The Amazing Flabby-Breasted Virgin & Other Sordid Tales
A playful, irreverent digital performance exploring how women's bodies are talked about in Indian medical education.
The Amazing Flabby-Breasted Virgin & Other Sordid Tales is a playful, irreverent and interactive digital performance. It plays with the myths and magical thinking that surround and define the non-masculine, non-heterosexual body. Inspired by the writings of a contemporary Indian feminist gynecologist, it poses surreal and satirical questions about how women's bodies are taught, perceived and practiced within medical education in the urban Indian context. A textbook of forensic medicine in standard use across India today defines the breasts of a virginal woman as “hemispherical, firm, plump and elastic”, while that of a “deflorate” woman as “enlarged and flabby”.
What is this body, and how does one operate it? How do we inherit the stories of the non-masculine body? How do we employ these stories as truth?
This performance is part of an educational arts project on systemic issues in both medicine and education today.
The script was developed under the mentorship of Abhishek Majumdar at The Bhasha Centre Playwriting Programme 2019-20.
The show is written and directed by Ayesha Susan Thomas. It is produced by KathaSiyah. Supported by Asia Safe Abortion Partnership (ASAP).
As Technical Director for the show, I am excited to bring a lot of different tools and technology to the fore. This show's technical design combines audio, video, games, text and live performance in a way that offers a playful, engaging invitation to step into its world. The audience takes this digital journey by themselves, beginning it first on Zoom wherein they are introduced to the experience. Afterwards, they return back to Zoom for an interactive live performance. We have taken conscious care to craft easy-to-follow instructions and a step-by-step experience to make the audience feel comfortable whilst being online. This allows us to guide their attention in line with the work's intention.
Cast & Crew
Writer & Director: Ayesha Susan Thomas
Producers: Sunayana Premchander, Mallika Shah, Charu Dasappa
Technical Director: Gaurav Singh Nijjer
Sound Designer: Anoop Unnikrishnan
Dramaturgs: Tanvi Shah, Karen D'Mello
Visual Artist: Krupa MV
Performers: Chandini Naik, Freya Kothari
Work on the digital version of the show began in Jan 2021 and premiered in February 2022 and is scheduled for more digital (and hybrid) versions later this year. For performance requests and festival enquiries, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org