1-888-DIAL-INDIA Featured Actor: AbhiRoy Cheema

AbhiRoy Cheema
AbhiRoy Cheema

Abhiroy Cheema is acting with Shunya for the first time in the role of Arun Gupta, the lead in “1-888-DIAL-INDIA”

Tell me about your theatre background.

My interest in Theatre developed early on in my childhood. I got my formal training in Theatre from Mr. Sudam Waghmare, in Mumbai who was an alumni from National School of Drama (NSD) Delhi & voice training from Mr. Pratap Sharma in Mumbai. I have been a part of several theatrical productions including those with Ekjute, Ansh & Upstage Theatre.

Arun can be a pretty coarse character, how do you think the audience will react?

In my opinion, there is an ‘Arun’ in everyone, only with different degrees of ‘check’ or ‘control’. In other words Arun is a character who takes his liberties and pushes his limits to get what he wants. Bad language is his tool to establish his superiority – and he is super confident. I think we can expect different reactions from different groups of audiences – some may find him funny, some arrogant, some outrageous and some may want to be him.

Shunya at India Fair 2011

Shunya will have a booth at the India Culture Center‘s India Fair 2011. Come by and meet 1-888-DIAL-INDIA‘s the cast and buy tickets!

Location: New Stafford Center; 10505 Cash Road, Stafford TX 77477
Time: Saturday, January 29, 2011, 11:30 am – 7:30 pm

Parking is free. Admission is $3. Information at ICC’s website.

Continue reading “Shunya at India Fair 2011”

1-888-DIAL-INDIA Featured Actor: Prateek Karkal

Prateek  Karkal
Prateek Karkal

Prateek Karkal was first seen on Houston stages in Shunya’s 2009 production “Everyone Loves a Good Tsunami.” He is back in the role of Ramesh in 1-888-DIAL-INDIA.

Tell me about your theatre background.

Shunya is my first professional long-term theatre platform, although my passion for acting began way back in school and college. I used to get prizes for Dramatics. For a very short period of time I also was involved with a theatre group (Yatri) at Prithvi Theatres, Mumbai although I never acted on stage.

What is it like working with the rest of the cast?

I learn a lot of things from the rest of the cast. Watching them act gives me a new perspective of how I can do things differently. They are all just awesomely talented and simply amazing.

How well do you relate to the character you portray?

I guess I was cast because I am Ramesh even in real life!

What do you enjoy about the play?

I don’t want to sound like a selfish jerk but I enjoy every scene I am in. I have a pole dancing scene –with my clothes on– a making-out scene abruptly cut-short, a scene where I am thrashed by my boss and a couple of scenes with my American clients where I try my best to prevent them from suiciding.

What do you think the audience will enjoy about the play?

The portrayal of outsourcing and the clash of two cultures.

1-888-DIAL-INDIA Featured Actor: Sundaram “Sundy” Srinivasan

Sundaram Sundy Srinivasan headshot
Sundy Srinivasan

Sundaram “Sundy” Srinivasan plays the role of Gautam, father to Ramesh and Anjali, in “1-888-DIAL-INDIA.” He has previously acted in Shunya’s productions of Final Solutions and Everyone Loves a Good Tsunami, as well as Stages Repertory Theatre’s production of Bapsi Sidhwa’s An American Brat.

How did you first get involved with Shunya?

Many years ago, purely by chance. While I had done a lot of acting in university days, a friend told me that there was an audition and it happened to be next door to where I live, I went and got the role of Ramnik Gandhi in [Shunya’s presentation of Mahesh Dattani’s] Final Solutions.

When did you develop your passion for theatre?

I did my first play believe it or not when I was in the 1st grade. I was a deer and had to prance on stage and will never never never ever forget the moment that my deer mask fell off on stage!

What is it like working with the rest of the cast?

Excellent…all have day jobs and from different walks of life but the commonality of a passion for theater.

What do you enjoy about the play?

The cast interaction, the ability to get in the “zone” away from real life and the putting together in practice ideas I keep working on.

What do you find funniest about the play?

Pretty much the whole laugh-at-ourselves and our idiosyncrasies as Indian Americans bit.

This play has some very graphic language. Do you think pushing these types of boundaries is part of the reason this play is so funny?

I do not like the graphic language at all, and feel strongly that the same points can be made without indulgence in shabby vocabulary….but I’m equally happy to go with the playwright and deliver, I just feel that the same punch can be easily obtained without the language.