Co-produced by TPM and the Alberta Theatre Projects in association with Nightswimming, the production highlights prejudices that are sometimes hidden under the colourful façade of Bollywood films. Combining the glamour of Bollywood music, dance and glitter, Same Same But Different is directed by Nightswimming Artistic Director Brian Quirt, starring Majumdar, Nicco Lorenzo Garcia and the voice of Reza Jacobs, on stage at the TPM Mainspace (16 Ryerson Ave.) from Feb. 15 to Mar. 8, 2014.
“Anita is a prototypical artist for Theatre Passe Muraille. She has two interests that are central to what we try to provide our audience,” said Andy McKim, artistic director, TPM.
“One is entertainment and the other a way of looking critically at the life we live today. Same Same But Different is the perfect reflection of this, and it’s a piece that’s very important to us.” - Andy McKim, artistic director, TPM.
In Same Same But Different two stories intertwine to take you behind the scenes of Indian cinema. First is the story of Canadian-born Bollywood starlet Aisha who must confront her prejudices about nationality, skin colour and family. The second explores the story of her mother, Kabira, and her own life-changing experience with the world of Bollywood.
Same Same But Different is a culturally significant account of a sometimes overlooked issue that has crossed generations.
Majumdar is an established playwright, actor and dancer who recently received the 2013 Governor General's Performing Arts Award Protégée Prize in playwriting. Best known for her one-person dance/drama Fish Eyes, and starring in Deepa Mehta's film adaptation of Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children, Majumdar is also a Dora Mavor Moore nominated choreographer with over 15 years of classical Indian dance training.
“This show has taken me so long to write because it is my most personal project to date,” admitted Majumdar.
“I had to come to terms with what I wanted to say, the kind of homage I wanted to pay tribute to in terms of my childhood and the kind of legacy I wish to leave behind. The show deals with shadeism, Bollywood, and the self-concept for young women. All those themes remain and continue to be very important to me. There is more of me on stage than ever before and I don’t mean just physically.”
In addition to writing and performing in the piece, Majumdar also choreographed a series of dance numbers that blend her classical Indian dance background with current Bollywood trends.
These dances pair seamlessly with a soundtrack by Suba Sankaran that mixes classical Bollywood music with contemporary acapella, creating an exciting and unique genre.
In addition to Sankaran (sound design/composition), the production team for Same Same But Different includes: Beth Kates (set/lighting designer), Nina Okens (costume designer) and Sandy Plunkett (stage manager).
Theatre Passe Muraille offers Play Your Part events that will give audiences the chance to get more out of their evening at the theatre. The Play Your Part events for Same Same But Different are:
Eggrolls with Andy – Feb. 19, 2014 at 6:45pm
This free pre-show program features Artistic Director, Andy McKim in conversation with an artist or local expert to talk about the way in which the piece of theatre is contributing to a broader conversation. There are also plenty of free snacks and the upstairs bar is open and fully stocked.
Talk Back Tuesday – Feb. 25, 2014 after the performance
Enjoy free talk backs on the first Tuesday after opening. These conversations with the cast and crew are facilitated to encourage more dialogue than a traditional Q-and-A.