This essay looks at Malaysian playwright K. S. Maniam's English-language playThe Sandpit: Womensis, and discusses the playwright's portrayal of the individual's negotiations with the tensions inherent in Malaysia's multicultural society. Most Malaysians live in tension between the fluid cultural spaces of their lived reality and the rigid, narrowly defined cultural spaces allowed them by public policy. In this play, Maniam embodies the tension between these two cultural spaces through the characters of Santha (who lives within the prescribed cultural borders) and Sumathi (who feels the constraints of these borders and pushes against them). Finally, Maniam suggests that the only solution, tentative at best, is to find some new space where these apparently opposing views can come together.
Asian Theatre Journal – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Jul 30, 2004
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