This play centers on Sakharam, a bookbinder in a small town in India, who takes in a succession of women who have been cast out of their homes by their husbands. In exchange for domestic services and companionship, he offers them food, shelter and living essentials. Brahmin by birth, Sakharam fiercely opposes the hypocrisy he sees in the institution of marriage and practices an alternative arrangement in his home. Though he takes great pride in the forthright nature of his systematic unions, he and the women ultimately find themselves overpowered by the potent and sometimes violent force of sexuality. This landmark play by one of India’s most eminent writers was banned after it debuted in 1974, as it explores the darkest corners of human nature. This production is the centerpiece of the New York’s current Tendulkar Festival sponsored by the Indo-American Arts Council.

Reviews of Sakharam Binder

“As directed by Maria Mileaf…and with a terrific cast to give Tendulkar’s character a vivid stage life, this American premiere has enough elements in place to make it worth seeing.”

“These are larger-than-life characters, and Tendulkar fills his play with their desires, passions, loves, and fears. It makes for the kind of drama we seldom see on stage anymore…”

Photos by Carol Rosegg

U.S. Premiere
OCT 30 – NOV 20, 2004

Written by Vijay Tendulkar
Translated by Kumud Mehta and Shanta Gokhale
Directed by Maria Mileaf

Adam Alexi-Malle
Sarita Choudhury
Anna George
Sanjiv Jhaveri
Bernard White

Set Design:
Antje Ellermann
Costume Design:
Katherine Roth
Lighting Design:
Nicole Pearce
Sound Design:
Bart Fasbender
Fight Director:
David Debesse
Stage Manager:
Brian Maschka


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