Thrilled to be part of the 2018-2019 Ars Nova Play Group with these wonderful writers. A place to write and work for the next two years. So excited to see what we create.
On Thursday, Jan 25, come see a reading of HOUSE OF JOY by New York Stage and Film, as part of their Winter Season! Directed by Zi Alikhan and featuring this incredible cast – MaYaa Boateng, Mahira Kakkar, Sathya Sridharan, Jihae Park, Deepa Purohit, Rasha Zamamiri and Ian Fields Stewart.
And for an evening of fun and new and inventive short sci-fi plays, come join us at NY MADNESS on Sunday, Jan 28, at 8pm. USE code NYMFRIENDS for $5 tix!!
In just over a week, I start my next adventure with these 4 delightful human beings as a playwriting fellow at the Juilliard School.
The top photo: Class of #AreYouNotEntertained – from L to R, Jonathan Payne, Jenny Rachel Weiner, me, Krista Knight, and Tearrance Arvelle Chisolm (expert photoshop job courtesy Krista.)
The second one: DLA himself making me the happiest girl in midtown when I met him at a Q&A+signing at the Drama Bookstore.
Long overdue updates, because my life turned inside out and sideways these past two months.
It’s official – my play QUEEN will get its world premiere at Victory Gardens in March-April 2017, directed by the brilliant Joanie Schultz! The play has been developed at the Center Theatre Group Writer’s Workshop, the API 2×2 lab at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Blank Theatre’s Living Room Series and currently – as I type this! – at the Hedgebrook writer’s retreat in Washington.
I moved to New York at the beginning of April with my wonderful boyfriend and it’s been a time of serious change.
And with amazing timing, I’ve been ridiculously fortunate enough to be part of the Hedgebrook Playwrights Festival at Whidbey Island. Truly, I can’t think too much about where I am right now without getting emotional. 2 weeks of being housed and fed in astonishingly beautiful conditions with incredible food, and incredible company, with my only responsibilities towards my writing and my own well being. I was desperately in need of this forced break from real life, from the internet (more or less) – this immersion back into my plays. This nurture, care and agency. Hedgebrook will stay with me forever.
SEATTLE: Readings from works in progress by the 2016 Hedgebrook Playwrights: Kristiana Rae Colón, Virginia Grise, Dawn Renee Jones, Regina Taylor – and me!
When: Monday, May 16 at 7:00 PM
Where: Seattle Repertory Theatre | 155 Mercer St, Seattle, WA
Please email email@example.com if the ticket price represents a financial hardship.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
A couple of things-
My play ‘Monkey Love’ will have a reading (a 30 minute excerpt) as part of Ingenue Theatre’s Short Plays: South Asia festival in the exotic land of Brooklyn.
As part of the promos, they asked for a brief thing about what inspires me to write. So I wrote this.
Sometimes I fancy myself an invisible anthropologist.
I was born in San Jose, CA, and moved to Chennai, India when I was nine. I lived in India till I was 20, and currently live in Los Angeles, but even today, I can’t quite figure out what ‘home’ is, exactly.
I grew up in India always feeling a bit like an alien- but an invisible one. I looked like everyone else for the first time in my life, but somehow I couldn’t relate to the people around me. I was a stranger on the inside, and no one could tell.
Here, of course, I’m a minority, but in one of the most diverse cities in the country, a place where most people come to, not leave from. I’m different, but in Los Angeles, that lets me blend in.
And so I observe. Whether in India, hiding behind the way I look, or in LA, just another out-of-towner among many. I’m an invisible anthropologist. Always one step removed.
And so, I write.
And here’s what I discovered a few days ago through my friend Chitra on Facebook, that I absolutely love. I love this. This is everything.
A Nice Indian Boy in particular was a labour of love. I wanted to gift the play to my parents. I wrote with them in mind, and with the excitement and anticipation of sharing it with them. It is my gift to them, in the only way I can make one. Through this play I hoped to show them that I not only loved them, but that I respected them, and that I understood them- and understood myself. It’s the best thing I’ve ever written, and it’s a gift to the two people I love most.