DISPROPORTIONATELY AFFECTED: Artistic Director Abdul Shayek Announces His First Season For Tara Theatre With Tickets Available NOW | The Fan Carpet

DISPROPORTIONATELY AFFECTED: Artistic Director Abdul Shayek Announces His First Season For Tara Theatre With Tickets Available NOW


31 May 2021

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‘DISPROPORTIONATELY AFFECTED’
YOUR VOICE, YOUR STORIES, OUR WORLD

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR ABDUL SHAYEK ANNOUNCES HIS FIRST SEASON FOR TARA THEATRE AND SETS OUT PLANS FOR THE ORGANISATION’S FUTURE

BUILDING WILL REOPEN WITH ‘BEYOND LOCKDOWN’ - A PIECE CREATED BY YOUNGER CREATIVES WITH NATASHA KATHI-CHANDRA AND GULERAANA MIR

2020 - 12 NEW WORKS FROM WRITERS INCLUDING HANIF KUREISHI, ABHISHEK MAJUMDAR AND SONALI BHATTACHARYYA DIRECTED BY GITIKA BUTTOO, IQBAL KHAN, POOJA GHAI AND ABDUL SHAYEK

FINAL FAREWELL DIRECTED AND CONCEIVED BY ABDUL SHAYEK- RETRACING STORIES AND DAILY JOURNEYS OF THE DEPARTED, EXPLORING HOW WE SAY GOODBYE TO LOVED ONES LOST DURING COVID-19

FORMERLY TARA ARTS, THE COMPANY WILL REBRAND AS TARA THEATRE AND REOPEN THE BUILDING AS ‘A HOME FOR CHANGE’ WITH PROGRAMMES INCLUDING:

THE LISTENING SPACE - INITIATIVES ADDRESSING THE CHALLENGES FACING THE FREELANCE CULTURAL WORKFORCE, WITH A FOCUS ON THOSE OF SOUTH ASIAN HERITAGE INCLUDING A FUNDING SURGERY AND SEMINAR PROGRAMME

SOUTH ASIAN THEATRE NETWORK - DEVELOPING A SUPPORT STRUCTURE FOR THEATRE PROFESSIONALS

TARA TABLE TALKS - CURATED PANEL DISCUSSIONS EXPLORING  URGENT INDUSTRY AND SOCIETAL ISSUES

CREATIVE PRACTICE DEVELOPMENT - INITIATIVES AROUND MAKING AND PRODUCING WORK 

TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW

ALL PRODUCTIONS ARE COVID-19 SECURE AND WILL ADHERE TO GOVERNMENT GUIDELINES 

Abdul Shayek has announced his first programme for the newly rebranded Tara Theatre. Tara Theatre is the UK’s longest established Asian, Black and ethnically diverse led theatre company. Shayek was appointed in August 2020, beginning a bold new chapter at a moment that has led to unequivocal consensus that things urgently need to change. 

Over forty years since Tara Theatre was founded in 1977, in response to the racist murder of 17-year-old Gurdip Singh Chaggar, the sector and wider society is still grappling with a lack of representation, equity and equality and systemic structures that have a detrimental effect on people from Asian, Black and ethnically diverse backgrounds. Shayek has set out his intention for Tara Theatre to be an agent for this much needed change, addressing the widespread lack of diversity and inclusivity in the theatre sector and beyond. 

Tara Theatre plans to return to its activist roots, with politically charged, innovative theatre on stage. Around the South Wandsworth building they will create a contemporary and democratic space; the centre of a community of artists of all ages from all backgrounds. It will work across the UK, focusing on areas with large South Asian diaspora communities, including Greater Manchester, Leicester, Coventry, Birmingham, Derby and Leeds. 

The first season will champion South Asian artists and amplify their voices. The programme includes FINAL FAREWELL, an outdoor audio journey conceived and directed by Abdul Shayek and written by Sudha Bhuchar exploring how we say a proper goodbye to those lost in the pandemic, culminating in a celebratory finale at Tara Theatre each night. The season will also feature 2020, 12 new monologues from Hassan Abdulrazzak, Shahid Iqbal Khan, BBC Words finalist Amina Atiq, Erinn Dhesi, Reginald Edmund, Carlo Kureishi, Hanif Kureishi, Asif Khan, Yuqun Fan, Abhishek Majumdar, Sumerah Srivastav, Sonali Bhattacharyya (Winner of Theatre Uncut Political Playwrighting Award) and Shreya Sen-Handley (recently announced as the first Indian woman to pen an international opera). The new works are directed by Gitika Buttoo, Iqbal Khan (recently announced as associate director at Birmingham Rep) and Pooja Ghai and Abdul Shayek. The building will reopen with BEYOND LOCKDOWN, a project working with a local school, capturing students' hopes and dreams for the future, putting young people centre stage.

 

 

Abdul Shayek, Artistic Director said “Tara Theatre will be a catalyst and agent for change within the UK theatre landscape, addressing the widespread lack of diversity and inclusivity and changing our sector. Our work will explore the complexities of our world through a South Asian lens, championing contemporary South Asian voices and artists, identifying new narratives, new ideas and new forms and offering a more equitable and representative space.” 

BEYOND LOCKDOWN

Created by Tara Theatre’s Younger Creatives with Guleraana Mir & Natasha Kathi-Chandra
Thursday 10th June & Friday 11th June, 7pm 

Saturday 12th June, 4pm & 7pm

BEYOND LOCKDOWN is a project working with students from a local school, Southfields Academy. In a particularly challenging year for young people, Tara Theatre puts their voices centre stage in a project that captures their hopes and dreams for the future. Under the direction of Natasha Kathi-Chandra the group will create a performance with writer Guleraana Mir to reopen Tara Theatre’s building, putting the future right in the middle of the celebration. The project is indicative of Shayek’s vision for placing co-creation at the heart of all the work the Theatre makes, for all the stories they tell to have been shaped by those with lived experience and to be given equal weight - to ultimately make the programme, organisation and sector culturally democratic.

The show will be an evening of joy and inspiration, laughter and creativity, helping us to imagine a world with hope and light.

 

 

2020

Design by Rachana Jadhav

Lighting Design by Peter Small

Sound Design by Duramaney Kamara

Collection 1: performances from Tuesday 15th June – Saturday 19th June
Collection 2: performances from Tuesday 22nd June – Saturday 26th June
Collection 3: performances from Tuesday 29th June – Saturday 3rd July

Performance times:

Tuesday - Saturday 7.30pm

Thursday matinee at 4pm

Saturday matinee at 1pm & 4pm

Tara Theatre has commissioned 12 writers (3 international and 9 from across England) to each write a 15 minute monologue responding to the challenges of 2020 and 2021 but from a completely local perspective. The 12 pieces will be presented in three collections of four, each with a different director.  
The monologues will explore a range of issues as far ranging as Trump’s America to Liverpool winning their 19th Premier League, looking for love in lockdown and the PPE scandal for care workers.  

Collection 1, directed by Gitika Buttoo includes LOVE IN THE TIME OF CORONA by Hassan Abdulrazzak (Baghdad Wedding); NEVER BEEN AWAY by Shahid Iqbal Khan (The Wildman of the West Indies); BACKBENCHER by Amina Atiq (Unheard Voices); CHANGE by Erinn Dhesi (Wigs Snatched, Perceptions Destroyed).

Collection 2 is directed by Iqbal Khan and Tara Theatre Artistic Director Abdul Shayek and includes: A NEW AMERICA by Reginald Edmund (Southbridge); LOCKDOWN & ALL THAT by Carlo Kureishi (Ackley Bridge) and Hanif Kureishi (The Buddha of Suburbia); THE MONSTER INSIDE by Asif Khan (Combustion); and TALES OF THE PAST by Yuqun Fan (Royal Court’s Living Newspaper).

The final set, Collection 3, is directed by Pooja Ghai and includes: NAJMA NAMA by Abhishek Majumdar (The Djinns of Eidgah); BOXED by Sumerah Srivastav (The Good Karma Hospital); GOOD TROUBLE by Sonali Bhattacharyya (White Open Spaces); QUIET by Shreya Sen-Handley (Memoirs of My Body).

 

 

FINAL FAREWELL
Conceived and directed by Abdul Shayek

Written by Sudha Bhuchar
Design by Shankho Chaudhuri
Sound Design by Deeivya Meir

Lighting Design by Rajiv Pattani

Digital Design by Alex Curtis

8 - 31 July
Press Night 12 July
Post 31 July, audio tour will remain available until Christmas (or longer) on specific days, with a smaller version of the finale installation in the Studio.

A contemplative, collaborative, celebratory and unique work, FINAL FAREWELL is a response to those lost during COVID 19. Running from 8 - 31 July with a Press Night on 12 July, the project explores how we say a proper goodbye when contact in the last days of life is limited. From those lost from the mosques, temples and churches to people on the front line, Abdul Shayek and Sudha Bhuchar (Writer, Actor, Founder of Bhuchar Boulevard and co-founder of Tamasha) have gathered peoples’ memories of their loved ones and created a piece where audiences listen to the stories whilst walking in the deceased’s footsteps, be it their journeys to work, the gym or a Sunday stroll. The event will culminate in a celebratory finale at Tara Theatre each night, where people will come together to celebrate these individuals and bid them a final farewell. 

Sudha Bhuchar, writer of Final Farewell said: “Through bearing witness to individual testimonies of loss, Final Farewell gives voice to the deceased, so that their stories can help to hold our hands and transform our collective grief into a celebration of the lives that were lost.” 

TARA THEATRE: A HOME FOR CHANGE 

The company has announced a series of initiatives today that are designed to make its building, practice, sector and society more equal.

Launched in November 2020, THE LISTENING SPACE is a series of initiatives addressing the current challenges of the freelance cultural workforce in the arts sector, with a particular focus on those of South Asian heritage.  Tara Theatre’s online platform for discussion has hosted four in-depth consultations with freelance creative practitioners. The discussions included breakout sessions facilitated by industry professionals, discussing role specific issues, lived experiences and productive next steps. The intention is to understand how organisations like Tara Theatre can better support the freelance and wider arts community in the short, medium and long term.

THE LISTENING SPACE report will be published in July with practical recommendations for a more equitable theatre sector. Tara Theatre is running a series of seminars and individual surgeries to support freelancers access funding. A network of South Asian professionals has been established and a comprehensive directory of South Asian practitioners across all roles is in development to connect freelancers with organisations and employers.

SOUTH ASIAN THEATRE NETWORK - DEVELOPING A SUPPORT STRUCTURE FOR ARTISTS, LEADERS & PROFESSIONALS

The company will develop a support structure and a space for theatre professionals, in particular those of South Asian heritage. This will be a ‘safe space’ for those in leadership positions and freelancers to engage, support and learn from each other, in turn creating a network of South Asian theatre professionals. Tara Theatre has completed an initial consultation and will be launching the next phase of this process.

TARA TABLE TALKS - CURATED PANEL DISCUSSIONS EXPLORING URGENT INDUSTRY AND SOCIETAL ISSUES    

Tara Theatre will instigate conversations. Tara Table Talks, a curated series of online panel discussions held by those with lived experience will explore the complexities facing our world, interrogating current issues and challenges faced by those from Asian, Black and ethnically diverse backgrounds. These have already included conversations around bias in casting, mental health and South Asian communities, Colourism and inter-racial relationships. Planned future conversations will explore Philanthropy in the arts, patriarchy and the Climate Emergency.

CREATIVE PRACTICE DEVELOPMENT - INITIATIVES AROUND MAKING AND PRODUCING WORK  

Co-creation will be at the heart of what Tara Theatre does, proactively creating partnerships with creative organisations, artists and communities. Local communities will have agency and ownership of the culture they participate in and artists will be empowered to make work together. Tara Theatre’s artist development initiative, Constellations, will bring a range of artists from across the UK together for 12 months to develop practice, get producing support and access to funding opportunities and networks. This process will launch with a skills development residency, followed by developing ideas and making work, culminating in a major roving new works festival, to be presented at Tara Theatre before being hosted by regional partners. Constellations will develop regional networks of diverse artists, producers and audiences.   

“Embracing a moment of change for the sector and for this pioneering company, we will be a home for change, identifying and nurturing new talent, providing sector development, testing and trying new ways of working and presenting world class shows on our stage and beyond. We will also be a hub for the best new comedy, spoken word and music acts. As we look forward to our forthcoming seasons, we will be making VR shows with older members of our community, producing site-specific shows commemorating important anniversaries and commissioning exciting talent which amplifies the voices of the UK's largest minority group and shapes a more equitable sector,” Abdul Shayek.

LISTINGS

Tara Arts
Tara Theatre, 365 Garratt Lane, London SW18 4ES

Follow Tara Theatre on Facebook: @taratheatreuk, Twitter: @taratheatre and Instagram: @tara_theatre

BEYOND LOCKDOWN

Created by Tara Theatre’s Younger Creatives with Guleraana Mir & Natasha Kathi-Chandra
Thursday 10th June & Friday 11th June, 7pm 

Saturday 12th June, 4pm & 7pm

2020

Design by Rachana Jadhav

Lighting Design by Peter Small

Sound Design by Duramaney Kamara

Collection 1: performances from Tuesday 15th June – Saturday 19th June
Collection 2: performances from Tuesday 22nd June – Saturday 26th June
Collection 3: performances from Tuesday 29th June – Saturday 3rd July

Performance times:

Tuesday - Saturday 7.30pm

Thursday matinee at 4pm

Saturday matinee at 1pm & 4pm

FINAL FAREWELL
Conceived and directed by Abdul Shayek

Written by Sudha Bhuchar
Design by Shankho Chaudhuri
Sound Design by Deeivya Meir

Lighting Design by Rajiv Pattani

Digital Design by Alex Curtis

8 - 31 July
Press Night 12 July
Post 31 July, audio tour will remain available until Christmas (or longer) on specific days, with a smaller version of the finale installation in the Studio

About Tara Theatre
Abdul Shayek is Artistic Director of Tara Theatre. He is directing ‘Seeing Things Differently’ with WNO and will be associate on their new opera ‘Migrations’. Previously he was CEO and Artistic Director of Fio, which he founded.  With Fio he devised Swarm, a site-specific show about migration and Resonate a show about displacement. He also directed productions of Katori Hall's The Mountaintop, Ariel Dorfman's Death and the Maiden and Athol Fugard’s ‘The Island’. He has delivered numerous participatory projects including work in prisons and with young people. He is a former Creative Associate for National Theatre Wales and Artistic Director of Youth of Creative Arts.

As a freelancer, he has worked with a range of organisations including Contact Theatre, Theatre Royal Stratford East, The Almeida, RSC, The National and a variety of international organisations and projects. He is a visiting lecturer at the University of East London and guest lectured at various other institutions. He has been a National Advisor to Arts Council Wales and was Vice Chair and a founding member of Youth Arts Network Cymru. He is a Clore Cultural Leadership Fellow (2013-14), vice chair of National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance and is a board member of Powys Dance and No Fit State Circus. He is also a member of the British Council's Arts and Creative Economy Advisory group.

Abhishek Majumdar is a scenographer, playwright and theatre director. He is an Associate Professor of Arts practice at NYU Abu Dhabi and artistic director of Nalanda Arts Studio, Bangalore, an arts organization dedicated to new work and collaborations between Asian and African arts companies.  He is also the founder and ex artistic director of Indian Ensemble. Abhishek writes in Hindi, English and Bangla. His works have been produced around the world and translated to several languages including  English, French, Spanish, Tibetan, Kashmiri, Kannada, Marathi and Czech. He has created work for the Royal Court Theatre, National Theatre, Tara Arts, Playco New York, Ranga Shankara Bangalore, Jan natya manch Delhi, Deutsch Shauspielhaus Hamburg and Freigburg. He is currently on commission with theatres in London, New York, Bangalore and Abu Dhabi. He is also commissioned by Bloomsbury for a book of essays as part of the 'Theatre makers' series. 

Alex Curtis is an associate director at Crucible Creative, an agency which delivers cutting-edge digital experiences to its clients in the arts and beyond. Through Crucible, he has worked with Theatre 503, The Coronet, Theatre Peckham, MAC Birmingham, VAULT Festival, and Free Word. Alex is clients’ chief point of liaison during their projects with us. When he’s not working with clients, he turns his expertise in UX and project management to running the agency internally.

Amina Atiq is a Yemeni-scouse published poet, award-winning community activist and performance artist. A BBC Words First 2019 Finalist and Young Associate for Curious Minds, she is Poet in Residence for Queensland Poetry Festival 2020-21 and Metal Southend. Amina is currently writing her solo show, Broken Biscuits to explore gran-mothers in 1970s Yemeni-British household. In 2020, she produced a short documentary, Unheard Voices, commissioned by DadaFest capturing the stories of Yemeni shopkeepers in Liverpool. Unheard Voices was later broadcasted on Belgees TV and translated in Arabic. She is currently working on a new online and print project, Scouse Pilgrimage commissioned by Unity Theatre. Upcoming publications can be found at Sutton Manor, Speaking Volumes and Cordite Poetry Review.

Asif Khan is an award-winning writer and actor born and raised in Bradford. His debut play Combustion toured the UK in 2017 and received various award nominations including, OffWestEnd’s Best New Play award, Best Writer in the Stage Debut awards and wins for Best Production in The Eastern Eye Arts, Culture and Theatre Awards (2018) and The Asian Media Awards (2017).In 2019, his play Imaam Imraan was produced by the National Youth Theatre, directed by Iqbal Khan, playing at the Bradford Literary Festival. In 2020 Asif was long listed for Box Of Trick’s Screen/Play Award in association with Sky Studios. His five-part audio drama series This Weird Normal is available on various podcast platforms, produced by RADA Audio Productions. With Theatre503 Asif was one of the 19 writers commissioned for the recent ImagiNation Festival 2020. In 2021 his children’s theatre piece Jabala And The Jinn was live-streamed to audiences (Belgrade Theatre, Turtle Key Arts, AIK productions) and he is under commission to the Bush Theatre, Birmingham Repertory Theatre and English Touring Theatre.

Carlo Kureishi is a screenwriter who has worked on shows for the BBC, as well as returning series like Ackley Bridge and The Frankenstein Chronicles. He’s currently working on a feature film which will be shot in the new year.

Erinn Dhesi is a playwright and comedian based in the West Midlands. Her work often focuses on the effects of social media in everyday life. Her one woman show Wigs Snatched, Perceptions Destroyed premiered at Vault Festival 2020, earning 4 Star reviews and was awarded Show of the Week (Week 5). The show was developed from her 20 minute scratch piece How to Find Your Future (Queer) Girlfriend (2018) which toured England and was produced by Raze Collective. Her short plays Sesh (2019) and The Walk (2019) premiered at The Curve Theatre in Leicester and her first full length play #Adjustment received a rehearsed reading The Belgrade Theatre (2017). She has previously been a part of the Soho Theatre Writers Lab, the Tamasha Theatre Playwrights group (Year 5), the Kali Theatre Discovery Programme and the Belgrade Theatre's Critical Mass writers group.

Gitika Buttoo is a British Indian Theatre Director from Yorkshire. Winner of the JMK Trust Bursary 2017, she became Resident Assistant Director at Leeds Playhouse. She then went on to work for The Octagon Theatre in Bolton as their Participation Director where she was Assistant Director on main house productions and also directed all their youth theatre productions. She became the Artistic Associate of Birmingham Opera Company in Summer 2018. After one year in post, she moved on to work with the National Theatre and CAST, Doncaster on Public Acts. Gitika is now the Associate Director for LUNG Theatre and directs work nationally. Her most recent credits include; The Jungle Book, Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre (2021); Runaway, Young Vic Theatre (2021); Northern Girls, Pilot Theatre (2020); The Caucasian Chalk Circle, National Theatre and CAST (2020); Trojan Horse, UK Tour (2020); Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Birmingham Opera Company (2019); Beyond Shame, Derby Theatre (2018).

Guleraana Mir is an award-winning writer, theatre-maker, and one half of the female-focused theatre company The Thelmas. She regularly facilitates playwriting masterclasses in schools, community groups, and emerging writers. She is the leader of the National Theatre’s Writing for Theatre 16-21 programme and previously VAULT Festival’s New Writing Programme in 2020. She mentors on the MFA Writing for Stage and Broadcast Media at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

Hanif Kureishi grew up in Kent and studied philosophy at King’s College London. His novels include The Buddha of Suburbia, which won the Whitbread Prize for Best First Novel, The Black Album, Intimacy, The Last Word and The Nothing. His screenplays include My Beautiful Laundrette, which received an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay, Sammy and Rosie Get Laid and Le Week-End. He has also published several collections of short stories. Kureishi has been awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and the PEN/Pinter Prize, and is a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. His work has been translated into thirty-six languages. He is Professor of Creative Writing at Kingston University.

Hassan Abdulrazzak’s plays include The Special Relationship (Soho Theatre, 2020); And Here I Am (Arcola Theatre, 2017 and UK tour; Europe, Middle East and Africa tour, 2018-2019); Love, Bombs and Apples (Arcola Theatre, 2016 and UK tour; Golden Thread, San Francisco, 2018 followed by a second UK tour; Kennedy Centre, Washington DC, 2019); The Prophet (Gate Theatre, 2012) and Baghdad Wedding (Soho Theatre, London 2007; BBC Radio 3, 2008; Belvoir St Theatre, Sydney 2009; Akvarious productions, Delhi & Mumbai 2010). He has adapted Baghdad Wedding into a feature film for Focus Features, wrote an original screenplay called Cutting Season about FGM for New Century. He has also written four episodes for HWJN, an upcoming TV series commissioned by O3 and Image Nation productions. He is the recipient of George Devine, Meyer-Whitworth, Pearson theatre awards as well as the Arab British Centre Award for Culture. Love, Bombs and Apples won the Bay Area theatre award for outstanding production in 2018. And Here I Am won best monodrama at Sharm El Sheikh International Theatre Festival For Youth in 2019. He was a Sundance Theatre Lab Fellow in 2020.

Iqbal Khan is an Associate Artist of Box Clever Theatre Company and an Associate Artist of Birmingham Rep. He has worked extensively with the RSC, as well as directing for opera and classical music events. Credits include Otello, The Wildman of the West Indies and Shakespeare at The Bowl. He has directed in Paris, Japan (awarded a year long prestigious fellowship, based in Tokyo), had recent residencies and delivered lectures at Michigan State, La Fayette, Nanjing, and was the 2019 Michael Douglas Visiting Artist at UC Santa Barbara. Iqbal has an MA (Distinction) in Theatre Directing from Middlesex University, was awarded a RYTDS bursary, based at Leicester Haymarket, trained on the National Theatre Studio directors’ course and was, most recently, made an Honorary Doctor of Arts by De Montfort University.

Katie Mozumder worked in TV production for two years before moving into casting in 2017 where she has been working full time with Casting Directors Suzanne Crowley and Gilly Poole. Most notable projects include the Emmy and Bafta award winning Killing Eve series 1-4 (BBC America) with Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer; The Durrells (ITV), Trollied (Sky 1), Sticks and Stones (ITV), We Hunt Together (UKTV) and Finding Alice (ITV). Katie has assisted in casting for several theatre projects for Hampstead Theatre including Uncle Vanya (Terry Johnson), Cell Mates (Edward Hall), Prism (Terry Johnson), Occupational Hazards (Edward Hall) and Sunset Limited (Terry Johnson) at the Boulevard Theatre.  

Natasha Kathi-Chandra is an international theatre director, writer and dramaturg based in London, UK and Hyderabad, India. Besides her many credits as a director, she is also a facilitator for the Creative Learning team at Park Theatre where she is involved as a director and workshop leader for regular outreach, workshops and shows with young people & adults.

Pooja Ghai is the Co-Chair of Artistic Directors of the Future (ADF) and Stage Directors UK (SDUK). She is trustee of Pop Up Projects CIC. In 2018 she won the Eastern Eye award for Best Director for Lions and Tigers at The Globe Theatre. Directing credits include; Love and Information, The Cherry Orchard (Guildhall); Hobson’s Choice (Manchester Royal Exchange – Creative Producer); Approaching Empty (Kiln/Tamasha/Live Theatre) Much Ado About Nothing (Rose Bruford Theatre); Blue Stockings (Corbett Theatre); Rapunzel (Theatre Royal Stratford East); Lions and Tigers (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse); The Empress (Embassy Theatre); Counting Stars, The House of In Between, Home Theatre, Angelic Tales (Theatre Royal Stratford East); Tamasha 25, Shakti & Seva, As You Like It (Ellen Terry Theatre);13 (Corbett Theatre); The Accordian Shop (NT Connections); The Tune is Always Better on the Outside, Gigging for Gaza (The Bedford); The Difference (Soho Theatre). Dramaturg for Dance credits include: Vestige and Out Late for Wayne Parsons Dance.

Rachana Jadhav is co-Artistic Director of Brolly Productions and award-winning theatre designer and illustrator. She trained as an architect at Edinburgh College of Art and MA Scenography at Central St Martins. Her production design works include collaborating with National Theatre of Scotland: Claire Cunningham's Menage a Trois (dance); National Theatre: Installation in partnership with CRISIS; Rasa Productions: Curry Tales, A Handful of Henna, Looking for Kool; Polka Theatre: Ghosts in the Gallery, Goldilocks, Ugly Duckling; Brolly Productions: Guantanamo Boy, Her, Clocks 1888 (opera), The Powder Monkey (opera). Rachana's work has evolved to bring together her love of illustrating and stage design through animation and projection. Her recent illustration/design work was in collaboration with Tim Crouch for Total Immediate Collective Imminent Terrestrial Salvation which premiered at The Royal Court.

Reginald Edmund is the Co-Founder and Managing Curating Producer for Black Lives, Black Words International Project. Inspired by #blacklivesmatter, this project gives voice to some of the most contemporary political black writers from both the US, Canada and the UK, asking them to explore the question, “Do black lives matter today?” His play Southbridge was runner up for the Kennedy Center’s Lorraine Hansberry and Rosa Parks National Playwriting Awards, and most recently named winner of the Southern Playwrights’ Competition, the Black Theatre Alliance Award for Best New Play and the Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award. His nine-play series titled The City of the Bayou Collection, were developed at esteemed theaters including Pegasus Theatre-Chicago, Deluxe Theatre, Actors Theatre of Charlotte, Bush Theatre (UK), Theatre @ Boston Court, The Landing Theatre, Playwrights’ Center and The National Theatre (UK). 

Shankho Chaudhuri is a Production, Video, VR and Graphic Designer, based in London. He graduated from Imperial College London with an MEng in Mechanical Engineering, and then a joint MA MSc in Global Innovation Design from the Royal College of Art and Imperial. Alongside making student theatre, he began researching performance and emerging technologies at the RCA, exploring motion capture, VR and AR with music, dance and set design, jumping into freelance production design upon graduation. His freelance work includes production design across theatre, film and exhibitions, most notably on Poltergeist Theatre’s Untapped Award-winning Art Heist in 2019. In September 2019, he joined the National Theatre for a year as a Production Design Assistant, assisting on both Death of England and its sequel Death of England: Delroy. He also collaborated with the NT Immersive Storytelling Studio on their revival of All Kinds of Limbo, a musical VR piece that was exhibited at the Sundance Film Festival 2020. He has since joined the Royal Court’s Design Collective, delivering their Living Newspaper project, and has joined New Diorama Theatre as their Staff Associate Designer.

Shreya Sen-Handley is the author of three books with HarperCollins, the award-winning Memoirs of My Body, published in 2017, Strange, a modern tales of the unexpected, published in 2019, and a forthcoming book of travel misadventures, to be published in 2022. A librettist for the Welsh National Opera, the first South Asian woman to have written an international opera according to the press, their multicultural opera Migrations will go on tour in the UK in 2022. She has also written and illustrated for WNO’s series of films in 2020, Creating Change, and will be collaborating with them on a second opera in 2023. Her short stories have been published, broadcast, and shortlisted for prizes in Britain, India and Australia. Her poetry, published, broadcast, and performed, in Britain and India, spearheaded a British national campaign against hate crimes in 2020. A creative writing teacher for British institutions, including the Universities of Cambridge and Nottingham, Shreya is an illustrator as well, for Hachette, HarperCollins, Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature, Nottingham City Council, and Welsh National Opera. Shreya is a National Literacy Trust Champion, Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature collaborative board member, and a former Nottingham Festival of Literature director. 

Sonali Bhattacharyya is a playwright whose credits include Megaball (National Theatre Learning); Slummers (Cardboard Citizens/Bunker Theatre); The Invisible Boy (Kiln Theatre); 2066 (Almeida Theatre); and Two Billion Beats (Orange Tree Theatre). She is a graduate of the Royal Court Writers' Group and the inaugural Old Vic 12, and was Channel 4 Writer in Residence at the Orange Tree. Her play Deepa the Saint was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Playwriting, and her play Chasing Hares won the Sonia Friedman Production Award. She is currently under commission to the Orange Tree Theatre, Almeida Theatre, Fifth Word and Kiln Theatre, is writer in residence at National Theatre Studio, and is taking part in the Donmar Warehouse’s Future Forms programme.

Sumerah Srivastav is a British, South Asian screenwriter and playwright. She was most recently a writer on ITV’s The Good Karma Hospital, and before that wrote on Netflix’s Lupin as well as Messiah. She has also written for BBC’s two longest running and beloved dramas, Casualty and Eastenders. As a playwright, she has been a member of the Royal Court’s Critical Mass and invited Studio Writers’ programmes, Stratford East’s Musical Theatre Initiative, Orange Tree Writers Collective and The Criterion playwright programme. Prior to her television career, Sumerah launched and ran an award-winning commercial radio station targeting London’s Asian youth audiences (Club Asia) for which she won numerous awards including a Women in Public Life award and an Asian Woman of Achievement award. Sumerah is a member of the Writers Guild of Great Britain, the Royal Television Society, Women in Film & TV and Mercury Musical Developments.

Yuqun Fan is an aspiring writer/director based in China. She recently wrote for Royal Court’s Living Newspaper: Edition Two. She is also the executive producer for the first professional mandarin version of Rent. Her other credits include: Assistant Director for The Island (Fio Theatre Company); director for I Will Miss You When You’re Gone (The Hen & Chickens Theatre); and Lies (The London Theatre New Cross). 

Sudha Bhuchar is an acclaimed actor, playwright and founder of Bhuchar Boulevard. Acting credits include: Lions and Tigers (Globe theatre) and The Village (Theatre Royal Stratford East). TV/film include: Coronation street; Stella; Mary Poppins Returns and  Mogul Mowgli.  As co-founder of Tamasha, with Kristine Landon-Smith, their landmark work includes A Fine Balance (adapted from Rohinton Mistry’s novel) and Strictly Dandia. Acclaimed writing includes: Balti Kings (with Shaheen Khan); Child of the Divide (Asian Media Award 2018); My Name is…. (also adapted for Radio 4) and most recently Touchstone Tales (Revoluton Arts/Wellcome collection). Sudha will be appearing in her one-woman monologue Evening Conversations at Footprints Festival, Jermyn St theatre this July.

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