I’m still in search of one.
Tell us about your play:
It’s a revenge fantasy in which Asha, who’s lost her husband and her ability to reproduce because of various bio-tech/agri-business products and practices, cultivates powers to execute her own version of genetic modification. The widow of an Indian farmer who’s committed suicide, Asha finesses her way into the home of Darren, CEO of a multinational bio-tech firm, to care for his home and pregnant wife, Hope. And there the retribution begins.
In most of my work, the protagonist is a woman of color who has little to no political, social, cultural, and economic capital. There’s no marches, protests, movies, petitions, policies, or movements to engender the rights of a woman like this; so she harnesses her agency from another (spiritual?) source. People often call this “magical realism.” For me, it’s a meticulously developed skill and sense.
What are your goals with the Newborn Festival?
To become clearer and clearer about the motivation and goal of each character and their relationships to each other (what they fear, enjoy, disregard, etc. about each other). To get rid of the unnecessary. To find more nuance in the voices of, particularly, Asha and Darren. David Stallings is an astute dramaturg so I’m looking forward to hearing more of his feedback.
Most interesting feedback you've received from an audience member:
In my play Parts of Parts & Stitches, Yamuna, the protagonist is looking for the parts of her dismembered husband. There’s an entire page or two where she’s obsessed with finding her husband’s penis. After watching the play on opening night, my Mom said I should get rid of that scene… I didn’t. We’re still friends.
How would you like to be remembered?
Because we live in a society of subjective superlatives (best, worst, smartest, poorest, richest, most beautiful, most oppressed) and I get caught up in wanting superlatives attached to my name (so creating immense misery in my life), I’m working with the question, “What if I’m not remembered?”
THU, FEB 6 @ 7:30 PM
OTHER FARMER'S FIELDS
by Riti Sachdeva
Directed by David Stallings
Darren is the CEO of a multi-million corporation that sells insecticides to farmers in India. When hundreds of the farmers die, his corporation cover up the deaths by saying they were drunk and accidentally ingested the insecticide. His life takes a turn when his wife takes in the widow of one of these men, and her actions and motives are clearly bent on revenge.
- Talk-back following the play
- Monologue from finalist Oroonoko by Paul Van Dyck