Ed Fringe Interviews: Tanya Dudnikova, "Papaya"

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Papaya, ZOO Charteris - 8:35 pm (August 3rd-11th)

Tell me about Papaya. 

Papaya is about three women who are grappling with things like family, loss, relationships, and race, and it’s disturbing yet funny.

What’s the best thing about the Fringe?

As a performer, you notice the wonderful atmosphere—there are so many amazing networking opportunities, even while flyering! You stand on the Mile and get to meet people and hear about their shows and companies.

What’s the worst?

It’s very overwhelming — at the end of the day, everyone wants bums on seats, and there's a lot of competition for that. It’s about finding your niche audience and pitching well. It can be hard to boil your show down to a one-liner. You don’t want to trivialize your show, but that’s kind of what you have to do for marketing.

Favorite show so far?

I saw Moan Rizwan in a show called Juice, I loved that. I'm looking forward to The Empty Chair, a show that’s a response to the #MeToo movement.

Projects you’re looking to work/collaborate on in the future:

I’m going to be in Paris next year, and I want to get more into writing—I’ve often been the "organized producer" as opposed to a creator on theatre. Being at the Fringe has really inspired me to do some writing. I’m Russian, and I’m interested in exploring that. There’s so many political shows at the Fringe, and I haven’t seen many weird political satires about Russia, so maybe something along those lines.papaya

Anything else?

I haven’t seen a lot of shows that touch upon race and racial colorism. Our actresses have done an amazing job exploring this issue in Papaya — our lead actress, Ayesha, is from Pakistan, so a lot of the stories that we use in the show are from her own experiences. 

Papyaya is really moving, really heartfelt, and really worth seeing for these reasons.

Part of the Main is conducting interviews with women, nonbinary, and femme-identifying theatremakers who are up at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. If you’re interested in being featured, email hello@partofthemain.com to get in touch.