Saturday, January 5, 2013

KickStart This!

I recently headed over to KickStarter to check out the status of the projects I'd backed in November and December, the Girls Helping Girls project caught my eye. Rachel Vaughn, a graduate student in International Education is looking for help to tell the story of some remarkable school girls in Washington, DC, who raised money to send underprivileged girls in India to the Shreyas Foundation school.

I hope this video will help to share the amazing work that Shreyas Foundation is promoting, and to highlight the challenges of girls' education in India. I'm volunteering my time and buying my own plane ticket. But for this project to be a success, I need your help! 
What a wonderful story!

If you know me, you know that I love ensemble cast productions. Besides being a great way to tell a story about community, it's a fantastic way to address broader issues. And it gives more wonderful actors a chance to perform their art.
13 Women the play deals with issues that women tend not to talk about. The characters in 13 Women are named after some of these issues like: low self esteem, adoption, sexual abuse, domestic abuse, parent rejection, homosexuality, abortion, suicide, fatherless child, single mother, reverse discrimination, drunk driving victim, and divorce.

I also love stories that delve into the messy business of human foibles. Ice Cream Walla is the story of an Indian girl whose father has committed suicide. While trying to cope with her anger and pain, she meets his secret lover, who is also heart-broken and angry. Together, they have to learn how to forgive each other, and the man they both loved.

For me, 'Ice Cream Walla' explores the complexity of family secrets and love, of how we live in duality torn between our truth and what's expected of us and unable to live freely of our own will. It explores how it feels to be a child in a family and how a family makes choices the child has to live with. This is my way of dissecting and taking apart and trying to make least in this one story, how we can find a better place to be despite having all the odds against us. How we can rebuild, creating our own families. It's also really a look at the beauty and ridiculousness of humans in one small story.
When Jennah Dirksen and her friends were in film school, they taught themselves how to stage-fight (how awesome is that?), and came up with a great story idea about a young assassin who returns to her former teacher with the intention of killing him to stop him from murdering others. Little does she know that they are both being hunted. After graduation, the script for Katanas, Death and Mayhem sat idle until recently when Jennah received her black belt in weaponry. Armed with her new skills, she and her former classmates are ready to start filming.


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