The Conquest of the School of Madhubaï is based on the real-life story of Phoolan Devi, India's "bandit queen," represented in the character of Sakundeva (played by Tijuana Ricks), a low-caste woman from the town of Behmai. Sakundeva is sold into marriage at the age of 11 and suffers endless abuse from men in the village. She later escapes and leads a band of dacoits, or bandits, into her hometown to deliver punishment to the men who abused her.
The two plays were picked to be presented together because, despite their different cultural backgrounds, both stories have women, usually a play's foil or victim, as protagonist.
From Blood to Prayer: Two Plays About Women and Sacrifice is presented at 8 p.m. Sept. 23 and 24, 3 and 8 p.m. Sept. 25 and 3 p.m. Sept. 26 in the A.E. Hotchner Studio Theatre in the Mallinckrodt Center, on the Washington University campus. For more information or tickets (which cost $10), call the Edison Theatre box office (935-6543) or Metrotix (534-1111).