• Thursday, February 12, 2015
  • January 2015

    Stuff that’s been happening…

    Jan 3 – 9: I made my first visit to Chicago, my first brush with real winter! Arrived just in time for the scarily named Arctic Blast to blow through the city. But spending a week with Rasaka Theatre in the first week of rehearsals for A Nice Indian Boy warmed me up plenty.

    Rasaka Theatre’s production, opening TONIGHT (Feb 12 (!)) in Chicago, is the play’s second production and mid-west premiere.

    Jan 10-11: From Chicago I land in DC and head straight to the opening night of In Love and Warcraft by No Rules Theatre Company, being staged at Signature Theatre in Arlington. I get to see the magical Anu Yadav kill it as Evie and spend a wonderful weekend enjoying the hospitality of No Rules’ board members in Virginia.

    And we get a nice review in the Washington Post. YAY. PHEW.

    Jan 25: We shoot the Kickstarter promo for the new webseries I’m co-creating with Megan Kelly and Seamus Sullivan – Titus and Dronicus. It is insane, overwhelming, enlightening, holyshitexpensive, and it was only the freaking Kickstarter promo. Filmmaking is hard. But fun. (But hard.)

    Jan 26: I fly to Chennai.

    Now I’m in India through the end of April, where I don’t need to worry about cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, driving, or… having any kind of social life. I get to spend time with my family and not do much else. And with several writing projects to juggle, it’s the perfect arrangement. For now. I try not to worry about what my life will be like beyond the next few months, but of course, trying not to worry about something is about as effective as… as…

    Oh I can’t come up with a metaphor, what am I, a writer or something.

    Current projects:- A screenplay adaptation of A Nice Indian Boy- Finishing up Antigone, Presented by the Girls of St. Catherine’s to be produced at the Alliance Theatre in April.- A new commissioned play for the Golden Tongues series by Playwrights Arena in Los Angeles.- A longform article for Hinduism Today about the LGBT Hindu community around the world.- Starting research/notes on my Bharatanatyam play, which has been incubating in my head for years now.

    I’ve never really known what to do with this blog. I use Facebook for personal updates and promotions whenever I need it, Twitter for sharing interesting links, Instagram for pictures like these –

    My fashion sense used to be KILLER #tbt #india #chennai #goingout #fancygirl

    A photo posted by @madhuri567 on Feb 11, 2015 at 8:46pm PST

    – And don’t really know what to use this blog for. I should journal my life more, because it’s interesting and I would like to keep track of it somewhere where I’m not flooding people with updates. But then on the other hand, without an audience, I don’t feel the need to write about my life.

    Also, I’m always working on a project, so the thought of blogging when I should be working on my script is just out of the question most of the time.

    Plus WordPress is so cumbersome when it comes to uploading/embedding images.

    So I don’t really know what to do. My Chicago and DC trips were so eventful, but I don’t feel like writing about them now, so they will only exist as the few lines I’ve deigned to give them above.

  • Wednesday, June 18, 2014
  • At the beach, aka who am I

    beach

    Rachel: Why does Sebastian have a Jamaican accent when they’re all in Scandinavia?Me: No, they’re all in the Caribbean, right? That’s what I always thought.Rachel: Then where did all the white people come from?Me: I mean… they’re colonists.Nahal: Yeah, Prince Eric is importing slaves from Africa.Rachel: Or maybe they’re like in Southern European waters. Like the Mediterranean.Me: Yeah, Eric has dark hair!Nahal: And those eyebrows. He has those crazy eyebrows.[pause]Rachel: Nah, they’re in Denmark. Sebastian just rode over on dolphin.

    And some days continue to be really good. Yesterday I found myself at beautiful Manhattan Beach catching up with my playwright friends Rachel and Nahal after not having seen either of them in FOREVER (read: 10 days), then at night I got to attend the Kilroy’s opening party, and felt so energized and truly happy to be surrounded by so much of LA’s theatre community. I’m getting the best of both worlds- I get to make theatre with my friends, and I also get to hang out more established/institutional artists, and learn from them.

    Two more shows of Much Ado About Something, where I fight aliens with cheese graters and get my arm blown off.

    muchado

     

  • Monday, June 9, 2014
  • A great theatre week

    This was a week where multiple wonderful projects either began, opened, or culminated.

    On Monday, rehearsals began for my play ‘The Frog Girlfriend’ at Fullerton College directed by Peter Kuo. The play will get a workshop production on June 25 as part of their Directors’ Festival, and already within the first week the script has improved considerably.

    Peter directs the cast Peter directs the cast

    I love this silly stupid awesome play and I’m so excited to see this done.

    yeaaah yeaaah

    On Tuesday, we had tech for Much Ado About Something at the Hollywood Fringe, which ended – as all self-respecting self-productions should – with a bunch of us trying to figure out how to clean silly string off the floor at 12.30am.

    spit and socks #theatreproblems

    On Thursday, we had our preview show- our first show with an audience- and ohmygod the play worked so well. It was so much fun being on stage and I am SO proud of my soultwin Megan Kelly who directed and the brilliant Kate Grabau who produced and Beatriced. What an accomplishment.

    MK & KG MK & KG, post-show glow

    Then I had to miss our opening show on Saturday (which luckily went well too) because this weekend was the culmination of the 2013/14 CTG Writer’s Workshop. We started in October, and it’s been one of the greatest experiences I’ve had, and I’ve had so many great experiences over the past year. Once-a-month meetings with 6 amazing playwrights who were full of kindness and generosity, led by the CTG literary team Pier Carlo Talenti and Joy Meads, who set the tone for the whole thing.

    A month ago I realized the play I was working on just wasn’t the right play- I was going down the wrong path and so I had to chuck my draft and start all over again with a new premise and new characters. I managed to get 2/3rds of the play done, and I heard it read on Saturday morning with one of the best cold readings I’ve ever experienced of my work, thanks to the amazing casting of Anjali Bhimani in the lead role, who got my character so thoroughly it was unnerving!

    And the play is working… I felt it in the room and the feedback was so generous. I can’t wait to go forward with this. I’m so happy with where it is and just this reading is going to give me the fuel to finish it.

    It was wonderful hearing the other 6 new plays this weekend, with such a fantastic ensemble cast rotating through the scripts and joining in with the discussions.

    ctggroup kind of a messy picture, for now

    I fucking love theatre so much.

    And today I got an email that may have great news for A Nice Indian Boy. So eff yeah. This week. It was good.

    oh and i got this in my fortune cookie today and it has to be significant right oh and i got this in my fortune cookie today and it has to be significant right
  • Tuesday, June 3, 2014
  • Coming up Next: June

    June 5 – June 21: Los Angeles

    Join me and my friends at the Hollywood Fringe Festival for Much Ado About Something, the directorial debut of my brilliant soultwin Megan Kelly (USC MFA ‘13, yo.) It’s going to be so silly. So much fun.

    RSVP on Facebook now to get reminders and such!

    cast1 copy My arm gets blown off by ALIENS #shakespeare

    June 6-8: Los Angeles

    My current work-in-progress – ‘Queen’, a full-length play about graduate science research and honeybees- will have a reading as part of the Center Theatre Group Writers Workshop’s end-of-year retreat. The reading is invite-only.

    June 25: Fullerton, CA

    Peter directs the cast Peter directs the cast

    My children’s play in rhyming verse – ‘The Frog Girlfriend’ will have a workshop production at Fullerton College’s Directors Fest, directed by the wonderful Peter Kuo. More info TBA.

  • Thursday, May 29, 2014
  • I met Madhur Jaffrey, and other things

    I need to figure out a system where I’m updating this blog as and when exciting things are happening. But exciting things do, by their very nature, leave very little time for documenting them.

    I used to be so much cooler on the internet.

    Never mind though. Here are a run down of the super cool awesome things that have happened to me over the past few weeks.

    The week of May 11th, I got to be in New York for the scene presentations of A Nice Indian Boy along with plays by the Kendeda Finalists, all at Playwrights’ Horizons.

    20140529-004700.jpg

    Playwrights Horizons!!

    Even thought In Love and Warcraft was the winning Kendeda play, Celise let me present A Nice Indian Boy instead, which turned out to be just wonderful.

    Directed by Lucie Tiberghien, the cast included Bhavesh Patel, Christopher J. Hanke, Sheetal Sheth, Rajesh Bose, and Madhur Jaffrey.

    20140529-004642.jpg My iPhone autocorrects her name to all caps each time

    MADHUR JAFFREY!

    She’s name-checked IN the play! When I met her, she extended her dainty hand, and I gurgled, “I’m a huge fan,” and she said, oh so elegantly, “Yes, I see I’m in the play.”

    MADHUR JAFFREY!!

    She offered to correct my atrocious Hindi in the play, and I have to get back to her on that.

    We had a table read on Tuesday and the scene presentation on Wednesday and it was so lovely getting to know these actors and Lucie. I’d be so lucky to work with them again.

    The rest of the week involved a lot of angsting about my writing of my CTG play (and some decent writing too, thankfully), but also fun things. Such as checking out the NYU MFA design exhibition with Lucie, reconnecting with Celise one-of-my-favorite-people-in-the-world Kalke, reuniting with Lily Balsen (my perfect Evie in the Alliance Theatre’s In Love and Warcraft), meeting the beautiful Mahira Kakkar, a bike tour of Brooklyn with the lovely Christina Quintana and friends, staying in Queens with grown-up friends with stable loving lives (which seems so foreign to me), and then a weekend in the Upper East Side with fellow awesome USC playwright Stephanie Swirsky, capped by 5 hours of Mysteries at the Flea.

    Honestly taking Stephanie to the Adayar Ananda Bhavan on the UES might have been the real highlight of the trip. Honestly taking Stephanie to the Adayar Ananda Bhavan on the UES might have been the real highlight of the trip.

    Back in LA, it was straight back into working with my soultwin Megan Kelly on her directorial debut, the hilariously wonderful Much Ado About Something, premiering next week at the Hollywood Fringe Festival.

    20140529-004740.jpg The Something is Aliens

    And of course, working as best as I can on finishing up a skeleton draft of my new play, which will have a reading at the CTG Writer’s Workshop retreat next weekend. Hopefully a real blog post about that coming soon.

    And now, sleep.

    Or, to quote from Much Ado About Something…

    To Die, to sleep, to sleep, perchance to Dream.To Dream, in dreams what sleep may comeOut, out, brief candle

    It makes sense (i.e. none)  in context. Come see it.

  • Sunday, February 2, 2014
  • Previews and Press

    So previews for ‘In Love and Warcraft’ began on Friday night, somehow going forward despite the loss of 7 hours of tech this past week thanks to Atlanta’s Snowmagridlock nightmare. And I feel like I should have blogged on Friday evening to record the crazy crazy nerves I was feeling and to take in the fact that I was about to have my first public professional show in front of an audience… but of course another milestone is coming up on Wednesday, when previews will be over, and I will have my first ever official opening night. With press and my parents. Crazy. Crazy crazy crazy.

    Previews are going well. I can no longer experience the play, due to my extreme nerves and that terrible feeling of knowing the whole script by heart and therefore being unable to spontaneously live with the characters, but after each show, I’m thinking back and going, oh. That went well.

    Megan Kelly came last night with our friend Hannah Cornforth to see the second preview and it was such a joy to have them here. I’m so happy Megan could come out to Atlanta. She’s been there with me for the whole journey of this play, from the first (terrible) draft, and it was amazing to share this with her. And then I got to introduce them to our incredible cast and director, the sweetest human beings on the planet, and that was great too.

    lex raul

    Our genius costume designer Lex Liang blew my freaking mind today by gifting me one of his genius creations from the show. I can’t wait to frame this and hang this in my room. What an honor it’s been to work with him.

    And in the meantime, rehearsals are going on in L.A. for A Nice Indian Boy.

    Crazy, crazy, crazy.

    Press roundup-

    Avatars come to life in ‘In Love and Warcraft’: Atlanta Journal Constitution

    ‘I want to make people laugh.’ In Alliance world premiere, playwright happily digs into worlds of love and dysfunction: Encore Atlanta

    New Play Festival Opens at Emory: Atlanta Journal Constitution