'Shakuntala' will bring 5th-century Indian culture to CMU theatre Oct. 4


 Magic, curses, culture, love, dance and drama. 

These are some of the things audience members can expect to see at Central Michigan University's Theatre Department's production of the 5th-century tale Shakuntala. The show premieres at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 4th at Bush Theatre. Additional showtimes can be found on the department's website

Shakuntala follows the love story between a woodland maiden named Shakuntala and her king, using classical Indian theatre to explore the themes of love, rejection and self-growth.

Shakuntala is special in many ways,” Director Satyabrata Rout said. “It reflects the Indian lifestyle because it has been around for centuries and is well-known in every Indian household. But the most important thing we are trying to interpret the play in today’s context is that the world is losing its sanctity and purity. The original play talks about how to live a harmonious life with nature and that is especially important for me today.”

Rout is a Fulbright scholar from India and is directing Shakuntala as part of his work at CMU. Here, he hopes to gain an understanding of American culture while also sharing his own. 

“I chose Shakuntala not only to teach (students about Indian culture) but also to learn how a non-Indian body reacts,” Rout said. “If I do this in India, I know exactly what will happen because the actors (and audience) are familiar with this type of situation and topic. I also chose (Shakuntala) to create a challenge for myself and take risks in order to learn.”

Shakuntala is a must-see for those hoping to interact with a different culture, literature and performance style. Tickets are $13 at the door and students can purchase tickets at Ticket Central for $7.