You are here

An Arrangement of Shoes: Performance and Masterclass (PAST SHOW)

Thursday, October 5, 2017 - 7:30pm to Friday, October 6, 2017 - 12:30pm
Second Stage

An Arrangement of Shoes
A new solo play written by Abhishek Majumdar
Performed by Radhika Aggarwal

Thursday, Oct 5, @ 7:30 pm
Second Stage, Theater Arts Complex, UCSC
Co-sponsored by The Cultural Arts and Diversity Center and the UCSC Theater Arts Department

“The truly sparkling Radhika Aggarwal drives the rich monologue.” —remotegoat 
“Magnetic piece of theatre ... remarkable storytelling.” —Extra! Extra!

Award-winning new-writing by Abhishek Majumdar - an astonishing new theatre voice from India, whose play The Djinns of Eidgah was seen at the Royal Court in 2016. An Arrangement of Shoes, produced in association with Tara Arts, is set in an Indian railway colony during the Gulf War, where spirited narrator Rukhsar takes audiences on a journey on the eve of her grandfathers burial. A captivating solo tour-de-force about family and global history in the age of faith.

An Arrangement of Shoes – an award-winning piece of new writing – is a lively and moving solo piece about an Indian family living in Barauni. It's told by the youngest of the family, the wild and spirited Rukhsar. Acting out episodes from her past, she paints a picture both of her family history, and the history of the time. Amusing anecdotes lie side-by-side with references to history. Gradually, the two collide, with tragic consequences.

Rukhsar's narration begins a week after her grandfather's death. She is trying to identify, amongst a great number of shoes, which pair was his. But it's clear she’s searching for more than just shoes. “How do we begin to remember those no longer with us?”. Her answer lies in telling this story, arranging memories, and arranging shoes. For her pious grandfather, arranging shoes was a sacred activity; in trying to recreate the ritual, Rukhsar is paying her respects as well as enacting her grief. It’s as much an act of love as an expression of loss.

Rukhsar narrates with affection and energy, leaping from story to story, using shoes and a shoe rack as her storytelling devices. Touching, inventive and disarming in its warmth and simplicity, An Arrangement of Shoes charts the ebb and flow of love, loss and family ties.


To attend, please email with your name and phone number. We are capping this class at 20 students/faculty.

Friday, Oct. 6 12:30-3 pm, C100, Theater Arts Complex

An introduction to Headphone Verbatim as a tool for creating theatre that could never have been scripted. This is a practical workshop and participants need to bring a device to record on (a phone is fine) and headphones to listen back to interviews.

Radhika, is part of a collective in London who have produced 2 shows using this technique.

These were her thoughts following the first set of workshops:
“Headphone verbatim is a tool for social commentary (and therefore a great one for the actor/activists amongst us). It may be unique in its ability to respond quickly to a social/political dynamic, with highly relevant stories that convey the voices within society — compassionately, honestly and in a balanced representative way. The balanced and representative elements coming from mindful editing and curating of the gathered material which highlights what a responsibility there is in this process to 'do justice' to the interviews and honour the integrity of the contributor, whilst seeking a spectrum of voices. When used compassionately, its potential for social change and increased engagement, is huge. A point made about people loving the act of talking and being interviewed rang true too. I had comments from my contributors about how therapeutic it was to feel listened to and heard. I would also add that I felt really alive interviewing people. All of mine were virtual strangers and it was a great way to talk deeply with people outside my circles. The potential for its use within therapeutic environments is therefore interesting to me and its potential to heal and bring together people is beautiful."