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World Premiere New Classic

House of Joy

by Madhuri Shekar
directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian
Aug 14-Sep 1

A darling of the 2018 Bay Area Playwrights Festival, House of Joy is an action-adventure romance set in a harem at the beginning of the end of the Mughal Empire. Once upon a time and place, in something like 17th century Delhi, an imperial bodyguard risks her life to fight for what's right, turning against everything she's been raised to believe.

Madhuri Shekar is a playwright based in New York City and a current fellow of the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program at Juilliard. She is currently developing Evil Eye (a commission from Audible), Hockey Play (a commission from South Coast Rep), and Miriam For President, which will be produced at Victory Gardens in 2019, directed by Chay Yew. Her play Queen had its World Premiere in April 2017 at Victory Gardens Theatre in Chicago, was nominated for a Jeff Award for Best New Play and made the 2017 Kilroy’s List. She is the 2013/14 winner of the Kendeda Graduate Playwriting contest held by the Alliance Theatre for her play In Love and Warcraft, published by Samuel French. The Alliance Theatre then commissioned and produced two further plays – Bucket of Blessings and Antigone, Presented by the Girls of St. Catherine’s. Her play A Nice Indian Boy had its world premiere at East West Players and has been produced in Chicago by the Rasaka Theatre Company and EnActe Arts in San Francisco. Her plays have also been developed or showcased at Center Theatre Group, the Old Globe, the Kennedy Center, the Hedgebrook Playwrights Festival (in conjunction with Seattle Rep) and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She has an MFA in Dramatic Writing from USC, and a dual Master’s degree in Global Media and Communications from the London School of Economics and USC. She is a member of the Ma-Yi writers lab and the Ars Nova Play Group in New York and a co-creator of the Shakespearean web series, Titus and Dronicus

Megan Sandberg-Zakian is a freelance theater director based in Jamaica Plain, MA, and a co-founder of Maia Directors, a consulting group for artists and organizations engaging with stories from the Middle East and beyond. Recent directing projects include the world premiere of Nathan Alan Davis' Nat Turner in Jerusalem at New York Theatre Workshop, the world premiere of Eleanor Burgess' Chill at Merrimack Repertory Theatre, and Dominique Morisseau's Skeleton Crew at The Huntington Theatre Company. She has previously served as the Associate Artistic Director of Underground Railway Theater (Cambridge, MA), the Providence Black Repertory Company (RI), and The 52nd Street Project (NYC), and is currently the Director-in-Residence at Merrimack Repertory Theatre in Lowell, MA. Megan is a recipient of the Princess Grace Theater Award and the TCG Future Leaders fellowship, an alumna of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, and a proud member of SDC. She is a graduate of Brown University and holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College.


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