• 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.

    🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝

  • Monday, September 3, 2018
  • Queen

    Photo by Liz Lauren, Victory Gardens 2017

    Full length. 2f, 2m

    World Premiere at Victory Gardens, Chicago, April 2017. Directed by Joanie Schultz.

    Recent and Upcoming productions:
    Seattle: August 2018. Directed by Agastya Kohli, Produced by Pratidhwani and ACT
    Cupertino: September 2018. Directed by Vinita Sud Belani, Produced by EnActe Theatre.
    New York: February 2019. Details to be announced.

    Synopsis
    Sanam Shah, a mathematician, and Ariel Spiegel, a biologist, are PhD candidates and best friends working together to discover the cause of colony collapse disorder – the urgent, ecological crisis where bees are disappearing around the world in alarming numbers. Just as they are about to publish a career-defining new paper on the subject, calling for a ban on commercial pesticides, Sanam realizes that the numbers don’t add up to support their conclusion. Should she look the other way for the sake of environmental action, or should she stand by her scientific principles, even if it means ceding ground to an ecological disaster, jeopardizing her career, and losing her best friend?

    Development History:

    June 2013/14 Center Theatre Group Writer’s Workshop, Los Angeles
    August 2014 Oregon Shakespeare Festival Black Swan Lab, Ashland
    July 2015 Victory Gardens Ignition Festival, Chicago
    October 2015 Blank Theatre Living Room Series, Los Angeles
    March 2017 Ma-Yi Labfest, New York

    Reviews, Press & Other Updates

  • 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

  • Saturday, June 24, 2017
  • Queen makes the Kilroy’s List!

    QUEEN made The Kilroy’s List of most recommended plays by women and trans writers of color this year! Check out the complete list and add them all to your summer reading list 📚 🎭 ☀️ ❤️  thekilroys.org/list-2017

    You can read the full script of QUEEN on the New Play Exchange.

    VarietyBroadway, Take Note: These Female Playwrights of Color Should Be on Your Radar

    This year, the Kilroys opted to focus specifically on works by female or trans writers of color. The move was spurred in part by the ongoing study The Count, which in 2015 found that over a three-year period, 22% of productions at America’s nonprofit theaters were written by women — and of those, less than 4% were penned by writers of color.

  • Thursday, May 4, 2017
  • Press and production photos for QUEEN!

    “RECOMMENDED
    Brainy & Entertaining. This timely story about the interplay of science, conscience and the heart offers a most winning test case.”
    -Chicago Sun-Times

    “Awesome! Two powerhouse women fighting convention. QUEEN lifts up women in a way that’s intellectual and passionate.”
    -PerformInk

    “Intriguing, funny, and highly relevant. A cerebral version of the sexual cat-and-mouse games.”
    -TheaterJones

    “Engrossing. An excellent quartet of players… who give performances of conviction and realism. QUEEN should go forth into the regional theatre world as a popular selection.”/
    -ChicagolandTheaterReviews.com

    Priya Mohanty is a scientist, and she plays one in QUEEN at Victory Gardens Theater
    Chicago Tribune

    Victory Gardens Theater Hosts Special Earth Day Celebration Surrounding the World Premiere of QUEEN
    BroadwayWorld

    To Bee Or Not to Bee Friends? Scientists Question Their Working Relationship In ‘Queen’
    Rebellious Magazine

    ‘Queen’ Premiere at Chicago’s Victory Gardens Theater (VIDEO)
    Playwright Madhuri Shekar visits CBS 2 to discuss the world premiere of ‘Queen.’
    CBS Chicago

    Drama! Music! Dissident Art! Aerialists! The Best Events in Chicago (Week of 4/13)
    Crain’s Chicago Business

  • Thursday, April 20, 2017
  • Early press for QUEEN!

    We are nearing the end of previews for QUEEN at Victory Gardens – here’s a round-up of early press before we open tomorrow night!

    Chicago Tribune: Priya Mohanty is a scientist, and she plays one in ‘Queen’ at Victory Gardens Theater

    Mohanty says she’s received more rejections in the last two years of acting than she has, cumulatively, in the rest of her entire life. Throughout “Queen,” Sanam faces similar uncertainty. There’s her imperfect model, friendship and potential romance, all progressing and regressing on their own time. But she finds the humor in all its unpredictability.

    “I saw Priya’s audition tapes and I was like, oh my God, she’s so funny,” says playwright Shekar. “And immediately I was like yes, yes, yes, this character’s very funny. An utterly guileless but very confident woman. There’s something about that combination that’s endearing.”


    CBS 2 Morning News: ‘Queen’ Premiere At Chicago’s Victory Gardens Theater

    I did a morning show interview about the play! My first Live TV thing. 


    Rebellious Magazine:  To Bee Or Not to Bee Friends? Scientists Question Their Working Relationship In ‘Queen’

    While the fictional camaraderie on stage is at risk, real life bonds have formed off stage. [Director Joanie] Schultz describes her experience with Madhuri as “so much fun because we’ve been able to share stories about the friendships we’ve had. Then there’s our fantastic female actors…[and] Chelsea Warren (scenic design), Heather Gilbert (lighting design), and Janice Pytel (costume design)…Their perspective has been vital to how we’ve conceived the onstage life of this play…Madhuri does a beautiful job fleshing out the unique friendship between women who work together.”


    QUEEN runs at Victory Gardens till May 14!

  • Tuesday, May 10, 2016
  • QUEEN at Victory Gardens, New York and Hedgebrook

    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.

    Check out the announcements in Time Out, American Theatre Magazine and Chicago Sun-Times.


    I moved to New York at the beginning of April with my wonderful boyfriend and it’s been a time of serious change.

    image

    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. 

    image

    Up next:

    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
    Tickets: $15
    Please email rsvp@hedgebrook.org if the ticket price represents a financial hardship.

  • Monday, October 5, 2015
  • Tonight at 8pm at @theblanktheatre a staged reading of my new play QUEEN. Smart scientists try to save the bees without destroying their ethics or their friendship. I’m not great at summaries. But I’m excited to see the play up on its feet. 🐝🐝🐝🐝

  • Wednesday, April 1, 2015
  • How I find out about stuff.

    [begin gchat conversation with my brilliant playwright friend Stephanie Swirsky]

    Stephanie: hey congrats on being a finalist for playpenn!

    Me: WHATwhat????

    Stephanie: ??

    Me: WAIT WHAT

    Stephanie: LOL

    Me: What/?????dude

    Stephanie: http://us3.campaign-archive1.com/?u=85b3520ecea87fd08d2a5c3a2&id=125d911654&e=605ead9648

    Me: OHHHhahahadudefor a second i thought you were april fooling me

    Stephanie: ??did they not email you…?

    Me: NO!hahahahahahhahahahaha

    Stephanie: what!

    Me: oh but this great 🙂

    Stephanie: LOL

    Me: thanks for letting me know 🙂 🙂

    And what an amazing group of writers to be featured with. Happy!