Playwright Sindhuri Nandhakumar’s ‘The Creases in My Sari’ follows the path of two young Sri Lankan immigrants from opposing factions who fall in love but struggle to keep their relationship together in the face of their differences. Radicalism and a secret revealed puts them to the final test.
Grew up in Kandy
Nandhakumar grew up in Kandy, Sri Lanka on the peripheries of The Sri Lankan Civil War, a 26-year-long conflict fought in the north and east. Not directly impacted, her family was sympathetic to the plight of their fellow countrymen but remained apolitical. This was a common reaction of many Sri Lankans who thought it best to stay under the radar, says Sindhuri. In 2009, two months after the war ended, the family migrated to Canada, setting up in Scarborough. It wasn’t until then that Nandhakumar saw the war’s true impact.
“People in Toronto displayed their anger about the war more vocally than most Sri Lankans had,” she says. “People in Sri Lanka either didn’t or couldn’t protest with such vigour because they feared for their lives at a time when the President and his outfit ran the country with an iron fist and an unforgiving attitude. Canada, on the other hand, provided a platform for these grievances to be aired and provided a home for many of Sri Lanka’s Tamil refugees to express themselves and their identity.”
Sindhuri’s play The Creases in My Sari, running from November 9 to 13 as part of Alumnae Theatre’s FireWorks Festival, explores these themes along with Sindhuri’s personal journey of coming to terms with her own identity and values.
Toronto was the first place I learned more about the ‘other’ Sri Lanka
“Yes, I grew up in a war torn country but much like my character Chanaka, I grew up in privilege,” she says. “Not being able to travel to the former war zone until recently, Toronto was the first place I learned more about the ‘other’ Sri Lanka. I wanted to write about these tensions within my own identity and that is what gave birth to this play. I hope audiences will go on a journey with these characters and feel the battle between the political and the personal as much as I did – as much as I still do.”
Kimberley Radmacher directs the talented cast featuring: Brittany Miranda, Jasmine D’Costa*, Suchiththa Wickremesooriya, Lionel Boodlal, Vivek Hariharan, and Anjali Rai*.
Panel discussion – Friday, November 11, 7 pm (pre-show)
Come early to learn about the Sri Lankan conflict and what it means to be an immigrant from a war-torn country, then stay to see the show. Panelists are:
Koom Kankesan, Tamil immigrant and author of The Panic Button and a new novel, The Tamil Dream, due to be published this month
Thursica Kovinthan, Tamil refugee, now completing a PhD in education focusing on post-conflict education, gender equality, and teaching refugee children
Amra Ghouse, Sri Lankan native of mixed ancestry and member of Sri Lanka Without Borders, promoting dialogue and cross-community engagement between Sri Lanka’s Diaspora communities in Canada.
OTHER BEHIND-THE-CURTAIN OPPORTUNITIES:
Meet and greet – Wednesday, November 9 (post-show)
Mingle with the actors and production team after each opening night show. Bar open. Light refreshments served.
Writer and director talkback – November 12 (following matinee):
A deeper look into the play and creative process.
For More Information and tickets visit: www.alumnaetheatre.com