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Maati at Drama School Mumbai:A Hindi Adaptation of Lorca's Yerma

Drama School Mumbai
Event organized by Drama School Mumbai

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Join us for the 2017-18 Drama School Mumbai Student Annual Production of MAATI: Directed by Mahesh Dattani
A Hindi adaptation of Lorca's Yerma

Age Limit: 16 years and above
Ticket: Free Entry on First Come First Serve basis. Limited seating. Please come early to ensure a seat.

Maati, who comes from a family of landless shepherds, is married to Jatinder a farmer with a very fertile land. Maati’s innermost desire is to beget a male child who will then make her as complete as the bountiful earth. She is happy for her friend, Sulakshana who is pregnant within five months of marriage. “When will it be my turn?” She wants an answer to her question. She seeks answers from a wise old woman, a frivolous young girl, a tantric and finally the Goddess herself. Why does she feel fertile when she is with Vijender, a landless shepherd? How important is marital fidelity to her?
How far will she go to procure the seed that will give life to what is dormant inside of her?

I was drawn to Yerma for many reasons. At first, it was the overt theme of fecundity and its extreme polarity, barrenness. The complete and the incomplete. Woman and Man. This singular theme drives the action of the play arriving at a surprising climax that makes sense only on close readings, that too only as conjecture.

Within a pastoral landscape, is a deeply expressionist play, or poem as Lorca calls it. What goes on in Yerma’s mind affects her in ways she does not fully comprehend. In our interpretation, her desire for a male offspring is not social conditioning, but a need to get the maleness out of her body. She is afraid of becoming more like a man. She voices her fears to strangers but only once to her husband, Juan who is preoccupied with the fertility of his land. Even in their estrangement, there is dignity in preserving honour. A virtue as precious as bearing a child.

I am extremely proud of the DSM students who have given form and theatrical meaning to this lyrical drama. Hopefully, the adaptation and presentation will speak for itself without annotations.