With the possible exception of Martin Luther King Jr., no name is as synonymous with nonviolent resistance as Gandhi. Of course, the surname generally refers to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the revered Indian leader. Playwright Zaraawar Mistry's The Other Mr. Gandhi, however, ironically reapplies the name to Rusi Gandhi, a squadron leader in the Indian Air Force. Set during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, Mistry's work delves into the unforeseen consequences that a bombing mission has on the entire Gandhi family. Exhibiting his range as a solo performer, Mistry portrays all the characters in this one-man play, concluding a trilogy that began with Sohrab and Rustum and Indian Cowboy. The three are linked by theme, not story, so audiences need not worry about having seen the earlier works, nor is a history lesson required to recognize the harrowing bloodshed that has marred relations between India and Pakistan for much of the last century. All audiences need is to witness Mistry projecting the struggles of a family caught in the crossfire of ingrained cultural violence. Indian by birth, Mistry brings personal intimacy to a global tale, exposing a humanity that is all too often reduced to a statistic. Previously performed at Dreamland Arts, The Other Mr. Gandhi serves as the first work in Illusion Theater's Fresh Ink series, an annual event highlighting some of the most promising works in progress from area artists.
July 12-14, 8 p.m.; Sun., July 15, 7 p.m., 2012