• Sunday, July 1, 2018
  • A Nice Indian Boy

    East West Players, 2014. Photo by Michael Lamont

    Full-length. 3M, 2F.

    Naveen Gavaskar just wants a traditional Indian marriage to a nice Indian… boy. While his parents are trying to wrap their heads around this strange idea, his older sister returns home and drops a bombshell of her own. A comedy about love and marriage today- gay or straight, arranged or not.

    2nd place winner of the 2012 East West Players ‘Face of the Future’ Playwriting Award.

    Production History:
    East West Players, Los Angeles. February 2014. Director: Snehal Desai
    Rasaka Theatre, Victory Gardens, Chicago, February 2015. Director: Anna Bahow
    EnActe Theatre, Mountain View, CA. February 2016 and June 2017. Director: Ranjita Chakravarthy

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

    Reviews, Press & Other Updates

  • Friday, June 1, 2018
  • In Love and Warcraft

    Alliance Theatre; Photo by Greg Mooney

    Full-length. 3F, 3M

    Evie Malone, a college senior and closet romantic, plays Warcraft with her online boyfriend and fixes other people’s relationships. Sure, she doesn’t have a sex life, but who really needs that… right?

    Buy now on Samuel French

    Winner of the 2013/14 Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Contest.

    Selected Production History:

    Alliance Theatre – Atlanta, GA. February 2014. Director: Laura Kepley
    No Rules Theatre Company, Signature Theatre – Arlington, VA. January 2015. Director: Joshua Morgan
    Halcyon Theatre – Chicago, IL. August 2015. Director: Tlaloc Rivas.
    Artists at Play – Los Angeles: September 2015. Director: Alejandra Cisneros
    Custom Made Theatre – San Francisco: November 2015. Director: James Nelson.


    Reviews:

    Washington Post: “Theater is a confident art form in the hands of dramatist Madhuri Shekar. Her comedy “In Love and Warcraft” pokes fun at the video game industry, chronicling the travails of a college student who’s addicted to online fantasy role-play. […] As seen in a highly entertaining No Rules Theatre Company production, directed by Joshua Morgan, the play is a bona fide romantic comedy, succeeding so blithely in the format that launched innumerable Hugh Grant flicks that you almost can see Hollywood flailing in the rear-view mirror.” – Celia Wren

    Broadway World (Washington, DC): “Like Evie, the emotional center of In Love and Warcraft who is surprised to discover she has a full heart, this new play by Madhuri Shekar at No Rules Theatre Company is full of heart, overflowing with warmth and good humor to balance the challenges of intimacy in a world that does not respond logically to strategy and commands. – Pamela Roberts

    Atlanta Journal Constitution: “The winner of the 2014 Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition, [the play is] a canny blend of Jane Austen and Cyrano de Bergerac — as viewed through a geeky collegiate lens. Shekar stirs up great comedic shenanigans and one wholly original theatrical interlude. Over 10 years, the Alliance’s playwriting competition has identified the literary stars of the next generation. Shekar is no exception. In Love and Warcraft is a fresh look at the strange social behaviors spawned by Internet culture, where love and loneliness spar like the masters and the monsters of the universe.” – Wendell Brock

    New City Stage: “It’s rare to see a “nerd” character in a play not being treated as a joke or a stereotype, and Evie truly feels like a fully realized human being. In fact, Madhuri Shekar’s script treats each of its characters, including Evie, her sex-addicted roommate Kitty (Claire Reinhart, who owns the stage every time she’s in a scene), and her love interests – Raul (Kroydell Galima) and Ryan (Brian Bradford) like real, fully formed people… some of whom just happen to spend time going on raids with their level thirty-four Night Elf Hunters. […] “In Love and Warcraft” is fun, funny and, by the end, deeply touching.” – Sean Kelley

    DC Metro Theatre Arts: “In Love and Warcraft will be a treat for the curious theater-goer. […] a most tantalizing theater on the cutting-edge of the new. This is good news for DC area theater-goers who hunger for some atypical and distinctive new tastes.” – David Siegel

    DC Theatre Scene: “[T]he first scene of No Rules Theatre Company’s DC premiere is a collision between romance and fantasy combat, heartfelt pleas and argot-filled cacophony, broad sex humor and genuinely human connection. It’s as all-encompassing an introduction to the play you’re about to see as you could ask for – if the title, In Love and Warcraft, wasn’t clear enough – and the more you enjoy its juxtapositions and energy the more you’ll love what follows.” – Brett Steven Abelman

    Atlanta Cultural Arts Review: “The Alliance presents this incredible premiere of this work, which won the 2014 Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition. […] The show progresses from real life to WOW in the second act, and when the Avatars show up it is some of best costuming and funniest acting you’ll ever see.”  – RJH

    Reviews, Press & Other Updates

  • 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, February 11, 2018
  • Playwrights get a new stage: Audible announces 15 writers for audio theater project

    Playwrights get a new stage: Audible announces 15 writers for audio theater project

  • 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

    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.

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

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

    Reviews, Press & Other Updates

  • Friday, December 9, 2016
  • What Can Theatre Do? A Post-Election Colloquy

    I was very happy to contribute to Part 2 of American Theatre Magazine’s round-up. It forced be to reckon with my feelings and organize my thoughts – i.e., yay writing.

    My as-of-now fiance (eee!) Seamus Sullivan helped a lot with writing this piece.

    http://www.americantheatre.org/2016/11/30/what-can-theatre-do-a-post-election-colloquy-part-2/


    I worry that we can continue to do what we do, we can continue to create and produce the best art we can, but without a fundamental shift in the economic accessibility and social inclusivity of theatre, we’ll continue just talking to ourselves.

    The forces that shaped the election are systemic and deeply complex, and the problems that assail theatre are similar in nature. Theatre in the U.S. is fundamentally elitist because the only people who can access it—both as audiences and artists—require time, capital (financial and social), and education to feel like they belong. That has to change. A lot of smart people have been trying to change this for a long time, and now it’s more vital than ever to listen, learn, and push forward.

    After the election, I wondered if one possible short-term solution was for a billionaire to fund community theatres across the country with enough money and resources to produce free theatre for the next five years. I floated this idea to Chicago playwright Dawn Renee Jones, and her response was that it would be better to use that money to train and hire arts educators instead, in communities that are underserved for arts education. Empower as many people as possible to be artists, then support local theatres in producing local art. I love that idea, so if anyone reading this has a billionaire friend, let’s talk.

    But on an individual level, we do have to continue doing what we do. The morning after the election, I thought my writing career was over, because it just seemed too painful to continue engaging with the world. Luckily, that feeling passed. As scared and worried as I may be, I am excited for the art that we are going to create. Let’s continue. Let’s challenge ourselves to expand our understanding of the world, illuminate its complexity, and open our hearts to different lives and experiences. Let’s try and make each other laugh.

    While a benevolent billionaire might be nice, there are still things we can do, like going to bat for artists without MFAs or college degrees, vouching for future artistic leaders from underrepresented backgrounds, and volunteering our time, if possible, as teaching artists in our local communities (organizations like Young Storytellers in L.A. are a great place to start).

    And finally, theatre alone is not going to save our country or the fate of our planet. But it can better prepare us to be responsible citizens. We’re all doing this for a reason: because making and consuming theatre brings us joy and meaning. So let’s use theatre to help us survive the next few years, but also channel that energy and force of community to protest and fight. Staying engaged with our world is hard and painful, but as theatremakers, that’s part of the job description already. We just have to take it to the next level—and be there for each other as we do.

  • Sunday, February 7, 2016
  • ‘In Love and Warcraft’ in Scotland!

    In Love and Warcraft just had its FIRST international production in Edinburgh, Scotland! So exciting. Produced by Beam Theatre and directed by Andra Roston. 

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    Cast interviews on Beam Theatre’s YouTube Channel. (Those accents!!)

    A couple of reviews:

    In Review: In Love And Warcraft (DownTheTubes.net)

    In Love and Warcraft (AllEdinburghTheatre.com)

    Some press (before opening). (Edinburgh News)

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    So great. I love it.

  • Thursday, December 24, 2015
  • What’s the tumblr equivalent of a latergram? This was from last Wednesday, December 16, when my playwriting class presented an evening of excerpts from their new plays at the East West Players David Henry Hwang Theatre. Very grateful to this amazing group of human beings for helping me create a safe, productive, nurturing environment. We started in September and worked for around 12 weeks on developing new plays. It was tough but so rewarding. It was my first go-around at being a playwriting instructor (as opposed to being a theatre history instructor at USC) and I learned a lot. Looking forward to my next opportunity to do it again.

  • Tuesday, December 22, 2015
  • Off and On: A New York Theatre podcast : Episode 114: Madhuri Shekar

    Off and On: A New York Theatre podcast : Episode 114: Madhuri Shekar

  • Saturday, November 21, 2015
  • This week I got to do a fun thing to help support gender parity in American Theatre. Thanks to The Kilroys for letting me be a part of this celebration. Read more about the #parityraid #cakedrop at the LA FPI blog.

    (via LA FPI » Delivering cake for gender parity!)