A review of Mississauga's SAWITRI Theatre Group's Savita Weds Satish

SWS_opening_Night-8498.JPG

The SAWITRI Theatre Group strikes gold yet again with their latest production. Savita Weds Satish is an emotional roller coaster which tackles important issues facing the South Asian community regarding that eternal subject of marriage.

Savita is getting married for the second time since the tragic passing of her first husband. As bride is getting her henna done in preparation for the ceremony and no one knows who the groom is yet, Savita’s family members eagerly give their own two cents on the matter, either expressing their relief at Savita’s discovery of love again or expressing their disapproval with Savita seemingly forgetting her first husband’s memory in the selfish pursuit of her own happiness. Feelings and emotions become heightened, as they always do when a wedding is concerned, but this one is a particularly tense trial to all involved when things don’t go according to plan for anyone. As Savita faces a life-changing decision, and her family lines up in support, willing or grudging, everyone’s ideas will be challenged beyond what they expected.

The strength of this play is drawn from many wells. Written by Jasmine Sawant and Adam Langton, the play addresses many subjects which are still sensitive within the Indian cultures. Tradition and progressive attitudes clash, as do the various generations as they draw lines in the sand on what is right or wrong. However, it is not so simple as the young versus the old; the play avoids cliché by having the divide be based on personal morals and belief structures, regardless of age. Moments of high drama are also broken by moments of comedy to provide a more grounded atmosphere, allowing a few nervous chuckles from the audience as they witness the universal issue of a house that is deeply divided against itself. Shocking revelations are also in evidence, as deep-set feelings burst their boundaries.  

SWS_opening_Night-8530.JPG

Directed by Sid Sawant, the play communicates to the audience using a mix of dialogue, music, dance, and lighting to carry across the messages. During one scene involving Savita’s heated discussion with her daughter about the subject of her deceased father, tearful expressions and dialogue dripping with emotion eventually gives way to silent, graceful dancing by one of the characters. There is a special sort of poignancy to the body movements which depict the emotional journey which said character makes, going through her final arc without uttering a single word. There are several such incidents in the play, depicting moments which dance around melodrama by stepping back and allowing the audience to witness the raw acting portrayed in the moments of interpretive dance.

In addition to the play itself, Savita Weds Satish also featured a powerful audience talkback hosted by Anu Radha Verma. Verma provided her own story to add further context to this powerful play, and invited cast, crew, and audience members alike to share their own feelings on the subjects presented. To the play’s credit, the emotional and personal responses brought to light only solidified its importance and relevance.

Savita Weds Satish is being performed at the Sampradaya Theatre from the 21st of November to the 24th of November. Performances will be from 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM.