Muthaland

The brave adventures of a young woman whose life is forever changed on a trip to India where she unearths family secrets, encounters a prophet, and ultimately discovers her voice within a culture of silence. The familiar and the foreign swap roles in this dark comedy about culture, identity, spirituality, and sexuality. This play is inspired by true stories.
In 2014, while foraging through her parents’...
The brave adventures of a young woman whose life is forever changed on a trip to India where she unearths family secrets, encounters a prophet, and ultimately discovers her voice within a culture of silence. The familiar and the foreign swap roles in this dark comedy about culture, identity, spirituality, and sexuality. This play is inspired by true stories.
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.
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Muthaland

Recommended by

  • Nick Malakhow:
    4 May. 2020
    An exquisite solo show that wades through identity, sexuality and sexual freedom, sexual assault, gender roles and hierarchies, and more with a combination of poetry, well-timed humor, and potent stage pictures. Gandhi makes excellent use of the solo form to explore Minu's relationship to her intersectional identity and her home (in all the multitudinous ways one can define that word). The early humor helps us establish a rapport with Minu/Minita--her experiences in India land like gut punches. Minu's complex relationship with her identity isn't wrapped with a tidy bow, but the ending is satisfying and beautiful.
  • Maximillian Gill:
    3 May. 2020
    A tour-de-force of a play recounting a journey into the very dark and misogynist heart of the protagonist's mother nation. Moments of humor, gaiety, and beauty are seamlessly integrated with shockingly vivid descriptions of assault. Sexuality initially presents itself in comic ways as a young woman explores her own sexual nature, but by the end it has become a weapon used against her. Hope peeks out in the final moments, but the reader is left shattered. I imagine this play would be powerfully performed in the right production.
  • Lisa Kenner Grissom:
    1 May. 2020
    In Muthaland, Minita Ghandi takes us on one woman's journey as she discovers her own power and womanhood in relation to her family and her culture--and in the face of a life-changing event. Ghandi does so with vivid imagery, captivating language, laugh-out-loud humor, and fierce truth. I was engaged by this story from beginning to end, rooting for her all the way. I can't wait to see this play come to life on stage in its next production.

Development History

  • Workshop
    ,
    NNPN Women in Playwriting Festival at Florida Studio Theater
    ,
    2019
  • Workshop
    ,
    Victory Gardens Theatre
    ,
    2016

Production History

  • Professional
    ,
    PCPA Theaterfest
    ,
    2019
  • Professional
    ,
    Great Performance Series at Hope College Knickerbocker Theater
    ,
    2019
  • University
    ,
    The Anne Frank Social Justice Festival, SUNY Buffalo, NY
    ,
    2017
  • University
    ,
    UC Santa Cruz
    ,
    2017
  • University
    ,
    Augustana College
    ,
    2017
  • University
    ,
    Idaho State University
    ,
    2017
  • University
    ,
    University of Iowa
    ,
    2017
  • University
    ,
    Ithaca College
    ,
    2017
  • Professional
    ,
    StateraArts National Conference at Denver Center for the Performing Arts
    ,
    2016
  • Professional
    ,
    Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Official Selection of CAATA
    ,
    2016

Awards

Selection
,
Best New Work
,
The Joseph Jefferson Awards
,
2018
Selection
,
Best Solo Performance
,
The Joseph Jefferson Awards
,
2018