Strip, play, examines consent and sexual misconduct
Consent, sexual harassment and rape are sensitive topics that need to be discussed openly. The piece, Tape, tries to do just that by explaining the concept of consent to a wider audience. Written by Stephen Belber in 1999, the play was later made into a film by Richard Linklater in 2001.
Aakash Prabhakar, director and one of the three actors in the production, says, “This play is special because of its relevance, even though it was written 21 years ago. Even today, men don’t understand when they’ve crossed a line, and sometimes women may not know how to tell them.
Based in a motel in Michigan, USA, Tape tells the story of an evening where three friends talk about an incident that happened near the end of their school 10 years ago. Through the characters of John, Vince and Amy, the play brings out three different perspectives of an incident.
To prepare for the play, the actors had conversations about sex, consent, instances of sexual misconduct, high school crushes and more.
Speaking about her performance and her character, Amy, Priti Shroff says, “Amy has a very traumatic past but she’s gotten stronger now. Maintaining strength and power is of utmost importance. I myself face a similar situation in my personal life, so it was kind of a reality art situation and many of the moments in the piece carried over into my real conversations as well.
When asked if he had modified this US-based play to suit Indian audiences, Prabhakar replied in the negative. He says, “I like how something that happens in Michigan is also relevant in Mumbai. When I watched the movie Parasite (2019) I loved it because it was like a story in India. I felt the same relevance and understanding with Tape. So I didn’t adapt it.
Another aspect that makes it special for the actors is that they can finally perform on stage after two years, due to the pandemic. “We’ve had to keep pushing the game with each new lockdown and we’re thrilled,” says Prabhakar.
Catch it LIVE!
Or: Dafney Productions, Andheri (F)
When: April 24
Hourly: 6 p.m.