to discuss. In the short amount of time it took the bus to traverse the road, I could see small rooms with a curtain hanging outside or around a bed, women standing outside make shift doors in revealing clothes and red lipstick, and lots of half naked children running around. My 8 year old eyes wondered what all this meant. I knew it was not safe to ask questions so I didn’t. It wasn’t until my teens that I understood what was happening behind those curtains. What, I wondered, was to happen to those kids running around half clothed? I imagined they would want to go to school but how could they? What would happen to the girls? Would they follow the path of their mothers? And, the boys — would they also grow up to kidnap girls so they could be sold? Why wasn’t anyone worried about these kids?
Those questions were the first seeds for HONOUR: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan. Prostitutes were fascinating to me. I wanted to know them; I wanted to know how their souls were different from us, the normal women. Why were they doing what they were doing? Where were the concerned adults speaking for them or with them? Why were they forbidden from religious gatherings and uniformly denied respect of any kind? So many questions! They came up every now and then, when I took bus number 102 or 105 –which I did not take very often. I got busy with Theater, Radio, TV, Film and voice over work and left these questions on the back burner. In 2009 when I moved to NYC area and found myself looking for acting jobs and realizing there were not that many, I was left with the gift of time. Time that brought back nostalgic memories of home and those unanswered questions. That was the birth of HONOUR: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan.
HONOUR: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan is an attempt to break stereotypes. It is a piece that operates on many levels: music, dance and storytelling, in order to engage the viewer on a very visceral level. It connects the hearts of the characters to those of the audiences watching their story. For these 65 minutes we are one community, viewers and brothel dwellers, connected through our shared humanity.
The purpose of creating HONOUR: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan is to raise awareness and break down the social stigma that exists around sex workers. The show gives voice to trafficked victims in a way that reaches the viewer’s soul. Why is there ever an us and a them? That is the question at the center of the piece. I am committed to breaking down those barriers and making a difference in the community of sex workers. If I can reach one heart, if I can change one soul, if I can move one human being by this piece, the world shifts. I want to shift the world a million times, reaching as many people as I can, connect us as human beings through love and compassion. When all the labels are taken away what remains is a mother, a daughter, a friend, someone trying to survive, trying to create a safe haven for their family, a life that is precious and beautiful filled with hopes and dreams, innocence and laughter, heartbreaks and sadness; this is the story told in HONOUR: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan. A tribute to millions of sex trafficking victims around the globe.
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