A BRIEF HISTORY OF YOUR HAIR
A meditation on hair. This play finds itself rooted in deeply personal stories about hair on the one hand and fantastical explorations of these stories on another.
Hair is an external marker of beauty and gender and is loaded with mythology. Hair is suspended in time, oscillating between the happening and the retelling in each of these stories.
Envisioned and designed as a storybook, the first six chapters unfold as beginnings: a young girl sees pubic hair for the first time as she pees with her aunt, a young woman and her husband discusses the merits of cutting her hair off vs. a mastectomy due to cancer, a man and a bearded woman meet on the street, a Sikh man who could move trucks with his hair fails and so on.
In the second half (the six chapters unfold backwards) the stories find fantastical journeys and conclusions when hair appears as a manifestation in the form of a creature. It plays with, unravels and emboldens the characters in the first half. Embedding poetry from China/Indonesian, Indian, African and Native American poets, these narratives (from the actors and musicians) and music from the mandolin, guitar and djembe, the production attempts new form.
This play began as a 15-minute piece with the help of a trigger grant, first performed at Gender Bender 2015, curated and organised by the Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan, Bangalore and Sandbox Collective.