Anita Majumdar is a busy woman.The writer, actor, director, and dancer is much in demand for her unique combination of performance and personality. In May, she trod the boards in the Dishoom! festival. On June 15, she takes the stage as one of five multicultural panelists discussing the impact of language on creative process during the Canadian Stage Company’s Festival of Ideas and Creation. Next, the classically trained Kathak dancer is on her way to the Stratford festival, where she plays a paraplegic in Rice Boy.
A Vancouver native, Majumdar has lived on Queens Quay since 2004. Despite working from home in a busy (and sometimes noisy) part of town, she is very productive. “Part of the obligation to myself as a writer to give myself time to write for stage,” she offers. “Development for theatre takes a good couple of years. It just happens that I perform in my own work—writing for oneself, especially as a performer of colour, is one of the most empowering things you can do.”
Majumdar’s work is strongly grounded in South Asian culture. “In Canada we have a real divide between east and west. In India, we have a real divide between north and south.”
She explains, “In the north language is more unified—but the languages in the south stick more purely to Sanskrit. Hindi is India's national language—but it's not spoken in the south. You're better off to speak English.” Language is no barrier to her next role as Tina in Rice Boy. “She can't move her legs, but she can move her arms. There's something about South Asian culture that really involves the hands. We speak with our hands.”For panel details, visit canstage.com. For Rice Boy dates and details, visit stratfordfestival.ca.