At the 25th staging of the play ‘Parayan Maranna Kathakal’, the 15 trans people who act in it wore black, in place of the many colours they have been using to express emotions.

Play by trans people in Kerala uses black theme to protest CAA NRC
news Theatre Saturday, December 21, 2019 - 17:35

Parayan Maranna Kathakal – a play by 15 trans people in Kerala, was staged for the 25th time in Kochi on Friday. Only, in place of the many colours they have been using to express the different emotions in the play, it was an all-black theme on Friday, as a mark of protest against the newly-passed Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC).

“We are all wearing black to protest against the politics of religion. There is no caste or religion among us. The black theme is a protest by trans persons against the Narendra Modi government that is trying to bring boundaries of caste and religion,” says Renju Renjumar, one of the actors in the play.

The play is about the sufferings faced by trans people, says Renju. “That includes the different types of discrimination trans people experience, and oppression, abuse and murder.”

The play has been altered to include dialogues protesting the CAA, the NRC and the recently passed Rights of Transgender Persons Act. It is directed by Chennai-based Srijith Sundaram, for Dhwayah Arts and Charitable Society, which works for the upliftment of transgender people in Kerala. A drama troupe called Mazhavil Dhwani was formed under Dhwayah for transgender people, and Parayan Maranna Kathakal is their first production.

None of the actors had any experience in theatre before. They were trained by the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy. There was no written script. Their lives became the script.

The play always used colours to express even emotions like sadness, hatred and anger. The artistes decided to switch to black for their protest since it is “the colour of resistance, a symbol against oppression, discrimination, corruption and fascism.”

Using the same black theme, Parayan Maranna Kathakal will be staged again in Kozhikode on January 10, 2020.

Also read: Kerala couple protests CAA and NRC through pre-wedding photo shoot

Photos by P Abhijith

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