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Beyond Bollywood and Broadway: Plays from the South Asian Diaspora

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Aug 10, 2009
Aug 11, 2009
Segal Theater

For two days in August, join us we host a launch and series of readings celebrating Beyond Bollywood and Broadway: Plays from the South Asian Diaspora, a collection of South Asian diasporic plays. Edited by Neilesh Bose, this book includes eleven plays from the United States, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Canada, the four main English-speaking regions of the diaspora.

Showcasing themes like immigrant consciousness, race and racialism, intra- and inter-ethnic conflict and solidarity, socio-economic class, and adaptations of classic Western drama, this collection of plays represents a diverse set of aesthetics and politics. Integrating veteran talents like the South African Ronnie Govender, American theatre and television personalities like Aasif Mandvi, and British Asian innovators like Jatinder Verma and Rukhsana Ahmad, the program will feature the most contemporary dramatic literature emanating from the diaspora today. With special guests Aroon Shivdasani (Director of the Indo-American Arts Council), Ian Morgan (Assoc. Artistic Director, The New Group), and Paul Knox, Playwright.

Playwrights invited include:
Aasif Mandvi, Shishir Kurup, Anuvab Pal, Rukshana Ahmad, Jatinder Verma, Sudha Bhuchar & Kristin Landon-Smith, Rana Bose, Rahul Varma, Ronnie Govender, & Kriben Pillay.

Curated and co-produced by the editor, Dr. Neilesh Bose, in close collaboration with Dr. Frank Hentschker.
With additional support from the Indo-American Arts Council, The Lark Play Development Center, SALAAM Theatre, South Asian Theatre Movement (SATAM), and the New Group Theatre.

Neilesh Bose is an historian and theatre artist who specializes in South Asia history, South Asian diasporas, and performance studies. He holds a PhD in South Asian history from Tufts University. In addition to his edited anthology, Beyond Bollywood and Broadway: Plays from the South Asian Diaspora (Indiana, 2009), other theatre-related publications include a translation, jointly with Sudipto Chatterjee, of Utpal Dutt’s play The Rights of Man (Maanusher Adhikare) (Seagull, 2009) and Shylock and Sharuk: The Creation of a South Asian American Aesthetic in South Asian Popular Culture (2009 special summer edition).

Additional information on the author and the book can be found here:



4:00 p.m., Mon. & Tue., August 10-11th, 2009
Martin E. Segal Theatre. Free!

Schedule of Events

DAY 1: Monday August 10th, 2009

4 – 4:30 p.m.

Welcome & Opening Address, Neilesh Bose
The South Asian Diasporic Performative and Historical Ecumene

Session 1: United Kingdom

4:30 – 5:30 p.m. Rukshana Ahmad’s Song for a Sanctuary, directed by Geeta Citygirl
Jatinder Verma’s 2001: A Ramayana Odyssey, directed by Shishir Kurup

5:30 – 6 p.m., Discussion, moderated by Rita Wolf

Session 2: South Africa

7 – 8 p.m., Ronnie Govender’s The Lahnee’s Pleasure, directed by Ian Morgan
Kessie Govender’s Working Class Hero, directed by Ian Morgan

8 – 8:45 p.m., Discussion, moderated by Neilesh Bose

8:45 – 10 p.m. – Reception

DAY 2: Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009

4 p.m.

Keynote Address, Introduction by Neilesh Bose

4 – 4:45 p.m., Who am I? South African Indian Theatre and Indian South Africans, with Ronnie Govender

Session 3: North America

4:45 – 5:30 p.m., North American Plays I

Anuvab Pal, Chaos Theory, directed by Gita Reddy

6:30 – 7:30 p.m., North American Plays II
Rana Bose, Death of Abbie Hoffman, directed by Geeta Citygirl
Rahul Varma, Bhopal, directed by Geeta Citygirl

7:30 – 8:15 p.m., North American Plays III
Shishir Kurup, Merchant on Venice, directed by the author

8:15 – 9 p.m. – Discussion led by Fawzia Afzal-Khan

8:45 – 10 p.m.- Reception