Five Plays for the Visiting Maharaja – by Sarovar Banka
Synopsis: This collection of one acts are generally comedic and philosophical in their nature. A few are short and lighthearted such as A Play for my Dentist, a ten-minute which traces the (sweet but not saccharine) emotional relationship between two dentists of different ethnicities through their research and collaboration in dentistry. Others are bit more complex, such as the closing piece, The Birthday Method. New and never produced, an Indian-American banker is subjected to experiments in “pyschological destruction” in a fifty minute farce about who we are as people and if we can choose what we become.
Time Period: Various
Cast Size: Ensemble (5 minimum)
Casting: Various characters for an ensemble. Three South-Asian women required. At least one and like two South Asian Men. One Asian-American Woman. Other characters of varying ethnicities.
(NOTE: This collection is intended to be terrific fun for a multi-ethnic ensemble. It has been shaped with the goal of having actors of varying ethnicities to play comedy. It is intended for the actors to sometimes play defined by their ethnicity and sometimes not- displaying a wide range of performance especially from those not generally seen with this latitude.)
Design Needs: Minimal
This Play Is: unpublished
Production History: Three of the plays produced individually, never before produced together as a collection:
2002, The Only Surviving Heir of a Once Greta Maharaja, Despina, Lower Tenement Theatre
2003, A Play for my Dentist, Hard Lemonade series at Asian American Writers Workshop
2004, The End of the Apurnas, Off Broadway, Rasa Theatre, Theatre Row Studios
“In The End of the Apurnas these three ladies really get to shine, portraying three sisters, all named Apurna, who have decided that their mother has died. (Her very stillā though not necessarily expiredā body lies before them on a sofa.) Their reactions are expansive, extravagant, and very funny. Older Apurna, responsible and repressed, is ready to move on as quickly as possible. Middle Apurna, the family rebel clad in military fatigues, switches mercurially between bitter recrimination and guilty regret. Youngest Apurna, at first convinced that she killed her mother by French kissing a young man that that lady did not approve of, tearfully wants to bring her parent back to life.”
-NYtheatre.com- from Martin Denton’s review Feb. 2004