Minita Gandhi represents a new voice in American theater who takes us on an epic journey of a coming of age first-generation Indian-American female. The “dark comedy” inspired by true stories takes us on magical but tragic trip to India. The play was originally developed and given four sold out workshop performances at Silk Road Rising Theater for their Solo Festival in downtown Chicago where it received a standing ovation each time. It was then invited to be a part of the prestigious Ignition Festival of new plays at the Tony Award winning Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago alongside esteemed playwrights such as Jose Rivera and Julia Cho, where it was sold out and received yet another standing ovation. The Indo-American Heritage Museum invited Minita to do two special performances at the Raven Theater in Chicago and in Naperville where the play had the audience leaping to their feet once more. The play has been skillfully directed by Heidi Stillman, the Artistic Director of New Work at Lookingglass Theater, featured on TVAsia, written up in Splash Magazine, and the Times of India.
In 2014, while foraging through her parents’ basement, she discovered her father’s worn suitcase from his very first journey to the United States, with a single statement scribbled in black Sharpie on the back of the bag: “When I die, discard this bag if you like, until then it stays.” This sparked a curiosity about her parents’ life journey and led to vulnerable interviews where they shared stories from their history they had never spoken of before. The telling of these stories began to bridge the cultural and generational distance between her and her family. Gandhi then realized by weaving their stories with her own life-changing journey to India in 2009 for her brother's arranged marriage, she had a powerful story she had to share with the world. Muthaland shares the magic of her journey to India, full of prophets, ritual, and the convergence of American and Indian cultures.
After the first table read in 2015 a documentary entitled “India’s Daughter,” from BBC about the fatal gang rape of a young woman in New Delhi was banned because the Indian government felt it would “defame” India. Minita realized she could no longer treat the topic of sexual violence as a “bad dream.” She felt empowered to share her own experience with the world. It is Minita’s hope that Muthaland will bring love, laughter, hope to the community and bridge cultural and generational gaps regarding the culture of silence surrounding sexual assault and cultural identity. She is currently in conversations to produce the world premiere of Muthaland to give it a full production and run. She hopes to have it produced all over the USA and internationally and is actively seeking to do so.
Recently three graduate students from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University shot a documentary about her life and the making of Muthaland. It is being submitted to film festivals right now and will be released after the festival circuit is over. The film is entitled MY MUTHALAND.
For questions about Muthaland or information on how to book the show at your venue click below to contact Minita.