• Thursday, April 16, 2020
  • In the midst of life being shut down…

    Wanted to celebrate a major milestone for my career, as the future of our field looks nebulous for the next few years…

    Madhuri Shekar Named Recipient of 2020 Lanford Wilson Award

    The New Dramatists fellow will be honored this summer.

    NEW YORK CITY: The Dramatists Guild of America has announced that the recipient of the 2020 Lanford Wilson Award is Madhuri Shekar. The playwright will be honored at the Guild’s annual awards ceremony on Monday, July 27, at Joe’s Pub in New York City.

    The Lanford Wilson Award is named after the Pulitzer-winning, Tony-nominated playwright—and longtime Dramatists Guild Council member—who died in 2011. Established by a generous contribution from Wilson’s estate, and matched by a contribution from the Guild, the award is presented annually by the Dramatists Guild Council to a dramatist, based primarily on their work as an early-career playwright. Previous recipients are Francine Volpe, Mike Lew, Chisa Hutchinson, Lauren Gunderson, Christopher Chen, Martyna Majok, Isaac Gomez, R. Eric Thomas, Abe Koogler, and Charly Evon Simpson.

    Madhuri Shekar’s plays include In Love and Warcraft, A Nice Indian Boy, Queen, House of Joy, and Dhaba on Devon Avenue. Her audio play Evil Eye was named one of the top 10 Audible titles of 2019. She is a graduate of the Juilliard playwriting program and a fellow at New Dramatists.

    The awards ceremony will now be a virtual event, as most things are. So grateful to the Dramatists Guild for this boost, so happy that they enjoyed my plays and thought me worthy of this honor. I submitted Queen and Evil Eye for consideration, and there are a litany of amazing mentors and institutions behind both of those plays – Center Theatre Group, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and Victory Gardens which gave Queen it’s final developmental push and world premiere. The amazing team at Audible Theatre for Evil Eye. Joanie Schultz and Chay Yew for Queen, Megan Sandberg-Zakian and Emilia LaPenta for Evil Eye.


    Our beloved play Dhaba on Devon Avenue, was shut down two weeks before its world premiere, a proactive and courageous step by Victory Gardens to protect the health of our team and our audiences. It was a major blow. But our director Chay Yew penned this incredibly moving missive in American Theatre Magazine, one that I will treasure forever.

    We Had to Close ‘Dhaba,’ but Our Story Is Not Ended

    The immigrants of Madhuri Shekar’s play, and my own forebears, have a message for us: We survived so you will survive.

    Chay writes…

    In the last weeks, Dhaba gave us the rare opportunity to honor our families and communities. Table work was deeply moving and personal as we all shared the tremendous sacrifices our immigrant families made to make this country their second home. Madhuri’s powerful play is a tribute to anyone who has braved oceans and deserts to reach these United States. I wouldn’t trade the time we spent in the rehearsal room for anything in the world. We’d love to have shared Dhaba with our South Asian community in Chicago, as it’s a valentine and testament to all of them. I know we will celebrate them another time and soon.

    Read the full essay here.


    My other two March productions were also shut down, but got brief rebirths virtually.

    House of Joy at San Diego Rep enjoyed a virtual run, as a recording of the invited dress rehearsal was made available to watch for a limited time. I got to experience the recording in the most joyful way possible – the cast and creative team of the CalShakes world premiere of House of Joy convened on Zoom, and we watched the stream together, chatting and sharing our enthusiasm the whole time.

    And the cast of Antigone, presented by the Girls of St. Catherine’s at Sacred Fools got to show off their chops in a Zoom excerpt of the play, shared to the Instagram page Theatre Without Theatre. You can watch it here!


    It is a devastating time for everyone around the world. Unprecedented in our sorrow and loss. But the epicenters of New York and New Jersey, where I live, are hurting so terribly. If you are reading this, I hope you and yours are as safe and well as possible right now.

  • Saturday, December 14, 2019
  • EVIL EYE makes Audible best-of list!

    I’m so thrilled to share this. EVIL EYE is one of the TOP TEN Audible titles of 2019…

    and was selected as the best in category in ‘Mysteries and Thrillers’!

    Mysteries & Thrillers Winner: Evil Eye

    [N]othing hit harder than Evil Eye, Madhuri Shekar’s riveting play that turned everything we thought we knew about meddlesome mothers—and frankly, what an audio thriller can be—on its head. In less than two hours, it took us for a wild ride via long distance phone calls, a brilliant ensemble cast, and a refreshing Indian American narrative. Along the way, Shekar whispered deep truths about generational and cultural divides, female intuition, and a mother’s love. For me, that was the ultimate thrill.” —Kat, Audible Editor

    You can listen to the play here: audible.com/EvilEye

  • Monday, August 6, 2018
  • QUEEN in Seattle

    My play QUEEN is currently running in Seattle, presented by ACTLab and Pratidhwani. Directed by Agasty Kohli. Closes August 19.

    Tickets and more info here! https://acttheatre.org/actlab/2018-2/queen-aug-19/

    Dates: August 3-19, 2018
    Runtime: about 1 hour and 40 minutes and will be presented without an intermission
    Location: Bullitt Cabaret

    PhD candidates Sanam and Ariel have spent the better part of the last decade exhaustively researching vanishing bee populations across the globe. Just as these close friends are about to publish a career-defining paper, Sanam stumbles upon an error, which could jeopardize their reputations, careers, and friendship. How far will you go to defend your ethics and standards of integrity, and at what cost? Queen by Madhuri Shekar is a play about pursuit of truth, relationships, and bees.

    “In matters of conscience, the law of the majority has no place. Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth. When you know the truth, the truth makes you a soldier.” – Mahatma Gandhi

  • Sunday, May 13, 2018
  • See Inside the Lincoln Center Theater Event Raising Visibility for the South Asian Theater Community | Playbill

    See Inside the Lincoln Center Theater Event Raising Visibility for the South Asian Theater Community | Playbill

  • Thursday, March 1, 2018
  • BIG NEWS!

    Victory Gardens’ new season will include plays by Paula Vogel, Ike Holter and Madhuri Shekar 

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    So so so so happy to share that I’m coming back to Chicago with a new play at Victory Gardens, premiering June 2019, directed by Chay Yew himself! (!!!!!!!) And I get to share the season with some of the best plays and playwrights in America today. I can’t believe it.

  • Sunday, January 21, 2018
  • Three things in January!

    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.

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    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.

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    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!!

  • Sunday, November 5, 2017
  • Antigone, presented by the girls of St. Catherine’s

    Alliance Theatre, photo by Casey Gardner

    One-act (90 minutes). 6f, 1m

    World Premiere at the Alliance Theatre, April 30 – May 9 2015. Director: Laura Hackman

    Upcoming:
    March 2020, Los Angeles. Directed by Reena Dutt, Produced by Sacred Fools Theatre Company.

    The St. Catherine’s drama club is struggling to put up its first school play – Sophocles’ Antigone. As if staging this tragedy in an all girls’ Catholic school isn’t challenging enough, the cast’s beloved director ends up betraying them in an unforgivable way. And it’s almost opening night! The actors must then figure out the right course of action, all while rehearsing the classic play about impossibly difficult choices. What is the right thing to do? And must the show go on?

    Commissioned by the Alliance Theatre for their Teen Ensemble Arts program.

    Script Inquiries: Beth Blickers, bblickers@apa-agency.com

    Reviews, Press & Other Updates

  • Thursday, August 3, 2017
  • HOUSE OF JOY / AUG 10 – Atlantic Theater Company

    HOUSE OF JOY / AUG 10 – Atlantic Theater Company