Performances begin May 17 of Madhuri Shekar's Queen, National Asian American Theatre Company's inaugural production of the NAATCO National Partnership Project (NNPP). The play runs at New Haven, Connecticut's Long Wharf Theatre until June 5, after which it will transfer to A.R.T./New York's Mezzanine Theatre for a June 10-July 2 run.
The play follows Sanam and Ariel, two PhD. candidates, studying vanishing bee populations who are faced with a mistake in a career-making paper that could change everything. Starring in the production are Ben Livingston, Keshav Moodliar, Stephanie Janssen, and Avanthika Srinivasan, directed by Aneesha Kudtarkar.
“Queen is more than just a story of women in science, but a deep dive into the complex tensions that have the power to redefine relationships," added Long Wharf Theatre Artistic Director Padrón. "With talented South Asian women at the helm as playwright, director, and protagonist, Queen is a reflection of Long Wharf’s ongoing commitment to foregrounding women—and BIPOC-led productions.”
The creative team includes scenic designer Junghhyun Georgia Lee, sound designer Daniela Hart with assistant sound designers Bailey Trierweiler and Noel Nichols, costume designer Phuong Nguyen with assistant costume designer Kyle Artone, and lighting designer Yuki Nakase Link with assistant lighting designer Jackie Fox.
NNPP is a new initiative from NAATCO that works with theatres nationwide to develop, improve, and implement local strategies including Asian-American theatre artists, technicians, and administrators. The Long Wharf Theatre has become an anchor NNPP partner.
Mia Katigbak, actor-manager and co-founder of NAATCO, said in a statement, “When I was thinking of the NNPP, I had many inspirational conversations with Jacob Padrón, the artistic director of Long Wharf, whose Sol Project was doing something comparable with Latinx playwrights partnering with theatres across the country. Not only was Jacob’s wisdom and experience with the Sol Project helpful, but his total support of what NAATCO was trying to do was fundamental.”
For tickets, visit LongWharf.org.