Joel Krantz, co-creator of Ocean in a Teacup, tells how the story of the show came into his life.
“Ocean in a Teacup” is an original musical drama based on the life of a man I was blessed to know personally. I came to consider him my mentor.
I first met Ray Hauserman when he had finally returned to America after spending 30 years with his teacher in India. He was trying to do what he called “Thakur’s work” here in the USA. He created a sort of halfway house in Queens NY for troubled people of all ages and various backgrounds. Young people with drug problems, lost souls in need of shelter and counseling, spiritual seekers looking for answers, all found an open door at Ray’s house. I was one of them.
Ray’s teacher, Thakur, is little known in the West, but as much of a household name in Eastern India as Mother Theresa is in the world. There are 2 Indian postage stamps with his picture on them. Ray wrote a biography of Thakur called “Ocean in a Teacup” that was published by Harper Bros. This musical is based on some of the stories in that book and the personal stories that Ray shared with us.
“Ocean in a Teacup” is set during the tumultuous years of 1940’s India. Years that saw the horrible Muslim-Hindu riots and the partition of India. Ray was there for all of that; “Ocean in a Teacup” tells the story of why he stayed.
I believe the culture and traditions of mid-20th century India will be fascinating for an American audience. I hope to create a unique musical hybrid by incorporating authentic Indian instrumentation into a theatre pop score. However, the use of synthesized instruments is also possible.
Even though “Ocean” takes place in a foreign land, its message is a very meaningful and personal one for all of us. In a time when there seems to be so much emphasis on what separates us, we are reminded that no matter what our condition, be you rich or poor, weak or strong, lonely or surrounded by people, everyone is given the same chance to find fulfillment because, as Thakur sings, “Nothing and no one can stop you from loving.”