All you theatre enthusiasts out there, we have a treat for you! A Pune-based youth group is all set to bring to the city a taste of Latin America! The SSU (Searching and Service in Unity), is staging a musical titled “Esperanza”, a heart wrenching story based on the atrocities committed in El Salvador in the 1980s.
We caught up with the cast and crew of the production and here’s what they had to say!
1. What is “Esperanza” all about?
“Esperanza” literally translates to ‘hope’ in Spanish. The play is set in the war torn and disturbed parts of Latin America where the common folk are being ruthlessly murdered and ill treated by the army officials. The story revolves around the ideal of ‘hope’ even amidst the worst of tragedies and it talks of love and sacrifice even in the hardest of times. Director, Fr. Cyril Desbruslias says, “It is a lesson to young people to feel responsible for the disadvantaged and impoverished and give them the chance to improve their lot.”
2. Tell us more about the SSU and the work you’ll do today!
The SSU is a non-denominational youth group founded in 1971. We are open to students and working people of all cultures and religions (or none). Every year, we stage a production that goes towards providing funds for a good cause. Over the course of the past few years we have even worked with quarry workers, prostitutes and farmers to do our bit towards improving the conditions of people less fortunate. For the past 40 years we have been putting up plays like “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, “Boy and Girl”, “The Prince of Whales” and lots more!
3. What has the journey of producing “Esperanza” been like?
21 year old Mario Maduram, the producer of the play says, “The entire experience has been so enriching and it’s truly brought out the best in myself. It’s been an honour and a privilege to be a part of a group that has so much talent.” Another member of the SSU, Sinead Ignatius says, “This is my fourth play with the SSU! It has been an incredible journey acting and working with the team to get this going. The entire play is produced by a team consisting of college kids and young working people and it’s given all of us so much exposure!”
4. Give us a gist of the characters in the play…
Keith Pinto plays the role of ‘Ellacuria’, a priest who is trying his best to bring peace to El Salvador. Rhea Paul and Aldrin Toscana play a couple who try their best to hold on to their love even in the toughest of times. We have Deepak Morris who plays the villain D’cruz who is the source of violence and disparity among the common folk of Latin America. Andrea and Mario play another couple who struggle to find each other again amidst the sea of tragedy that tries to break them apart.
5. Tell us a little about what we should look forward to the most!
The team has worked incredibly hard to compose and choreograph original songs and dances for the play. We can’t wait to see what our audience thinks of it. There are also some heart wrenching scenes where we’d recommend a tissue box or two! One of the most important aspects of the play is of course the fact that the proceeds go to “Project Seed” an initiative to provide higher yielding seeds and training to farmers in Maharashtra.
Esperanza looks like just the kind of thing we need to start off the week with a bang! To book your passes contact the team on +91 9545528507 or +91 8806000690
You can also follow their Facebook page for more details.
Venue: Mahatma Phule Sanskrutik Bhavan, Fatima Nagar
Date: October 3
Time: 7 PM onwards