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Brooklyn to Mumbai by a Welsh Woman

December 5, 2011

Sometimes, I am amazed by technology!  Today, while sitting on my couch and reading through the Actors Equity Showcase rules I noticed that an old acquaintance of mine was showing green on Gmail Chat.  He was the stage manager for the first show I ever appeared in here in NYC, at the NYC Fringe Festival.  He has recently come to the city from India and was looking for some NYC experience, which he certainly had with us… good times.  G (as we liked to call him), is now back in Mumbai and working as an actor.  It was just so wonderful to be able to pick his brains so easily through the wonder of technology.

I sound like my Mam.

A little on Mumbai: Mumbai is labeled the cultural capital of India, Mumbai has a thriving theater scene and of course much of the Bollywood funding is sourced from and produced in the city. Mumbai is the fourth most populous city in the world, 20.5 million people live in the Metropolitan area (wow!).

As Five Thousand Mile Theater is mainly about working with minority language plays – a few language factoids:

  • At present about 80% of the Mumbaikars speak Marathi which has been heavily influenced by Sanskrit, Kannad and Telugu.
  • The Parsi or the Zoroastrianism community, who became a part of Mumbai from the 16th century speak in fluent Gujarati language. Almost 70% of the Parsis who inhabit in Mumbai city use Gujarati as a mode of communication.
  • Hindi is another popular language of Mumbai.
  • The educated elites of Mumbai converse in English (having found this fact online – I am unsure if this is still the case)

There are also many other languages spoken in Mumbai. I wondered; are there plays being produced currently in all of these languages?

The answer of course was, yes.  Just a simple google search tells me that Mumbai has art spaces and theaters funded by both the state of Maharashtra and through private funding, plays are being produced in many languages.

I was especially impressed by The National Center for Performing Arts ( Looking at their calendar I see plays in Hindi, English, Marathi, Gujarati and some Non-Verbal shows – I write this with a smile on my face as I imagine the art space of my dreams, presenting works from all around the world, truly for everyone.  A Global Art Space.  Where would someone put a space like this I wonder?

Anyway… back to Five Thousand Mile Theater.  As I start thinking of the shape of the first two seasons (2013-2014) I am thrilled to be learning more about the world.

Things I have done, and have yet to do from last weeks To-Do List:

  • Branding: I have found two people who are interested in creating a logo for me (for free… yay!).  I will have meetings with them this week and hopefully have something to post by next weekend.  Fingers Crossed.
  • Email Blast: I have the email list (1,400) ready to go, and I have decided to send the first email next week, introducing the company (with new logo).
  • Website: Build a website.  I need to find a website designer… any ideas?
  • Collaborators: There is a whole post on this coming in the next few days.
  • Structure my “Asks”: I have given myself a provisional time line for the first group of ‘asks’ for donations.
  • Incorporation: Contact The VLA (Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts for some help.
  • PO Box: I have no mail going out yet… jumping the gun Melisa!
  • Stamps: Started contacting people for stamps… still don’t know what to do with them.


How to chose collaborators


Basics of finding a space in NYC

Actors Equity

Raising $50,000 in 1 year!

Which Plays and From Where?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. quenton annis permalink
    December 6, 2011 6:02 pm

    your Uncle Tony in London has just done a website for Portobello Road, have a chat with him about the Subject, he is all Together on this Subject I Belive, or Bernard Little Francesca Husband has a Computer Company in China, next door on Little Francesca Face Book, NETWORK your Family, Taran is Brilliant on Computers
    Love Dad XXXOOO

  2. Juan permalink
    December 16, 2011 9:45 am

    Hiya. Congratulations on your venture,sure will be great. Have a look at, of u haven’t already

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