Goodman Theater announces cast for Shakuntala by Lavina Jadhwani

Goodman Theater announces cast for Shakuntala by Lavina Jadhwani
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Goodman Theater announces cast for Shakuntala by Lavina Jadhwani

Goodman Theatre announces the cast for the FREE live reading of its newest Future Labs play, SHAKUNTALA by Lavina Jadhwani and directed by Sophiyaa Nayar (see below).

The FREE virtual reading of SHAKUNTALA premieres June 26 at 7pm. Registration for this FREE event is required. For more information, visit GoodmanTheatre.org/Shakuntala.

The Goodman is grateful for the generosity of its New Work sponsors, including: Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation and the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, Major Support of New Work; Ruth D. and Ken M. Davee New Works Fund, Major Support of New Play Development; The Glasser and Rosenthal Family, Mayer Brown LLP, and Shaw Family Supporting Organization, Support of New Work.

Goodman Theater in Chicago, Photo courtesy of the Goodman Theater

Goodman Theater in Chicago, Photo courtesy of the Goodman Theater

Shakuntala is celebrating her new marriage to the king when a sage places a spell on her beloved so that he forgets his wife’s face. Inspired by Kalidasa’s 4th-century drama, Lavina Jadhwani’sBollywood-infused SHAKUNTALA, directed by Sophiyaa Nayar, is a playful, irreverent and totally contemporary take on loosing and finding love, and where we come from.

Full Company of SHAKUNTALA
By Lavina Jadhwani
Directed by Sophiyaa Nayar

 

Jesse Bhamrah…………………..……….King
Anand Bhatt………………………….……Pandu/Durvasas
Vikram Konkimalla………..…….….….…Boy
Shishir Kurup……………….….…….……Kanva
Miriam A. Laube…………………..…….…Mother Guatami/Queen Mother
Tina Muñoz Pandya…………………….…Priya
Aila Peck…………………….…….……..…Shakuntala
Jasmine Sharma……………………….…..Anushka
Levin Valayil……………………..…………Madhavya

 

Nina Jayashankar…………..….…..…..…Stage Directions Reader

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT AND DIRECTOR

Lavina Jadhwani (Playwright) is a theater director, adaptor and activist. Recent directing credits include As You Like It (Guthrie Theatre); Peter and the Starcatcher (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Roe and The Cake (Asolo Repertory Theatre). Adaptations include Shakuntala, A Christmas Carol (upcoming production, Guthrie Theater), The Cherry Orchard, Three Sisters, Uncle Vanya and The Sitayana (upcoming production, East West Players). Jadhwani lives in Chicago, where she was recently named “One of the Top Fifty People Who Really Perform for Chicago” by Newcity. She received her BFA/MA from Carnegie Mellon University and MFA from The Theatre School at DePaul University. LavinaJadhwani.com 

Sophiyaa Nayar (Director) is from New Delhi, India. She creates interdisciplinary and genre-bending work that places immigrants, migrants and BIPOC at the center of the narrative. She is a member of the Women’s Project Lab 2020-22, an ensemble member with Definition Theatre, a member of Director’s Lab Chicago 2017 and was a resident of Milwaukee Rep’s 2017/18 season. She is part of the SDC Foundation’s Observership Class, through which she worked on Soft Power by Jeanine Tesori and David Henry Hwang at The Public. Recent directing work includes Good Years (Definition Theatre); Being Julia Roberts (Jackalope Theatre); MLK Project (Writers Theatre); EthiopianAmerica (Definition Theatre, BTA Awards for Best Play, Featured Actor and Actress; Jeff Award for Fight Choreography); and Big Little Eyes (Steppenwolf Theatre LookOut Series). She served as Assistant Director for Nollywood Dreams by Jocelyn Bioh (MCC theatre) and A Doll’s House, Part 2 (Steppenwolf Theatre). Her credits also include work with companies such as The New Colony, Steep Theatre, The Story Theatre and American Players Theatre. She is currently workshopping a screenplay with Sundance Collab under Jessica Sharzer. SophiyaaNayar.net

ABOUT FUTURE LABS

Up to nine workshops and presentations of new plays will appear this season as part of Future Labs—the latest effort among Goodman Theatre’s programs that support living writers and develop new plays (including New Stages, Playwrights Unit and more than two dozen individual artist commissions). Designed primarily for Chicago-based writers who have not had a play produced at the Goodman, Future Labs develops works authored and directed by Black, Indigenous, Latinx, AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander), SWANA (South West Asian/North African) and other artists of color. Selected projects receive rehearsal time, artistic, dramaturgical and casting support and an optional free public reading. The new series is curated by Quenna L. Barrett (Associate Director of Education and Engagement), Jonathan L. Green (Literary and New Works Manager) and Alberto Mendoza (Videographer), as well as a Goodman Staff Evaluation Team composed of individuals of intersectional identities and in areas across the theater. 

ABOUT GOODMAN THEATRE

Chicago’s theater since 1925, Goodman Theatre is a not-for-profit arts and community organization in the heart of the Loop, distinguished by the excellence and scope of its artistic programming and community engagement.

Led by Artistic Director Robert Falls and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, the theater’s artistic priorities include new play development (more than 150 world or American premieres), large scale musical theater works and reimagined classics. Artists and productions have earned two Pulitzer Prizes, 22 Tony Awards and more than 160 Jeff Awards, among other accolades. The Goodman is the first theater in the world to produce all 10 plays in August Wilson’s “American Century Cycle.” Its longtime annual holiday tradition A Christmas Carol, now in its fourth decade, has created a new generation of theatergoers in Chicago. The Goodman also frequently serves as a production and program partner with national and international companies and Chicago’s Off-Loop theaters.

Using the tools of the theatrical profession, the Goodman’s Education and Engagement programs aim to develop generations of citizens who understand the cultures and stories of diverse voices. The Goodman’s Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement is the home of these programs, which are offered free of charge for Chicago youth—85% of whom come from underserved communities—schools and life-long learners.

As a cultural and community organization invested in quality, diversity and community, Goodman Theatre is committed to using the art of theater for a better Chicago. Goodman Theatre’s Action Plan for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Anti-Racism and Access (IDEAA) was born out of the belief that progress means action, which includes building on the decades-long commitment to using art, assets and resources to contribute to a more just, equitable and anti-racist society.

Goodman Theatre was founded by William O. Goodman and his family in honor of their son Kenneth, an important figure in Chicago’s cultural renaissance in the early 1900s. The Goodman family’s legacy lives on through the continued work and dedication of Kenneth’s family, including Albert Ivar Goodman, who with his late mother, Edith-Marie Appleton, contributed the necessary funds for the creation of the new Goodman center in 2000.

 

Today, Goodman Theatre leadership also includes the distinguished members of the Artistic Collective: Rebecca Gilman, Henry Godinez, Dael Orlandersmith, Steve Scott, Kimberly Senior, Chuck Smith, Regina Taylor, Henry Wishcamper and Mary Zimmerman. Jeff Hesse is Chairman of Goodman Theatre’s Board of Trustees, Fran Del Boca is Women’s Board President and Megan McCarthy Hayes is President of the Scenemakers Board for young professionals

Ray Hanania

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