Call for one act scripts from Yatraa Theatre in the Bay Area

Raj Ray of Yatraa is looking for scripts for a potential production at the Bay Area Bengali Theater Festival in Feb 2012. He’s looking for a one act, 45-60 minutes, max cast size 4-5, preferably a serious drama with the subject matter being South Asian or diaspora related. You can email him at raj.ray at gmail dot com.

Samskriti Society of Indian Performing Arts Play Reading

Samskriti Society of Indian Performing Arts and the Houston Museum of Fine Arts Presents Water Lilies: A Trilogy, a play reading by author Gowri Ramnarayan on Sep 25 2011 at 2:00 pm at The Museum of Fine Arts, Brown Auditorium Theater, 1001 Bissonnet, Houston, Texas 77012. Admission is free.

“The trilogy is a three act play and is an attempt to find out if serenity can be reached in a blasts-ridden world” claims Dr. Ramnarayan. In each play, two strangers, a Man and a Woman, claiming different racial origins, meet by accident in a public space in the U.S. As they share confidences and spill secrets, the casual encounters trigger reflection. Western classical piano anchors the mood in each play, along with images of Monet’s Water Lilies, and the poems of Clark Ashton Smith, Ted Hughes, and a verse from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. The three plays are depicted by the authors imaginative story narration based on the following themes.

FAWN LILIES:  A Park in Columbus, Ohio: A birdwatching dietician from Vijayawada, whose boyfriend decides to give up love for war, meets a gay vagabond with a wry feel for causes.

WATER LILIES: Monet Exhibition, Houston Museum: Dismissing Claude Monet as a painter of pretty flowers, a Texan investment banker becomes curious about a Srilankan woman’s passion for Monet’s lilyscapes.

BLACK LILIES: Washington Dulles Airport: Two days after 9/11, a young school teacher from Tamil Nadu, on her first foreign trip, finds a friend in a Serbo Hungarian novelist on his way to meet his German translator in Frankfurt.

I remember Monet’s lilyscapes. And a poem by Ted Hughes about the water lily, standing still as a painting, despite diabolic onslaughts- from the air, and under water- from within, and without. And the upanishadic command to be restrained, generous and kind.

Dr. Gowri Ramnarayan is a Feature writer (music, cinema, theatre, literature) with the nationwide English daily “The Hindu”. She has translated two Marathi plays of Vijay Tendulkar, and the Tamil short stories of Kalki Krishnamurti. She has authored children’s books and has served as a jury member of Fipresci (an international association of film critics). Her other achievements include vocally accompanying Carnatic musician M.S. Subbulakshmi (1981-97). WATER LILIES is her fourth play; the earlier ones being DARK HORSE (2005), RURAL PHANTASY (2006) and FLAME OF THE FOREST (2007).

Please do come and enjoy this unique experience of Play reading with video clippings of the English play enacted in Chennai, India on Sunday September 25th 2011- 2-00pm at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Contact Details: Thara Narasimhan Phone : (281) 265-2787.

Shunya actors in MADCAP 24

Once again Country Playhouse is presenting their tremendously fun MADCAP 24. Shunya has participated in the last several years, and once again two Shunya actors will be on stage: Sriram Vengalathur and Jesal Kapasi. This is always a fantastic show — one night only! — and it is amazing what the playwrights can come up with in the 10-12 hours they have. If you do make it out, drop me a line at

Information and tickets at

Slant: Bold Asian American Images Festival

An announcement from our friends at Aurora Picture Show:

Aurora Picture Show Announces

11th Annual Slant: Bold Asian American Images Festival

Houston’s Asian American film festival, Slant: Bold Asian American Images, returns for the 11th year with an eclectic lineup that represents the best new works by Asian American filmmakers. From dramas about immigrant families to science fiction tales, the five short films selected for Slant tell diverse stories. Slant will screen for one night only on Thursday, August 11 at 7:30PM at River Oaks Theatre, 2009 West Gray. Filmmaker Soham Mehta and curator Melissa Hung will be in attendance.

Works by South Asian American filmmakers figure prominently in this year’s festival. Slant is proud to have the Houston premiere of FATAKRA by Houston-bred, New York-based filmmaker Soham Mehta, winner of a 2011 Student Academy Award. The film, about an immigrant family reuniting after years apart, screened earlier this year at South By Southwest (SXSW).

Soham is the founder of Shunya, a Houston-based theater troupe dedicated to providing a voice to the South Asian American experience, and received his MFA in film production from University of Texas at Austin. He also co-wrote the 2003 feature film WHERE’S THE PARTY, YAAR?, which starred Kal Penn.

Slant will also have the Texas premiere of Tanuj Chopra’s PIA, a science fiction film starring Pia Shah as a malfunctioning android. Tanuj is best known for directing the feature film PUNCHING AT THE SUN, which premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. The film told the story of a South Asian kid in Queens, NY dealing with anger and confusion in the aftermath of his older brother’s senseless death in a post-9/11 world. It was the first South Asian American narrative feature ever selected to the prestigious festival.

Other films screening at Slant include the animation JAIME LO, SMALL AND SHY, by Toronto-based Lillian Chan; the science fiction film DIGITAL ANTIQUITIES by J.P. Chan; and the mockumentary ASIAN AMERICAN JESUS, directed by Yasmine Gomez.

Slant was established in 2001 by Melissa Hung, the founding editor of Hyphen, a magazine about Asian American culture. In presenting this festival, Aurora Picture Show participates in exploring the power of moving images in crafting identity and community.


Fatakra by Soham Mehta

Naveen left India to chase his dreams in America. Three years and a recession later, his wife and son join him. Sparks fly as a family reunites.

PIA by Tanuj Chopra

In San Francisco, in the year 2063, much of human labor has been replaced with service androids called PIAs. One night, a mysterious and malfunctioning PIA appears at Syama Raval’s front door.

Jaime Lo, small and shy by Lillian Chan

Jaime Lo, a shy Chinese Canadian girl, observes the world around her through her drawings. When Jaime’s father is sent to Hong Kong for a year-long work assignment, Jaime must use her creativity to cope with his absence.

Digital Antiquities by J.P. Chan

In the year 2036, a woman in an antique electronics shop meets a desperate young man

seeking to recover data from an old CD.

Asian American Jesus by Yasmine Gomez

In this mockumentary, performer Samantha Chanse plays six different characters including Truth is Real, a self-professed ‘mad scientist of the spoken word,’ and the subject of college freshman Suzette Law’s final project for her ethnic studies class.


The 11th Annual Slant: Bold Asian American Images Festival

Thursday, August 11, 7:30 PM

Location: River Oaks Theatre, 2009 West Gray


Tickets to the 11th Annual Slant Festival are $10 for non-members and free for Aurora Picture Show members. For tickets and information, visit or call 713-868-2101.

About Aurora Picture Show:

Founded in 1998, Aurora Picture Show is a non-profit micro-cinema that presents artist-made, non-commercial film and video. We are dedicated to expanding the cinematic experience and promoting the understanding and appreciation of moving image art. Aurora’s human scale promotes a meaningful and community-oriented exchange between artists and audiences, and strives to not only be a launching pad for emerging artists but to create not-to-be-missed events for Houston.

Aurora Picture Show is funded by its stellar membership, Houston Endowment, Inc, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Brown Foundation, Texas Commission on the Arts, The City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, the Alice Kleberg Reynolds, Susan Vaughan Foundation, Kinder Morgan Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts. Aurora Picture Show is a proud member of Fresh Arts Coalition

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