HOUSE OF JOY
by Madhuri Shekar
directed by Saheem Ali
Thursday, August 10 | 3pm
Atlantic Stage 2, 330 West 16th St.
Set some time like the 17th century, in some place like Delhi, India, House of Joy tells the story of Hamida, an elite female bodyguard in the Emperor’s Imperial Harem. Faced with an impossible ethical quandary, Hamida tries to help an abused Queen escape the heavily guarded harem, thus risking her life and going against everything she was raised to believe. A swashbuckling action-adventure romance inspired by the legends of Indian history.
Madhuri Shekar’s (Playwright) newest play Queen began in the Center Theatre Group Writers’ Workshop, and had its World Premiere at Victory Gardens Theatre. She received two commissions from Atlanta’s Alliance Theater (Bucket of Blessings and Antigone, Presented by the Girls of St. Catherine’s), has been commissioned by the Kennedy Center and is currently under commission from South Coast Repertory. She is the 2013/14 winner of the Kendeda Graduate Playwriting contest for her play In Love and Warcraft (Alliance Theatre). She was also the second place winner of the East West Players 2012 Face of the Future Playwriting Contest for her play A Nice Indian Boy. Her plays have also been developed or showcased at the Old Globe, the Kennedy Center, the Hedgebrook Playwrights Festival and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She has been a finalist for the Princess Grace Playwriting Fellowship and the Many Voices Fellowship. 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 in New York, and a co-creator of the Shakespearean web series, Titus and Dronicus.
Saheem Ali (Director). Originally from Nairobi, Kenya, Saheem is a director of plays and musicals with an emphasis on new work. Recent credits include Twelfth Night (The Public), Kill Move Paradise (National Black Theater), Nollywood Dreams (Cherry Lane), Dot (Detroit Public Theater), The Booty Call (Inner Voices) and A Lesson From Aloes (Juilliard). He has workshopped new plays at Playwrights Realm, MCC, New York Stage & Film and PEN World Voices. He has co-written two musicals with composer Michael Thurber: The Booty Call (Roundabout Underground Reading Series) and Goddess (O’Neill Musical Theater Conference). He was the Associate Director of The Tempest at the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park. He is a Usual Suspect and former Directing Fellow at New York Theatre Workshop.