First Meeting

Posted on July 17, 2013


In October, Mixed Blood Theatre will be producing Displaced Hindu Gods: A Trilogy of Plays by Aditi Brennan Kapil. A festival of three world premieres based on the trinity of Hindu deities- Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva- each displaced into the contemporary Western world. This theatrical marathon features a variety of styles: a stand-up comedy routine, a girl-gang thriller, and a science fiction fantasy. Dharani Persaud is an intern assisting in preparing for the trilogy over the summer. Below is her reaction to attending her first production meeting. 

Note to self: anyone working in the theatre business is crazy, a genius, or both. You have to be confident enough in your work but humble enough to take criticism. No matter what you’re doing you are going to be mauled on all sides by suggestions and advice because theatre doesn’t and can’t rely on just one person. It’s a beautiful process to me though, and that’s one of the reasons I like being involved in theatre in the first place. It is all a team effort. However, there are so many individual jobs that need to be done before any team can get together and meet.

As an intern at my first professional production meeting ever, I am proud to say I hadn’t done anything at all to prep. I merely came in, sat down, and observed. And by ‘observed’ I mean my neck was getting a good workout from following the fast and energizing conversation! The pace at which everyone went and the amount that was covered in just two hours was a whirlwind. The overall outline was orderly, moving from one play to the next. Within the discussion though, the topics bounced around from the overarching theme of the trilogy to the specific meaning of light placement in the first play, back to how that tied into the theme.

It was amazing to sit back and watch because I could see how dedicated everyone is to this project. Coordinating lights and sound and set and words all together to create a masterpiece is not easy work, as I witnessed at the meeting, but everyone on this team manages to be quite cohesive.

One thing I never really experienced in high school was hearing the writer’s voice. They were all either really famous (the Alan Menken/Howard Ashman type), or dead (the Shakespeare type). I got to meet the writer of one of our plays once, but it was during dress rehearsals when everything was already set in stone. Being able to see the writer actively contributing was really inspiring to see, because I’ve always wondered about how a playwright would feel seeing a show they wrote and coming away disappointed because specific little themes were overlooked in the production.

Obviously due to creative license, that can be okay, but with the writer onsite it seems to me the perspectives shared can be quite eye opening. They can put in their advice about a particular set piece in an attempt to make things simpler. During the meeting, a discussion about a mattress set piece was partially solved when Aditi suggested the mattress in Shiv could be used as a bed in Kalki to keep with a certain aesthetic feel. Then Nayna and Lois (who are in charge of set and props, respectively) suggested that the mattress be folded in thirds so it wasn’t just a bed, but a specifically a teenager’s twin bed. The playwrights are also useful in helping to illuminate a particular motif and where and how it could show up in specific places.

There is a theme of water throughout the trilogy that Nayna was trying to create, so in each play she wanted some form of water. Aditi pointed out that a bottle of water already in Brahman/i could be used as such, and I (and probably others) immediately saw that seemingly insignificant bottle in a very different way. Overall sitting in on my first meeting was not only fun but also very informative. I’ve definitely liked what I’ve seen so far, and I can’t wait to go to more meetings!


Dharani Persaud is a recent high school graduate and will be attending Wellesley College in the fall. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from acting to management to simply viewing. She’s very excited to be interning at Mixed Blood and is having lots of fun so far!

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