Pyaasa is a one woman show, written and performed by Anusree Roy, that explores the caste system in India from the perspective of it’s most discriminated. It follows a family of the “untouchable” caste, specifically Meera and her young daughter Chaya, as they struggle with jobs, food, and marriage in a system that denies them every opportunity from birth.
“The play is more timely than ever. But it’s Roy’s performance that makes this a must-see. She really is a gift.” – NOW Magazine
Set in Calcutta, Pyaasa (meaning thirsty in Hindi) tells the story of Chaya, an eleven-year-old untouchable who dreams of nothing more than learning her times tables. When Chaya’s mother begs a woman from a higher caste to give Chaya a job at a local tea stall, Chaya’s journey from childhood to adulthood begins and ends over ten days.
A moving and heartfelt play, Pyaasa illustrates with subtlety and nuanced truth, the inequalities and injustices that persist through the Indian caste system. But it also speaks to anyone about the inequalities or injustices that are all around us here in Toronto.
“Roy’s ability to transform herself… is so magical you can hardly believe [these characters] are played by the same person.” – Stage Door
Roy truly is the life force of the show. With her finely tuned characters, massive energy and ferocity she manages to bring to life a complicated and full world on her own. Whether she’s scrubbing teacups or contemplating her own reflection, she proves that can hold our attention with or without words and in any language due to her hugely expressive yet minutely detailed acting.
Pyaasa’s remount is a brilliant opportunity for a talented, Dora Award winning team to once again challenge Toronto audiences to take a raw look at life within the Indian caste system. Pyaasa, in it’s short 50 minutes, will leave you unsatisfied with the world we live in, as only a stunningly real theatrical experience can.
When: Thursday, March 3, 2016 to Sunday, March 27, 2016
Where: Theatre Passe Muraille
Time: starts at 7:30pm | Saturday & Sunday Matinees at 2pm
Tickets: General Admission – $33 | Seniors – $28 | Artsworkers – $20 |Matinee advance – $22.50 | Matinee at the door – pay-what-you-can | Under 30 – $17 | Groups of 10+ can get a group rate of $25 per ticket