“The Rishta,” written by critically acclaimed novelist, playwright, and teacher Uzma Jalaluddin, and directed by the talented Masha Bashmakova, has captivated audiences with its heartwarming story of love and family.
Developed in collaboration with Playwrights’ Workshop Montreal, this intercultural romance has been receiving attention for its nuanced and entertaining portrayal of Muslims, South Asians, and Canadians.
In South Asian cultures, particularly in Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh, the term “rishta” refers to a marriage proposal or a formal arrangement of a potential marriage between families. It is often facilitated by a matchmaker or a family member who acts as a mediator between the families of the prospective bride and groom.
The play follows the journey of Samah, a young South Asian woman who has fallen in love with Hussain, a Moroccan man. Convinced that her parents will not approve of their intercultural relationship, Samah enlists the help of the canny and quirky matchmaker, Badra to help her arrange a `Fake Rishta` with a bevy of ‘unsuitable suitors‘ with the goal of making her parents approve of Hussain.
What follows is a hilarious sequence of events as each family member strikes separate deals with Badra, hoping for a different outcome in their meetings with potential suitors.
Jalaluddin’s writing is both heartwarming and witty, drawing the audience into the complexities of navigating cultural expectations, family dynamics, and the universal theme of love which easily resonates with audience members of all backgrounds.
Each actor also helps to bring their unique charm and talent to their roles, creating a truly memorable experience for the audience.
It’s great to see diversity in the skin color of the actors chosen for the role as it promotes inclusivity and representation for all individuals, thus also adding a refreshing element to the overall experience of the play.
A nod to the casting team for their efforts in showcasing diversity in their selection of actors!
Jalaluddin’s success as a novelist is also evident in her transition to the stage, and “The Rishta” adds to her already impressive body of work. With her novels optioned for film and television, including by Amazon Studios and Mindy Kaling, Jalaluddin’s talent continues to garner attention and accolades.
Overall, “The Rishta” is a play that successfully showcases the power of storytelling to bridge cultural divides, and that leaves audiences with a heartwarming and uplifting message of love and acceptance.
Don’t miss out on this captivating theater experience!
Running at the Centaur Theatre
March 30 – April 8, 2023
1hr 30 mins