Sankalpan (Desire) – by Lina Patel

Synopsis: An inventive fusion of Chekhov’s Three Sisters and Tagore’s The Home and the World, Sankalpan evokes a time of revolution that draws sharp parallels to the geopolitics of today. A story about self-determination both in the psyches of individuals hungry for change and in the psyche of an evolving national identity, Sankalpan is set against the volatile backdrop of 1905, Bengal. Personal struggles play out on a national stage, which is rapidly changing as the demands of Independence refigure relationships between British Imperialists and Indian Nationalists, rich landowners and poor peasants, and most explosively, in the new possibilities in the relationships between men and women.

Setting: Bengal
Time Period: 1905-1906

Cast Size: 11 Characters
Casting:
Sharmila, the eldest sister (30’s)
Radha, the middle sister (20’s)
Nandini, the youngest sister (late teens)
Apurva, their brother (30’s)
Devyani, betrothed to Apurva (20’s)
Kalavati, the Nanny (40’s-50’s)
Sanjiv, Radha’s husband, (30’s)
Narendra, the Freedom Fighter, Sanjiv’s friend (30’s)
Haresh, a student and lately, a freedom fighter (late teens)
Professor Ramdas, former teacher to Sanjiv and Narendra (50’s-60’s)
Cook, in love with Kalavati, (40’s-50’s)

Design Needs: This play can be done with either a detailed period set (1905 Bengali and British art and furniture) or simply, with boxes, chairs and cloth indicating location and period.  Puppets are used for the Ramayana story told at the top of Act II.  Another way to do it is having members of the family act out the story.  The cast should be believeably South Asian; some characters speak in Bengali, which may or may not be supertitled on a scrim.

This Play Is: unpublished

Production History: Developed in Jose Rivera’s writer’s group, First Tuesdays.  Worskhopped at Silk Road Theatre and the New Group in NY in December, 2007.  Workshopped at the Lark’s Playwright’s Week in the fall of 2008.

Awards: Finalist, Sundance Theatre Institute.

10 page sample pdf

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