Right from his debut film 'Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa' in 1998, Joy Sengupta has made an effort to work in stories that have a larger purpose.  The actor who has worked with the Delhi-based theatre group 'Jana Natya Manch', and was also mentored by Ebrahim Alkazi is drawn to projects which explore complex gender and social issues. This is one of the reasons why Sengupta chose to work in Zee Theatre's 'Womanly Voices' and says, "This anthology is a celebration of some of the finest women writers and offers an astonishing diversity of characters and perspectives. It also mirrors realities that we sometimes tend to overlook. Art, I believe, is mostly a reflection of what's happening around us, be it good, bad or ugly. At times it can even become an intervention of ideas and can offer solutions. Art divorced from society can never be relevant."

Directed by Lillete Dubey, 'Womanly Voices' comprises Wajeda Tabassum's 'Utran' which probes class and gender politics, Mahasweta Devi's 'Shishu', an unsparing study of hunger and deprivation and Gita Mehta's 'The Teacher's Story’, which offers a heartbreaking insight into communal hatred. The anthology will be aired on 20th April at Tata Play Theatre. Sengupta who stars in 'The Teacher's Story’ says, "Though the anthology represents women's voices in Indian literature, they are about the human condition and universal issues. 'The Teacher's Story’ is very close to my heart because in theatre specifically, I tend to tilt towards themes and perspectives which represent my worldview to some extent. In that sense, theatre showcases my personal voice as an artist. This is a very powerful story about how hate destroys innocence, beauty and everything of value."

As to why he believes art must be truthful, he says, "I follow a simple Gandhian philosophy in my life-- ' Truth is Truth, even if you are a Minority of One '. If you are not scared of the truth, you shouldn't be scared of speaking or portraying it either. I am also happy to work on a story that is written and directed by two very gifted women. Globally, women are using performing arts to discuss gender relations and feminine perspectives and perhaps theatre remains one medium which has largely embraced gender fluidity in creativity.” The cast of 'Womanly Voices' also includes Suchitra Pillai, Pranav Sachdev, Ira Dubey, Deepika Amin and Adit Bhilare.