BENGALURU: A play that narrates everyday stories of people would be predictable, right? Well, how wrong that notion can be was shown by Pareyaan Maranna Kadhegal (meaning ‘untold stories), a Malayalam play staged by 14 transwomen and one transman in the city.
The artistes gave heartfelt performances while portraying the trauma and humiliation faced by them in their life. The play, performed at Ravindra Kalakshetra on Wednesday, at the sixth edition of CGK National Theatre Festival, was presented by Mazhavil Dhwani, the first transgender group from Kerala, and organised by Dhwayah Arts and Charitable Society, which aims to promote cultural activities among transgender persons.
“Transgenders are always thought to be beggars and sex workers, who have no calibre, talent or skills. This is not a scripted drama but an actual portrayal of our lives. We are showing the journey of a transgender till death, after she reveals her identity,” said Renju Renjimar, secretary of the society, and a celebrity make-up and theatre artist.
Explaining how drama helped the group rise above odds, actor Heidi Saadiya recalled how they started performing in 2018. “After that, one of us got accepted by her parents. Everything happened because of theatre, as it is a big break for us. And drama is the easiest way by which we can reveal our problems and break the stereotypes and stigmas related to us,” said Saadiya, adding that she is the first transgender broadcast journalist in India.
The play was directed by Chennai-based Srijith Sundaram, who has been working with transgenders and sex workers for 10 years. “There are victims everywhere. They have undergone experiences that can never be erased from their memories. Through this play, we wanted to express ourselves, be proud of who we are and be accepted in the society with respect. The play portrayed phases like bullying, sexual abuse, love, marriage, cheating, etc,” he said.
This was the 21st play performed by the group, which has staged shows in various theatre festivals in other states too.