Call for Performers: Yoni Ki Baat 11 2015
Yoni ki Baat 2015, an array of amazing performances, expression, and sisterhood, is scheduled in San Francisco for the weekend of April 17-19.
We are now calling for performers!
There are approximately 10 pieces that are in need of performers who identify as South Asian women. The available pieces vary in length, style, and structure, and cover all sorts of experiences - from marriage to pregnancy to mourning, sexual assault to sexual pleasure, health issues to yoga appropriation, and much more. If you've never performed in YKB before (or never performed at all), this is your chance!
All skill levels welcome.
Definition of terms:
South Asian: From or a descendent of people from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Afghanistan, and the diaspora
Woman: Self-identifies as a woman, whether cis, trans, or otherwise; open to all sexual orientations
(Note: a couple of the pieces do refer specifically to the vagina, a few are frank about sexual activity, and a couple of the pieces do talk about sexual assault. We do have a really wide and diverse range of pieces, including stuff that isn't specifically about gender or sex, so give it a shot!)
If you are interested in performing, you must be available for biweekly rehearsals from early February until March, a final dress rehearsal on April 5, and the performance weekend, April 17-19.
Auditions will take place on:
- Monday, January 19, 2-5 pm in Berkeley
- Thursday, January 22, 7-9 pm in San Francisco
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for an audition time slot, the available pieces, and the audition address, as well as any other questions.
Kindly help by spreading the word and sharing our Facebook event too. (Note: RSVPing on the Facebook event does not constitute RSVPing for an audition slot.)
There are also other ways to be involved with YKB asides from performing, such as promotions, media, and volunteering closer to the date. Do let us know if you are interested in helping out.
We look forward to another amazing Yoni Ki Baat performance - our 11th now! - with you!
Yoni Ki Baat - History
Yoni ki Baat has always been about gifts. It began as a gift, it was shared as a gift, and it continues through gifts.
The first gift came from Sapna Shahani, who shared the idea for the show one afternoon at a South Asian Sisters meeting in Berkeley in 2003. The Kimaaya Theatre Company in Bangalore, India, had just organized the first-ever performance of The Vagina Monologues there, and Sapna mused, "Why don't we just create a totally South Asian version of the show?" From that instant on, we couldn't shake the idea. A bunch of Desi women standing on stage talking frankly about our bodies, our desires, and our sexual experiences? Genius! But how could we make it a reality?
Our next gift came from Eve Ensler, creator of The Vagina Monologues, the inspiration for our show. Getting permission to Desify her idea could have been tricky, but once we were able to get in touch with Eve personally, she not only gave us her permission, but sat down with us and provided us with feedback on our script (and, even more amazingly, asked for our comments on pieces she was working on for The Good Body). She continues to support our work and we are extremely grateful.
Some of the most important gifts we have received have come from our brilliant writers and performers. At first, we were hesitant - would South Asian women really feel comfortable sharing their stories about sexuality, and standing on a stage talking about them? We are thrilled that the answer was a resounding "YES!"
Over the years, we have received over one hundred submissions for our scripts. We have had over 50 beautiful and talented women perform with us. If they had not shared their gifts with us, Yoni ki Baat would not have been possible.
There have been other gifts. The universities, bars, and cafes that have donated performance and rehearsal spaces. The printing presses that have printed our fliers free of charge. The support we have received from other Desi organizations, including Narika, Maitri, and Trikone. The fact that, even in the conservative South Asian community, the word-of-mouth surrounding our show has been almost uniformly positive (Hey, it wouldn't be worth it if we couldn't create just a little bit of controversy, right?).
We were thrilled when other organizations and university groups began contacting us to find out how they could put on their own versions of YKB. Sharing our scripts became our way of passing along the gifts we have received. Through these collective efforts, we have raised over $8,500 for organizations around the country that aid survivors of domestic violence.
Each gift we have received has been a blessing, and each blessing has made us stronger. It is our hope that through this strength the YKB movement will continue to grow and to give, and to help more women stand up, speak out, and claim what is rightfully theirs - a life free from violence and full of pleasure.
-South Asian Sisters
Interested in bringing Yoni ki Baat to your community? Contact Us!