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In her one-woman play Pyaasa, Anusree Roy – a performer with a powerful presence who is not afraid of using exaggeration for effect – plays multiple characters in modern-day India. (Michael Cooper)
In her one-woman play Pyaasa, Anusree Roy – a performer with a powerful presence who is not afraid of using exaggeration for effect – plays multiple characters in modern-day India. (Michael Cooper)

What playwright Anusree Roy is watching, looking forward to and tuning into Add to ...

The latest from Anusree Roy is Little Pretty and The Exceptional, a family drama involving two sisters and their father preparing to open their new sari shop in Toronto’s Little India neighbourhood. With the play being readied for its world premiere at Factory Theatre next week, we asked the actress and Dora Award-winning playwright about her arts (and politically-based) fixations.

What she’s watching: “I’m rewatching the British crime drama Happy Valley. It’s a single-lead cop drama and it’s excellent. The depth with which these complex characters are crafted is inspiring. I am working on my pilot, which is also about a single female lead, so I am watching lots of TV shows to inspire me. I am encouraged by the slow change that’s coming to television where women are at the centre.”

What she’s looking forward to: “I’m really looking forward to seeing the remount of Toronto writer Nicolas Billon’s Butcher, now playing at the Panasonic Theatre. I love his writing. It is truthful, complex and layered. I didn’t get a chance to see it during its last run, so I am determined to go this time. Also, Weyni Mengesha directs it, and she is such a talented Canadian director who I had the pleasure of working with last year.”

What she’s tuned into: “American politics. I can’t help it. It’s so addictive yet terrifying. The world is in a really complex place and we all need to be paying attention. I am amazed by the fear in all of us, and how their politics and policies have affected our everyday lives. Kindness is the key to getting through it, so I am practising that every day.”

Anusree Roy’s Little Pretty and The Exceptional runs April 6 to 30 (previews April 1 to 5); $25 to $55; Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst St., 416-504-9971 or factorytheatre.ca.

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