The cast has been announced for the Toronto premiere of The Men in White, written by award-winning playwright and author Anosh Irani (Bombay Black).
The Men in White is told through the eyes of two brothers: Hasan (Chanakya Mukherjee) lives in the Dongri neighbourhood of Mumbai, while his older brother Abdul (Gugun Deep Singh) lives in Vancouver. Abdul hopes to end his cricket team’s losing streak by recruiting his talented younger brother from India. But tensions rise within the team as the cost of bringing Hasan to Canada will mean more than just a plane ticket.
Singh (La Ronde, Off Broadway; The Strain) and Mukherjee (Much Ado about Nothing, Dauntless City Theatre) make their Factory Theatre debut with this play. They join a cast that features actors from across Canada: John Chou (Designated Survivor, Odd Squad), Cyrus Faird (Trudeau and Levesque, Videocabaret/Soulpepper), Sugith Varughese (Little Pretty and the Exceptional, Factory Theatre), Tahirih Vejdani (Portia’s Julius Caesar, Shakespeare in the Ruff), and Farid Yazdani (Suits).
This poignant and heartwarming story about finding home in a sport is on stage at the Factory Mainspace from October 13 – November 7, 2018. For tickets and more information, click here.
The cast of The Men in White answer the question:
“Was there a time a family member came to your aid?”
I don't have the most demonstrative of families, and in the past, I have not been good at asking for help when I need it. When I first applied to theatre schools I didn't even tell my parents because I wasn't sure how they would handle my pursuing a path that was so unconventional. After I was accepted, I told my dad about it. He listened, and when I was done, he said, "If this is something you really want to do, then you should go do it, and we'll figure it out." So, I did. Still figuring things out, though!
At a time where my I was in deep personal turmoil, my aunt came to my aid. In my solitude, she continued to support and make sure I was in strong spirits. Whether it was calling me to hear my voice or sending me money for groceries at a time when I was down and out, she taught me humanity. I am eternally grateful for such love.
I am a barely functioning adult and often get by with a lot of help from family and friends. Foremost of my helpers is my younger sister who helps and advises me on financial matters, and talks me off the ledge come tax season!
Gugun Deep Singh
One of the most impactful experiences I can offer you is my respect & admiration for the times my folks have specifically flown cross-country to see me in a play, or attend the premiere of a film I was in, despite their not really understanding or accepting my choice of pursuing a career in the arts. Over time, my youthful frustration taught me a lot about grace.
Not exactly coming to my aid, but as the older brother, I came to my younger sister Liz’s aid when she was 5 and I was 11. She was being bullied in the playground near our house in Saskatoon and she says I ran over and started throwing rocks at the bullies and hustled her home. I have no memory of this at all.
One fond moment of aid was when I travelled to India for the first time 10 years ago. I remember being hit with a wave of culture shock. My brother, who was just finishing up his own trip in India, helped me with the emotional rollercoaster of meeting my mother’s family for the first time. I can also thank him for aiding my love of poori with coconut chutney and masala chai, as we ate that for breakfast every day when he was there.
My parents have been there for me on countless occasions. My mother was instrumental in helping me finance my dream to play Ricky Roma in Glengarry Glen Ross. As you can guess, the only realistic way to make that happen was to produce my own run of the Mamet classic and cast myself. My father was the one who pushed me to make my own moves and create my own work to showcase myself. My success is due to both their support and I need to continue to make them proud. Insert tears here.