Graduate students and faculty from UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School will present two free performances of the play Is Nirmal Normal? on Saturday, June 6 at 7 pm and Sunday, June 7 at 3 pm in the MCC Theatre on the UCSB campus. A provocative tragicomedy about education and the significance of life, the play, based on the 1960s Indian play Evam Indrajit by Badal Sircar, questions what it means to be creative and to challenge societal roles and norms. The entire cast is comprised of faculty members and students from the GGSE community. [pdf of play's flyer]
The presentation of this play is informed by the directorial approaches of Peter Brook, famed for his direction of works like Marat/Sade, and the pedagogical approaches of Lev Vygotsky, the founder of cultural-historical psychology. The play constantly moves in and out of the past, present and the future – defying a straightforward ordering of the narrative. The characters also assume different mantles and guises, entering the stage as more than one person. Indeed even the boundary between the audience and actors is blurred.
Gopal Krishnamurthy, co-chair of the Graduate Student Association in Education, is the author of Is Nirmal Normal? and a doctoral candidate in the Department of Education. He has worked as a teacher, director, and actor in amateur and professional theater in India, the UK and the USA. Krishnamurthy reports that, “The decision to perform the play emerged out of arguments over the purposes and processes of education.”
[Gopal Krishnamurthy is available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at 805 893 5789]
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