Consent, sexual harassment and rape are sensitive topics that need to be spoken about openly. The play, Tape, is trying to do just that by explaining the concept of consent to a larger 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 three actors in the production, says, “This play is special because of how relevant it still is, even though it was written 21 years ago. Even today, men do not understand the moment they crossed a line, and sometimes women may not know how to tell it to them.”
Based in a motel in Michigan, USA, Tape is about one evening, where three friends talk about an incident that happened towards the end of their school, 10 years ago. Through the characters of John, Vince and Amy, the play brings out three different perspectives of one incident.
To prepare for the play, the actors had conversations on sex, consent, instances of sexual misconduct, high school crushes and more.
Talking about her performance and her character, Amy, Priti Shroff says “Amy has a very traumatic past but she has become stronger now. Keeping her strength and power is of utmost importance. I, myself, am dealing with a similar situation in my personal life, so it was an art mirrors reality kind of situation and many moments from the play trickled into my real-life conversations as well.”
Asked if he modified this US-based play to suit the Indian audience, Prabhakar responds in the negative. He says, “I like how something that happens in Michigan is relevant in Mumbai as well. When I watched the film 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 finally get to perform on stage after two years, due to the pandemic. “We had to keep pushing the play with every new lockdown and we are excited,” says Prabhakar.
Catch it LIVE!
Where: Dafney Productions, Andheri (W)
When: April 24