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Dhvani India Perf Arts Society of Central Ohio presents
When Things Fall Apart
By JustUs Repertory
April 2 & 3, 2021

March 12, 2021

WHEN THINGS FALL APART is an original play of Gowri Ramnarayan in English, based on the legend of the warrior Drona in the Indian epic, The Mahabharata. It is to be presented on the digital platform for the first time by Dhvani India Performing Arts Society of Central Ohio, on April 2 & 3, 2021.

A tale of lost souls in the Mahabharata

We all know the story of Drona - veteran of the military arts, guru to the princes of the Kuru clan, his adoration of the Pandava prince Arjuna as his favourite pupil.We know his rage against faithless friend King Drupada, his silence during Pandava queen Draupadi's public disrobing after her royal husband loses a fateful game of dice - these are all the stuff of epic.

Drona's moral dilemma assumes monstrous proportions when he acknowledges that the Pandavas are righteous men, but chooses to take the unrighteous Duryodhana's side, to play an ignominious role on the battlefield, to serve and die as Duryodhana's army general.

But who exactly is this Drona? What drives a self-made warrior, teacher, and statesman to do great and terrible things by turn? What about Drona's wife Kripi, a woman of principle caught between ambitious husband and wayward son? What of son Ashwatthama, a troubled child in conflict with his parents, jealous of Arjuna, and bewildered by Drona's contempt for anyone belonging to the "low" castes? How do they handle Drona's rise to fame and power in a treacherous, terrifying world in which they do not belong?

These questions haunt JustUs Repertory's WHEN THINGS FALL APART, an original play in English written by Gowri Ramnarayan about a triumvirate of lost souls in a crumbling cosmos.
The play turns the ancient myth of Drona into the contemporary struggles of a dysfunctional nuclear family. Drona, Kripi, and Aswatthama are rent apart, and within, by the same forces that shatter their world and ours: jealousy, greed, intolerance and lust for power.

Play, Design, Direction: Gowri Ramnarayan
Actors: V Balakrishnan, Akhila Ramnarayan, Uma Sathyanarayanan
Music composed and played by: Praveen Sparsh & Shreya Devnath
Lights: B Charles
Videography: Shantakumar, SVV Studios
Produced by: JustUs Repertory
Presented in the US by: Dhvani India Performing Arts Society of Central Ohio

Friday, April 2
8pm EST | 7pm CST | 5pm PST

Saturday, April 3
7pm EST | 6pm CST | 4pm PST

Link for booking

Critics speak:
Three individuals caught in the kind of emotional tangle that exists in every family (making the play) relevant to contemporary times.
- The Hindu, June 27, 2017

The language went straight home, the dialogues were profound and piercing, the acting so expressive that you wondered whether the characters were themselves on the stage! What made the play arresting was the fact that Gowri Ramnarayan had a very unusual perception of characters from the Mahabharata.
- Dinamani Kadir, Feb 11, 2018

It is a challenge for the director to ensure that every actor in an ensemble play etches his/her own character brilliantly, without outshining co-actors. Gowri Ramnarayan has succeeded (in this task).
- Kalki, July 9, 2017

'When Things Fall Apart' is a fully realized piece of writing for the theatre.
- Shanta Gokhale, Theatre historian


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