(Posted October 26, 2015)

The Indian Ink Theatre Company will stage at Juniata College a romance, a comedy and a thriller in one play in "The Elephant Wrestler," at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3, and Wednesday, Nov. 4, in the von Liebig Theatre in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts.
The Indian Ink Theatre Company will stage at Juniata College a romance, a comedy and a thriller in one play in "The Elephant Wrestler," at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3, and Wednesday, Nov. 4, in the von Liebig Theatre in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Capturing the romance and contradictions of modern India, the Indian Ink Theatre Company will stage at Juniata College a romance, a comedy and a thriller in one play portrayed by one actor in "The Elephant Wrestler," at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3, and Wednesday, Nov. 4, in the von Liebig Theatre in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts.

For tickets and information about the Juniata College Presents series, please call (814) 641-JTIX (5849). General admission tickets for single performances are $20, except where otherwise noted. Single-show tickets for seniors over age 65 and children age 18 and under are $12. Juniata College students are admitted free with a student ID.

The Indian Ink Theatre Company production is funded through the Mid Atlantic Tours program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Jacob Rajan plays all the parts in this ambitious theatrical experience. The plot centers on a poor tea merchant, or "chaiwallah," who discovers a young girl abandoned at a busy railway station in Bangalore, India. The girl is talented in her own right, possessing an ethereal voice that can bring commuters at the railway station to a dead stop.

The play focuses on Kutisar, the lead character who possessed of a talent for storytelling and an unfortunate overbite. He takes the audience through the story and conjures up multiple locations on the simply designed set. Kutisar is the guide through this portrait of India, but the play soon challenges the character by daring to go against his conscience and the will of his Hindu gods.

"This production has the power to move across cultures, classes and eras to create something truly great and utterly entertaining."

Theatrereview

A critic on the online guide Theatrereview wrote, "This production has the power to move across cultures, classes and eras to create something truly great and utterly entertaining."

Once Kutisar accepts the challenge, the humble street vendor is asked to solve the mysteries of true love, tragedy and joy.

The production also has a solo musician, David Ward, providing a moving and sometimes rollicking soundtrack. He is a jazz graduate of the Wellington (New Zealand) Conservatorium of Music and performs as a jazz, blues, country and bluegrass musician.

The production is written and directed by Justin Lewis. Lewis and actor Rajan have collaborated on most of Indian Ink Theatre's productions. The troupe, based in New Zealand, has staged such productions as "The Pickle King," "Guru of Chai," "The Candlestickmaker" and "Kiss the Fish."

Rajan won the Best Actor Chapman Tripp Theatre Award in 2010 for the play "The Guru of Chai" and was nominated as best actor at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Rajan's family is from Kerala in southern India, although the actor was born in Malaysia snd has kived in New Zealand since he was four years old.

Indian Ink Theatre Co. has been together since 1997. The group has recently started to stage its productions internationally.

Contact Gabe Welsch at welschg@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.