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For the longest time, theatre actor and director Lushin Dubey was the youngest member in Delhi-based Barry John’s ‘Theatre Action Group’ (TAG) where she was part of mega productions by major playwrights. However, when she came back after a Master’s degree from the US where she learned about working with special needs children, she felt a certain pull towards contemporary social issues which demanded to be talked about.
Dubey came across Pinky Virani’s work ‘Aruna Story’ and approached her for the rights, but they had already been sold. “So I picked up her ‘Bitter Chocolate’ — I found it very relevant considering there was a need to talk about sexual abuse which had for long being pushed under the carpet but was now being talked about.”
The actor approached theatre director Arvind Gaur of New Delhi-based Asmita theatre group and they teamed up for the production. “I had already worked with the talented Gaur who has always given me wings and immense space. The production was a huge success and has been travelling across the world.”
Dubey, who will be performing ‘Untitled’ (also directed by Gaur) and ‘Bitter Chocolate’ on August 24 and 25 in Mumbai on the invitation of Raell Padamsee’s The CREATE foundation’s ‘Rise Up for Equality – A Special Women’s Festival’, feels as the world moves forward, women are coming out and talking about issues they have faced. “The Create foundation is doing a lot of work and it is a pleasure associating with them.”
Padamsee adds, “Working with theatre, and the young over the years, I have learned that this art form can bring about a systematic, sustainable change. Theatre is the perfect mirror — the post-discussion encourages solutions and the action plan puts it all into perspective.”
Despite the fact that solo performances can be extremely exhausting, the actor prefers them as she believes they can be instrumental in refining a performer and adding to her or his dimensions. “I travel a lot with my work, and with solos, it is more comfortable to do that. Not to mention, they save me from several logistical hiccups that come with handling a big team.”
For someone who has been involved in theatre in different capacities for a long time now, she feels over the years, the art form has become more fearless. “I love the way how passionate people are experimenting and breaking templates. They are no longer working in silos and are ready to take risks — and that is what ascertains growth.”
Talk to her about the lack of contemporary original scripts, a complaint by many theatre directors, and she says most of them are not investigating who is writing what. “And that includes me. I am sure if I look hard enough, some potent work is ready to be discovered.”
A follower of Buddhism, she feels the path has taught her to be in a tempered zone. “There is no extreme happiness or disappointment for me. I know when to let things go and not let them affect me.”