A Kind of True Story


"The feel of this play is very very positve as it covers the nuances and layers of emotions that dwell within each one of us and sometimes come to the fore as part of our instinctive basic functioning. All in all a brilliant show..."
- Hansa Mansinghani (Click to read ful review)

"Did I love it or what! Absolutely loved the story and connected with it, the play did full justice to the mystery called 'Mumbai', each and every actor was so so good, that I forgot they were actors, the music was Brilliant and the actors, acted and sang effortlessly..."
- Saimaa Venky

"It was a wonderful show. The energy level of all actors was superb and the music was splendid. I feel proud to be a part of your campaign."
- Abhishek Panchal

"Incredible (intense) performances by the artistes all around. Neat script (exhibiting quintessential mumbaikar trait), beautiful acoustic guitar-oriented music. I sincerely hope, your play goes places Prithvi Theatre was the perfect setting for an intimate play like yours... Congratulations for the fantastic start."
- Ajay Sawant

"A refreshing play with solid acting and a creative approach to tell the story - enjoyable even for a firang with only basic Hindi. Thanks for a lovely evening and keep up the good work. It's difficult to find appealing plays for me in Mumbai."
- Swen Brandelik

"It was an amazing show enjoyed it. So much of energy, good acting and a very good story. This true story really rocks."
- Patralekha Mukherjee

"Kudos to all you guys for giving us a beautiful story to remember with brilliant acting and melodious voices with amazing lyrics... all the best and keep it coming... Believe me this is just the beginning. You and your team will surely go a long way !!!!!"
- Pooja Sahni


In reality, for every one individual that makes to the list of ‘success stories’ there are thousands who will never be part of that list. In fact not being successful is a much bigger reality.

In todays time, everyone notices success, we know how to celebrate success but how about if one couldn't become a success or unendingly struggling to be successful. Does that mean, it's an end. We see so many examples around us where stories did not reach to their deserving ends. Does that mean those stories are not worth telling. Do those unsuccessful lives mean anything to anyone?

Now just put this whole theory in context of a big city like Mumbai and the idea becomes much more interesting.

The idea is to question our conventional thinking. The idea is to find peace amongst your own insecurities and fears. Celebrating our failures, accepting our selves as what we are and move on. Moving on towards living life unconditionally and come out as more evolved with fresh determinations to be happy.

This play will be a celebration of not being a success.


For every person, there is a dream that leads them to a new destination... thousands throng to Mumbai every single day following their dreams... upon reaching here each is drawn into it’s reeking unbreakable embrace. From that moment, this city becomes your battleground; you become a gladiator riding your high horse of freedom, chasing that rainbow of dreams.

The story will trace one year of the lives of eight people who have been captivated by this Maya Nagari. The production is going to be a contemporary musical, which will play with our perception of the reality, sometimes breaking it and sometimes baring it till you squirm in your seat. The production will be celebrating the inner and outer chaos of the characters and the chaos of Mumbai itself. Music will be a mix of Western and Indian and will be played recorded with minus one track. Actors are going to sing live on stage. The characters will speak as most of us speak in Mumbai. A cocktail of English, Hindi and Marathi.

How it all happened…

After 4 years of being absolutely contented with motherhood and teaching drama in schools, I decided to finally direct a play. I knew that I wanted to try working on a musical, not the Broadway kind but a musical all the same; there were characters that had been living in my head for a long time and had now started screaming to let them out and the third thing I knew was that it had to be devised, challenging enough I suppose…

A theatre workshop in March kick-started the process and right from that moment something magical started to happen. The group of people that emerged from that workshop is basically the actors you see in the play.

After a short break we began work on the play in May. We had already fixed 8 characters we saw in the play but that was about all we had at that point. Things began to get a bit worrisome, as we were unable to find the main thread, which runs through all their lives and for the longest time that became our BIG MONSTER. It was then that we decided to take a break from working with the actors and worked with Gauri and Rahul to build a story from which, situations between these characters could develop.

It took long hours of ideating, discussions and arguments till we finally felt we had something to take back to the rest of the group. Some of the characters were changed and a device for telling the story was suggested by Gauri.

Rahul then did something absolutely wonderful, he made all the actors write out stories about different incidents and emotions from their own lives, not an easy thing to do as it meant reliving a lot of those experiences.

Things reached their peak when we decided to get out of the city for 5 days and do some rigorous work at TANSA - a theatre residency started by Atul and Geetanjali Kulkarni. Working on the mud stage from morn till night was exhilarating and that’s where each of our team members gave every bit of their sweat and wrestled with their most intimate feelings to help create the content of our script. After we returned, it took a week more of improvisations before we were finally able to put together the final script.

For me the play is an attempt to get somewhere from nothing... I hope it will always remain that way.

- Kalyani Hiwale

Actors' Cult

A Mumbai based theater group. We started our journey on 4th October 2004.

Our aim is to continually challenge ourselves as theatre practitioners and to push the boundaries of our creative aspirations. Our strength lies in our ability to contribute beyond our specific portfolios when working on a production and it is this freedom, which makes the process of creating every play a memorable experience.

Mumbai is a melting pot of many theatre groups each with a distinct character and audiences that are very encouraging, the perfect conditions for a group to thrive but therein lies the economics of theatre, thus it is our constant struggle to strike a balance between economics and quality entertainment.

Know more about us

Actors' Cult

Two avid theatre enthusiasts, Vishal Dhandhia and Akshat Shah, started Black Boxers Productions in late 2011. Both previously active on stage, they were keen to promote a thought provoking form of theatre. With that in mind, Vishal, a businessman, and Akshat, an ex-banker recently relocated from New York City, started this production company. Previous productions include Girish Karnad's Hayavadana and Martin McDonaugh's A Behanding in Spokane.

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