Rasaka Theatre Company and Premiere Theatre & Performance Present culture/clash: three plays about the South Asian Diaspora
Amrita Dhaliwal (L) and Jordan Kohl (R) in "Night Shift,"
WHAT: Rasaka Theatre Company presents culture/clash: three plays about the South Asian Diaspora, a trio of world premieres penned by South Asian playwrights. The production will include:
This unique evening of plays is the result of a weekend playwriting workshop in August of 2008 for South Asian theatre artists, the brainchild of Rasaka’s founding Executive Director Anita Chandwaney, in response to the challenge of finding plays written by or about South Asians or South Asian Americans. Ms. Chandwaney recalled an inspiring workshop she had participated in at Chicago Dramatists, and enlisted the same teacher, playwright Will Dunne, to lead the Rasaka weekend.
Continuing the development of the new works created that weekend, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs offered space for workshops and staged readings, which directly led to the selection of the three plays in “culture/clash”, based on feedback from theatre professionals.
"The title culture/clash was chosen because each of the three plays features South Asian protagonists interacting with people from different backgrounds (British, Southern and American Indian),” reports director Lavina Jadhwani. “From these interactions, the characters learn something about another culture while simultaneously re-examining their own heritage.” Ms. Jadhwani, a first generation American herself, has found a passion in directing the stories of South and East Asians, including Yoni Ki Baat (Rasaka Theatre Company/Premiere Theatre & Performance), Ching Chong Chinaman (Silk Road Theatre Project), Gandhi Marg (Chicago Dramatists), Desi Women and the Diaspora (Remy Bumppo/Rasaka).
This production is sponsored by the Kiran Bavikatte Memorial Foundation.
WHERE: Strawdog Theatre, 3829 N. Broadway St., Chicago, IL 60613
WRITERS: Rasaka ensemble members Anita Chandwaney (Gandhi Marg, finalist: Chicago Dramatists’ Many Voices Project) and Angeli Primlani (international journalist, incl. NPR’s All Things Considered) with Pushkar Sharma.
STAFF: Rasaka ensemble members Lavina Jadhwani (Director) and Angeli Primlani
RASAKA’S MISSION: Rasaka Theatre Company, the Midwest’s first South Asian-American ensemble, is dedicated to increasing diversity among artists and audiences by engaging and illuminating the South Asian American experience. Rasaka is particularly dedicated to providing a platform for the artistic expression of South Asian artists, encompassing the production of theatrical projects – newly created, adapted and already established. Rasaka aims to broaden, strengthen and enrich the experience of the theatre going audience thereby enhancing the local, regional, national and international reputation of Chicago theatre.
PREMIERE THEATRE & PERFORMANCE’S MISSION: The mission of Premiere Theatre & Performance (PTAP) is to present new plays and original performance by directors of vision and originality. PTAP creates a home for stage directors, in an environment that encourages development, creativity and artistic integrity.