What passions blaze in the hearts of young men in a sleepy village in Tanjavur district when a beautiful firebrand, a Calcutta-returned Pudumai Penn (New Woman) brimful of reformist ardour, enters their lives? A rollicking musical comedy based on a short story by Kalki Krishnamurti and recalling the height of the Indian independence struggle, Gowri Ramnarayan’s Rural Phantasy reimagines the nationalist era in 1940s Tamilnadu through music, dance and drama.
Playwright-director Dr Gowri Ramnarayan is a veteran writer and journalist with a lifetime’s contribution to Indian performing arts, literature, and culture. She worked for 22 years with the national daily newspaper The Hindu, and served for over a decade as vocal accompanist to legendary Carnatic classical vocalist MS Subbulakshmi. Dr. Ramnarayan has a PhD in comparative aesthetics from the University of Madras, has translated two plays by the award-winning Marathi dramatist Vijay Tendulkar, and been a member of the Fipresci Jury of critics at international film festivals in London, Venice, Valladolid, Oslo and Mumbai. Her first play Dark Horse won two national-level Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards in 2007.
In 2005, Dr. Ramnarayan founded JustUs Theatre Repertory, whose plays and productions have been staged at significant venues and performance festivals in major Indian cities. Her productions have featured many of the leading performing artistes of India - Bombay Jayashri, Priyadarsini Govind, TM Krishna and Vijay Siva.