Bhopal

On the night of December 2, 1984, there was a gas leak of the pesticide chemical methyl isocyanate at the Union Carbide India Limited plant in Bhopal, India. The lethal chemical made its way to the surrounding area, poisoning people and livestock as it spread. Estimates of deaths range from 8,000 to more than 25,000 over time, with more than half a million people injured. As in all catastrophic disasters, there are heroes and heroines, and playwright Rahul Varma provides insights into the heartbreak and the heroism, as well as the competing forces of global economic development, in Bhopal. The play’s director, Dianne K. Webb, says, “Without shying away from the clear facts of the case, the playwright, Rahul Varma, weaves a fictional story of well-written heroes and villains at the core of the Bhopal explosion. Bhopal offers us insight into the complex circumstances that conspired to allow the mass production of the ‘most poisonous chemical known to man’ within the borders of a highly populated city in India.” Varma was born in India in 1952 but emigrated to Canada in 1976, and has been active in the arts, founding one theater and starting a literary quarterly. Houston-based Shunya Theatre specializes in providing a voice to the South Asian American experience.

8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 3 p.m. Sundays. Studio 101, 1824 Spring. For information, visit shunyatheatre.org. $15.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: Nov. 13. Continues through Nov. 23, 2014

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