The Draupadi Project is a reimagining of the world-famous Indian epic, the Mahabarata – told from the point of view of an amazing woman and incorporates video projection, music and play. Relevant to today’s war-torn world, The Draupadi Project takes us back to a time that is half history, half myth and wholly magical. The play traces the princess Draupadi’s life, beginning with her birth in fire and following her spirited balancing act as a woman with five husbands who have been cheated out of their father’s kingdom. Draupadi is swept into their quest to reclaim their birthright, remaining at their sides through years of exile and a terrible civil war involving all the important kings of India.
Draupadi is a fiery female redefining for us a world of warriors, gods and the ever-manipulating hands of fate. Featuring a solo performer, The Draupadi project transposes the story to a modern context of an imprisoned South Asian woman, we can examine the notion of the modern day resonance of the work’s themes of the futility of war and the role and the status of a woman in today’s society. Confined in an empty room/cell, awaiting trial, a young woman’s story unfolds from birth to death as she wrestles with a multitude of voices in her head from her family and ancestors. The play cleaves the narrative of The Draupadi Project from the formal classical world and places it in a contemporary context in which the original text become threads and echoes of the past and forces of influences shaping the direction of one woman.
Originally directed by Karin Randoja, in its current avatar, The Draupadi Project is directed by Paula Wing with Video Design by Melissa Joakim.