Bhopal, Rahul Varma's Play About India's Industrial Catastrophe, Will Get NJ Premiere Prior to India Tour

By Michael Gioia
November 13, 2012

Epic Actors' Workshop and Bond Street Theatre will present the NJ premiere of Rahul Varma's Bhopal, as part of the 2012 South Asian Theatre Festival, Nov. 18 at 4 PM at the Crossroads Theatre in New Brunswick, NJ. The NJ premiere will precede a tour in India and Nepal.



Directed by Bond Street Theatre artistic director Joanna Sherman, the work features Arpana Bhattacharya, Soumendu Bhattacharya, Shailendra Khurana, Michael McGuigan, Gargi Mukherjee, Sajal Mukherjee and Anna Zastrow.

The chorus for the U.S. performance includes Renee Bhattacharya, Birsa Mukherjee Chatterjee, Barkha Kishnani, Heddy Lahmann, Ilanna Saltzman and Puja Shourie. The chorus for the India and Nepal tour will include Ilanna Saltzman, Birsa Mukherjee Chatterjee and a group of local actors.

Bhopal will be presented at the Natyamela International Drama Festival in Kolkata, India, Dec. 3; the Kathmandu International Theatre Festival in Nepal Dec. 6; and the National Centre for the Performing Arts Centrestage Festival in Mumbai, India, Dec. 8.

"On the night of Dec. 3, 1984, Union Carbide's pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, exploded engulfing the city in a billow of deadly poisonous fumes," according to producers. "Small children fell like flies, men and women vainly scurried for safety only to collapse, breathless and blinded by the gas. By sunset, the death toll was 2,500. By the following day, the numbers had no meaning. That night, Bhopal became the largest peacetime gas chamber in history. Rahul Varma's play reveals the human stories within the complex political and economic web, and events leading up to one of the worst industrial catastrophes in history. "

Other members of the creative team include production stage manager Julian Goldhagen, video and audio designer Michael McGuigan, set designers McGuigan and Joanna Sherman, lighting designer Olivia Harris and costume designer Barkha Kishnani. The play is produced by Dipan Ray of Epic Actors' Workshop.

The Crossroads Theatre is located at 7 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick, NJ. For more information and tickets, click here.