Same Same But Different (S2BD)

Anita Majumdar in Same Same But Different at Theatre Passe Muraille. Photo by Michael Cooper



"Anita Majumdar is a comedic firecracker as the feisty Kabira." - Theatromania "Majumdar uses voice and body to paint vivid portraits." - NOW Magazine

Same Same But Different by Anita Majumdar

Anita Majumdar’s Same Same But Different is a new Canadian play, infused by the music, dance and spirit of Bollywood. In keeping with Bollywood tradition, we use a playful acronym for this theatrical hybrid: S2BD. Featuring fabulous original Bollywood dance choreographed by playwright Anita Majumdar and exciting adaptations of contemporary Bollywood songs by Suba Sankaran, S2BD is a provocative and entertaining exploration of shadism and gender politics – with a hot romance!

ACT 1 takes us to Bombay, 1989 and the story of Kabira. Kabira is days away from an arranged marriage with her light-skinned husband-to-be, who will soon be taking her to Canada. A singer of commercial jingles, she’s dreamed of recording songs for Bollywood films and as the wedding day approaches, she finally has a chance to live her dream. She’s hired to record songs with Felipe, who is also on the cusp of leaving for the Philippines to join the People Power resistance. In the Bombay recording studio, Kabira and Felipe have a life-changing collision (and fleeting romance) before they go their separate ways for good.

ACT 2 is set in present day on the Vancouver set of a Bollywood movie starring Kabira’s daughter, Aisha, a young starlet obsessed with preserving her light skin tone, and Ben, a Filipino-Canadian background dancer obsessed with breaking into Bollywood. On the final day of shooting, Ben is promoted to play Aisha’s love interest, while the film’s director berates Aisha for her performance and appearance. Over the course of day, Aisha spirals further and further – is she light enough for this role? How fair-skinned must she be, to herself, her fans and especially her demanding and sharp-tongued mother? Romance blossoms but can the two performers overcome their prejudices and all the obstacles of a Bollywood love story to commit to one another? Will Aisha have the romance that her mother never did?

This Nightswimming commission has received two workshop productions, a series of developmental workshops during which the extensive choreography and musical sequences have been created and refined. In 2009, an early draft of Act 2 was shown in performance as part of the Vancouver Cultural Olympiad, produced by South Asian Arts and Theatre Ji, featuring Anita Majumdar and Leon Aureus. In 2010, an early draft of Act 1 was produced by Theatre Ji as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival, winning Best Ensemble and selected as “Best of the Fringe” that year. In 2014, S2BD was premiered in Toronto and Calgary by Theatre Passe Muraille and Alberta Theatre Projects in association with Nightswimming. Anita Majumdar was nominated for two Betty Mitchell Awards in Calgary for Outstanding Performance and Outstanding New Play.

S2BD was developed in part during two residencies at The Banff Centre Playwright Colony in 2013 and 2015.

The National Arts Centre – English Theatre: The Collaborations was also a partner on the development of the piece. To learn more about the world of Bollywood and S2BD, visit

Production History

Same Same But Different | Rolling World Premiere

Produced by Theatre Passe Muraille and Alberta Theatre Projects in association with Nightswimming

Toronto: February 15 – March 8, 2014

Calgary: March 18 – April 6, 2014

Written and choreographed by Anita Majumdar

Performed by Anita Majumdar and Nicco Lorenzo Garcia, featuring the voice of Reza Jacobs

Dramaturged and directed by Brian Quirt

Set and Lighting Design by Beth Kates

Costume Design by Nina Okens

Sound Design and Composition by Suba Sankaran

Stage Manager: Sandy Plunkett

Produced by Rupal Shah

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