World Premiere


January 11-18, 2014 at Baruch Performing Arts Center

In this world premiere, an illiterate woman is gang-raped as retribution for an ‘honor crime’ her brother allegedly committed. She doesn’t surrender. She becomes the first woman in Pakistan to bring her attackers to justice. Her name is Mukhtar.


With a score influenced by traditional Hindustani and Western classical music, Thumbprint, the contemporary opera-theatre work by composer Kamala Sankaram, librettist Susan Yankowitz and directed by Rachel Dickstein, follows Mukhtar’s human rights crusade along a road she must walk and pave at the same time. The libretto stems originally from a series of interviews with Mukhtar herself, and poetically explores the deep family ties and tribal traditions that shape Mukhtar’s story. Through acts of courage that astonish even her, Mukhtar is transformed, and so is the world that watches.


Thumbprint started as a song-cycle commissioned by Beth Morrison Projects for the 2009 21c Liederabend at Galapagos Art Space, was further developed for the 2011 iteration at The Kitchen, and received its final development and world-premiere in this co-production by BMP and HERE.


Photos by Noah Stern Weber.

Performed by:
Kamala Sankaram (Mukhtar)
Steve Gokool (Father)
Theodora Hanslowe (Mother)
Manu Narayan (Faiz)
Leela Subramaniam (Annu)
Kannan Vasudevan (Shakur)


Scenic Designer: Susan Zeeman Rogers
Costume Design: Kate Fry
Light Design: Jeanette Yew
Video Design: Shaun Irons, Lauren Petty
Sound Designer: Matt Schloss
Stage Manager: Ryan Gohsman
Assistant Music Director: Sam McCoy
Assistant Director: Jeana Scotti
Assistant Stage Manager: Elizabeth Goodman
Assistant Scenic Designer: Johanna Pan
Video Assistant: Chongren Fan


Mila Henry (Piano)
Greg Chudzik (Bass)
Margaret Lancaster (Flute)
Deep Singh (Percussion)
Andie Springer (Violin)
Philipa Thompson (Violin)