Voices from the dawn of India’s partition

An abbreviated staging of “This Stained Dawn: Voices of Partition” will be performed at First Parish of Stow and Acton.
An abbreviated staging of “This Stained Dawn: Voices of Partition” will be performed at First Parish of Stow and Acton. (handout)

VOICES OF PARTITION Kathleen Mulligan, an associate professor at Ithaca College who was raised in Stow, learned plenty of history throughout her years of college and graduate school.

But not until she traveled through India and Pakistan as a Fulbright scholar in 2010 did she learn about the 1947 Partition of India. “Most Americans don’t know very much, if anything, about it,” Mulligan concedes, “but it was the largest post-World War II migration in history, with over 10 million people forced to migrate and over one million dying on the way.”

The mass migration spurred by the partition of Pakistan from India saw violence erupt between cultural and sectarian factions as people were forced from their ancestral homes.


On her initial trip to Pakistan as well as several subsequent returns, Mulligan found herself thinking about how few survivors of the partition were still living. Those that were still alive were in their 80s and 90s. Their stories needed to be told, she believed. She spoke with a colleague at the US Embassy about her idea and received permission to do some interviews.

“Every family in that part of the world has a story related to partition,” Mulligan said. And so she spent her sabbatical conducting interviews, and working with actors to fashion monologues out of those interviews.

The result is “This Stained Dawn: Voices of Partition,” a theatrical performance that opened in Pakistan, first in Islamabad and next in Lahore, and is now touring the United States.

An abbreviated staging — what Mulligan calls “a lecture demonstration” — will take place at First Parish of Stow and Acton, 353 Great Road, Stow, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22; a fully staged production is scheduled for 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, at Grace Methodist Church, 80 Mt. Auburn St., Watertown.


For tickets and more information on the performances, go to

‘CINDERELLA’ BALLET TODAY Regional ballet troupe Dance Prism begins its 33d season with “Cinderella.” Performances take place at the Littleton Performing Arts Center at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18, and at the Curtis Middle School Theater in Sudbury at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct 24. The shows will be followed by a “Pumpkin Party,” with sweet treats and an opportunity for young audience members to meet Cinderella, the Prince, and other principal dancers. Children under the age of 12 are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite character in the story. Tickets are $20 for children, students, and seniors, $26 for adults, and are available online at or by phone at 978-371-1038.

FOCUS ON GUN VIOLENCE Andover Newton Theological School in Newton invites the public to a two-day summit featuring religious, civic, and academic leaders in discussions on the epidemic of gun violence in many American cities on Thursday, Oct. 22, and Friday, Oct. 23. Keynote speakers during “Subverting the Gospel of Guns” are Attorney General Maura Healey and Mayor Martin Walsh of Boston. The cost for both days is $35.To register or to view a complete schedule, go to

HAVE AN HERBAL DAY The New England Unit of the Herb Society of America presents “Let’s Drink to That! A Symposium on the History of Herbal Libations” on Friday, Oct. 23, in the Hunnewell Carriage House at the Gardens at Elm Bank, 900 Washington St., Wellesley. The daylong seminar will include sessions on shrubs, bitters, herbal cordials, and infused wines through lectures, demonstrations, an herbal lunch, taste samplings of herbal beverages, and a silent auction. Check-in begins at 8 a.m.; the program runs 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $105. For tickets and more information, go to


DIFFERENT STROKES Three Stones Gallery at 115 Commonwealth Ave., West Concord, presents “4 artists/4 brushes,” an exhibition of works by three local artists and one from Chile, on view through Nov. 6. Admission is free. For hours or more information, call 978-254-5932 or go to

PAINTINGS AND PUMPKINS “Away and Home,” a solo exhibition of paintings and pumpkins by Lola Chaisson of Concord, is on display through Oct. 31 at 6 Bridges Gallery, 77 Main St., Maynard. The artist’s landscapes depict nearby scenes, the coast of Maine, and distant mountains and shores. The pumpkins are ceramic cloaked figures evocative of the Halloween season. Gallery hours are from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information, go to or call 978-897-3825.

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