Anu Bhatt on Where Is My Goddamn Coconut
The show is "Where Is My Goddamn Coconut: and Other Musings of a Small Brown Woman", and it will be on Saturday, January 23 at 4pm at Heartland Studio Theatre as part of Fillet of Solo. I would much appreciate being featured so that people have a chance to buy tickets if they wish. Thank you! Purchase tickets here.
WHAT'S YOUR PERSONAL STORY?
I grew up in San Diego, California doing Indian classical dance and struggling with identity as an Indian-American girl. I went to U.C. Berkeley for college and studied abroad in France. I thought I was going to go into translation or government work, and instead applied for a M.F.A. in Acting. I moved to Chicago for the M.F.A. program at Roosevelt University, and have worked in the city ever since. I also tutor and teach French, and continue with dance. I decided to write this show to represent a story onstage not often told in mainstream theatre: that is, a strong woman of color as the protagonist who struggles with identity and depression. I believed that my background in dance and language could be a unique lens through which to tell a universal story that would resonate with a wide audience. I intend to perform this show as long as possible so that I can contribute to mental health awareness and empathy.
WHAT'S YOUR CHARACTER STORY IN "WHERE IS MY GODDAMN COCONUT"?
I represent two characters onstage, myself and Anny Blatt. Anny Blatt is my alter-ego, a French talking mime in a purple wig and beret, a source of silliness and levity in a dark story. She is a part of myself, and is represented onstage as a part that I would rather people see than myself. My other character is Anu, the one whose story is being told, who is represented in flashbacks and who searches for herself from childhood through graduate school. The story I want to represent in having these two characters onstage is how the person whom we may want to hide - the "boring, depressing person" - is actually our source of strength and power.
WHAT CHALLENGES DOES YOUR CHARACTER FACE TELLING THIS STORY?
Hanna faces many challenges. First, just getting the Republicans to acknowledge that that even have a problem with race. Then sexism. They homophobia. She ends up being fired by the Republicans for being a lesbian. Later she thinks she can still reach her goals by going to the Democrats and then the Progressives. None of these work out because the system is just wrecked. Everyone is just playing the game, and the game is all about money.
HOW DOES YOUR CHARACTER OVERCOME THOSE CHALLENGES?
I wrote this show as a message of hope to myself and to the public, that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Anu and Anny overcome the challenges by developing a new motto in support of "imperfection", so that I and the audience can relieve ourselves of that added burden that society often places on us. The message in this show is that life continues as a work-in-progress, and that is totally fine.
ANY LAST COMMENTS?
If you love dancing, silly humor, and a story about courage and heart, come see this show!