Actors Theatre of Louisville is inviting audiences to ‘Mrs. Krishnan's Party’
“Mrs. Krishnan's Party” is an interactive stage show coming to Actors Theatre of Louisville. It takes attendees into the stock room of Mrs. Krishnan’s convenience store for a traditional Hindu harvest celebration.
The show, produced by Indian Ink Theatre Company, is new to the Actors Theatre stage.
“We're just so excited that we get to bring these extraordinary artists who juggle everything from music and cooking and unfolding drama,” said executive artistic director Robert Barry Fleming. “It's different, it's original, it's just creatively fresh.”
In the show, one of Mrs. Krishnan’s tenants surprises her with an Onam celebration, a festival celebrated in Hindu culture. From there, the whole audience joins in on the party.
The play features several interactive elements including food for audience members to partake in. Actors Theatre is offering several seating options to offer attendees participation options at their comfort levels.
“You can be right up next to them, you can be – as they say – in the cheeky seats on the side, but close, you can be right up into action, you can be a wallflower in the back, if that's more your style.” Fleming explained.
Fleming said shows like “Mrs. Krishnan’s Party” help showcase the city’s global community.
“We have a very intersectional community in Louisville that isn't one monolithic group of human beings,” Fleming said. “We're a plurality, the reality is, those dynamics continue to be something that informed the stories that are essential to share and be a part of.”
He said it’s important that Actors Theatre puts on productions that showcase communities that have historically not had their stories told.
“It's our job is simply to reflect the world as it actually is, and continue to embrace the beautiful changes of how diverse, rich and layered our world is, and continue to celebrate that,” Fleming said.
“Mrs. Krishnan’s Party” is another example of Actors Theatre of Louisville setting introducing a new production in place of a long-running show.
The company received some backlash when it transitioned to a feminist retelling of “Dracula” instead of its production of the vampire classic.
In the past, the holiday season meant a production of “A Christmas Carol.” “Mr. Krishnan’s Party” is filling that slot this year.
Fleming says there is a small, but vocal minority of people who have expressed issues with recent season changes.
“It might be an economically powerful or positionally powerful group, but it doesn't represent the entirety,” Fleming said.
He said Actors Theatre's audience has grown since introducing new and more inclusive productions. And that the group of people finally getting their stories told on stage is much larger than those who are upset by the changes.
“Our job is to respond to the majority of folks, not just a noisy minority, and say, ‘We're all welcome,’” Fleming said. “We want to make sure that our sense of space of belonging for all people, and that's what we represent.”