• Tuesday, September 17, 2019
  • QUEEN wins at the New York Innovative Theatre Awards! || Starting at New Dramatists!

    Two very cool things happened in the same night, and I got to be at one of them!

    Last night, QUEEN won for Outstanding Original Full Length Script at the 2019 New York Innovative Theatre Awards!

    This was in recognition of the beautiful production earlier this year by the Astoria Performing Arts Center, directed by J. Mehr Kaur. So grateful to Mehr and her team, and to APAC directors Dev Bondarin and Jesse Marchese for giving this play its New York premiere (and my first New York production!). And especially thankful to our lead actor Mahima Saigal for accepting the award for me in a smashing sari…

    Mahima slaying the red carpet

    and giving a wonderful acceptance speech. 🐝 👸🏽


    And the reason I couldn’t be there was due to a very wonderful occasion happening the same evening… I got inducted into New Dramatists!

    ANNOUNCING THE NEW DRAMATISTS CLASS OF 2026

    More to come, but so very happy to be part of this epic institution and in the company of so many playwrights that I’ve only known through reputation and their work so far – and now I get to share a clubhouse with them. It’s wonderful.

    The class of 2026 receives plants and applause at the conclusion of the New Playwright Welcome on September 16, 2019. From left to right: Dipika Guha, Gracie Gardner, Mary Elizabeth Hamilton, Madhuri Shekar, Kevin Artigue and Will Arbery. (Missing from the photo is Ariel Stess).

    And best of all, my parents happened to be in town all the way from Chennai, and they got to be there and share this experience with me and Seamus.

  • Friday, August 23, 2019
  • HOUSE OF JOY: World Premiere at Cal Shakes

    HOUSE OF JOY is now running at Cal Shakes through September 8! So thrilled with what our beautiful team managed to pull off. The world premiere is the stunning swashbuckling glittering romance of my dreams.

    Directed by: Megan Sandberg-Zakian
    Starring: Emma Van Lare, Raji Ahsan, Nandita Shenoy, Sango Tajima, Rinabeth Apostol, Rotimi Agbabiaka and Lipica Shah
    Fight Director: Dave Maier
    Dramaturgy: Vidhu Singh
    Sets: Lawrence E Moten
    Lights: Wen Ling Liao
    Costumes: Oana Botez
    Original music and sound: Arshan Gailus
    Stage Manager: Leslie Radin
    Dialect and vocal coach: Cherie Corinne Rice
    Artistic Director: Eric Ting

  • Sunday, May 12, 2019
  • EVIL EYE on Audible

    It’s Mother’s Day, and EVIL EYE is an Audible best-seller!

    This play is a commission from the Audible Emerging Playwrights Fund, and my first attempt in the audio/radio play format. Inspired by my daily phone calls with my mother, and the darkest, weirdest parts of my brain, this play was one of the most psychologically agonizing things I’ve ever written, AND the most fun. At the same time.

    3000+ ratings and a 4.6 score on Audible! It debuted at #5 on the Audible best-seller list. Read the reviews if you need any convincing to check it out 🙂

    About This Audible Original

    Usha is convinced that the Evil Eye, a curse that brings continuous misfortune, was cast upon her daughter, Pallavi, in the womb. What else could have possibly left her driven, career-oriented daughter edging closer and closer to 30 without a prospective husband? Determined to set Pallavi on the right path, Usha arranges date after date with potential suitors—but after yet another setup fails, it seems her efforts are proving fruitless. But in an unexpected turn of events, Pallavi becomes her own matchmaker when she meets—and quickly falls for—Sandeep, a young Indian-American entrepreneur. And though she expects her mother will be elated with her finally finding a man, Pallavi is distraught and confused to find her mother growing increasingly suspicious of Sandeep’s motives…and his true identity.

    Told through a series of phone calls and voicemails, this Audible Original penned by award-winning rising star playwright Madhuri Shekar transitions seamlessly from a light-hearted family dramedy to an unexpectedly supernatural thriller. With an endearing cast of well-rounded characters, sharp, natural dialogue, and a shocking edge-of-your-seat climax, Evil Eye is a can’t-miss tale about cultural miscommunications, family secrets, and the lingering echoes of trauma.

    Evil Eye is an Audible Theater Emerging Playwrights Commission.

    Directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian

    Produced by Emilia LaPenta

    Audio Engineering and Design: Alex Trajano

    Cast: Rita Wolf, Annapurna Sriram, Bernie White, Nick Choksi, Harsh Nayyar

    Please note: This audio contains strong language, distressing situations, and descriptions of abuse and violence that some listeners may find upsetting. Discretion is advised.

  • Friday, April 5, 2019
  • Coming up in the 2019/2020 theatre season…

    Thrilled to return to Victory Gardens in Chicago for their 2019/2020 season, with my brand new commission DHABA ON DEVON AVENUE, directed by Chay Yew.

    World Premiere • Dhaba Canteen has been a Devon Avenue institution since the 60s, with their delicious Sindhi food transporting you back to the halcyon days of undivided India. Now it’s on the verge of bankruptcy. And the family that has run it for generations is ready to go to war over its fate. Written by Madhuri Shekar, (Queen) and directed by Victory Gardens Artistic Director Chay Yew, it’s King Lear meets The Cherry Orchard in this Chicago story of fathers and daughters, of legacy, and of survival at all costs.


    HOUSE OF JOY is getting ready for its world premiere at beautiful CalShakes in August 2019, directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian. The script has grown tremendously in just the past month, and a team full of astounding artists are on board to help realize this swashbuckling epic fantasy.

    The play: House of Joy is an action-adventure romance set in a harem at the beginning of the end of the Mughal Empire. Once upon a time and place, in something like 17th century Delhi, an imperial bodyguard risks her life to fight for what’s right, turning against everything she’s been raised to believe.


    ANTIGONE, PRESENTED BY THE GIRLS OF ST. CATHERINE’S will get its West Coast premiere at Sacred Fools in Los Angeles, one of my favorite theatre companies, and directed by the marvelous Reena Dutt. Watch for it in Spring of 2020.


    Other Productions:

    QUEEN will be getting its next production in November at Geva Theatre in Rochester, NY, directed by Pironne Yousefzadeh.

    HOUSE OF JOY is scheduled for its second production at San Diego Rep in March 2020, co-directed by Artistic Director Sam Woodhouse & Arpita Mukherjee!


    And coming up next…

    ANTIGONE, PRESENTED BY THE GIRLS OF ST CATHERINES will have a reading on April 29, at WP Theatre. Co-produced by Movement Theatre and Hypokrit Theatre, and directed by the marvelous Taylor Reynolds. RSVP here.

    And a project 2 years in the making, something I couldn’t be more excited for…

    My audio play EVIL EYE will release on May 3 on the Audible Platform, free for all subscribers. A dynamite cast and creative team led by director Megan Sandberg-Zakian helped me make this a story I’m truly proud of. Sign up for your free trial or keep an eye out the first Friday of May for the play to drop!

  • Sunday, February 24, 2019
  • QUEEN @ APAC, New York

    New York Premiere; Jan 31-Feb 16.

    Directed by J. Mehr Kaur
    Cast: Mahima Saigal, Rachel Rhodes-Devey, Ezra Barnes and Kabir Chopra

    Creative Team:
    Set Designer: Susannah Hyde
    Costume Designer: Caitlin Cisek
    Lighting Designer: Shelby Loera
    Assistant Lighting Designer: Austin Boyle
    Sound Designer: Margaret Montagna
    Prop Designer: Rachel Langley
    Production Manager: W. Alan Waters
    Production Stage Manager: Elliott Karliner
    Assistant Stage Manager: Jack Asitimbay

    Photography by Michael R. Dekker

  • Friday, January 18, 2019
  • Los Angeles: MONKEY LOVE at Sacred Fools

    Very excited that Sacred Fools, one of my favorite L.A. theatre companies, is doing a reading of my play MONKEY LOVE on Sunday, 1/20, as part of their New Works Festival. Details below.

    MONKEY LOVE by Madhuri Shekar
    When: Sunday, Jan 20, 5 pm; Reception to follow
    Where: The Broadwater (Second Stage), 6320 Santa Monica Blvd.
    RSVP here

    Deep in the jungles of East India, two different couples (of the monkey and of the human persuasion) experience an eventful night of falling in, and out, and back into love. Soulmates are hard work.

    Directed by Reena Dutt
    Cast: Kapil Talwalkar, Ulka Mohanty, Troy Blendell, Lauren Van Kurin and Jax Ball.

  • Monday, December 3, 2018
  • QUEEN in Queens, Feb 2019

    QUEEN, my play about women and science and bees and professional friendships and ethics in research and sexy libertarians (I mean, to a point), is getting its New York premiere!

    The production by Astoria Performing Arts Center will run from Jan 31 – Feb 16, 2019, at the Black Box at the Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens
    21-12 30th Rd @ 21st St. Tickets on sale now.

    Directed by the wonderful J. Mehr Kaur.

    🐝🐝🐝

  • Monday, October 8, 2018
  • HOUSE OF JOY going to Cal Shakes!

    Cal Shakes sets impressive 2019 season, featuring two of the Bard’s best

    Could not be more excited to share the news that HOUSE OF JOY will be getting its world premiere production at Cal Shakes, in August 2019.

    I wrote this play imagining a Shakespeare festival in mind – but it was a fanciful thought. I didn’t actually dream that it would come true exactly as I had imagined it.

    But HOUSE OF JOY is epic and fanciful and repurposes legends of history to talk about what I’m most excited and terrified about today. It is big and fun and dark and has loads of stage combat. It was MADE for a Shakespeare festival and I am so thrilled that I’ll get to see it come to life in the Bay Area, where I was born, in a beautiful summer outdoor amphitheater. Grateful to Eric Ting and the artistic leadership at Cal Shakes. More updates to come.

  • Wednesday, September 26, 2018
  • Queen in the Bay Area

    QUEEN will be playing in the Bay Area this weekend, Sep 28-29! Tickets/info: https://www.tikkl.com/enacte/c/queen

    Produced by EnActe Arts and directed by Vinita Sud Belani.

    EnActe did multiple wonderful productions of my play A NICE INDIAN BOY and I’m so glad to be working with them again.

    The Simpsons writer/producer and playwright Mike Reiss saw the Bay Area premiere of the play last week and was nice enough to leave a video review.

    Which also made me think of another amazing video review I got for this play, from Tanya Saracho herself, playwright extraordinaire and creator of the new Starz show VIDA.

    🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝