“Hermitage Artists and Thinkers: South Asian Artists in America”

April 13, 2024 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Hermitage Beach
6660 Manasota Key Rd
FL 34223
"Hermitage Artists and Thinkers: South Asian Artists in America" @ Hermitage Beach

“Hermitage Artists and Thinkers: South Asian Artists in America”
with 2024 Hermitage Greenfield Prize Winner Deepa Purohit and Hermitage Fellows Kavita Shah and Nandita Shenoy

Presented in partnership with the Greenfield Foundation and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County

Saturday, April 13 at 6:30pm

Hermitage Beach (entrance at 6660 Manasota Key Rd, Englewood, FL 34223)

Register here.
Registration is required. $5 per person.

Central to 2024 Hermitage Greenfield Prize Winner Deepa Purohit’s commission are the lives of South Asian women. To uplift and contextualize those stories and in honor of the Hermitage’s mission to serve artists across multiple disciplines, several Hermitage Fellows are coming together for a panel conversation highlighting the impact of representation and the rich diversity of lived experience coming from that particular part of the world. Singer, composer, and educator Kavita Shah has been praised by NPR for her “amazing dexterity with musical languages,” and her unique talents have taken her to concert halls and communities around the world. Playwright and actor Nandita Shenoy’s work has been seen across the United States, and her work on the steering committee for the Asian-American Performers Action Coalition (AAPAC) was honored with a 2020 Obie Award for their advocacy in the field of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Join these three remarkable women to hear about their artistic practices as innovative South Asian artists making bold and original work in the United States. Moderated by Hermitage Artistic Director and CEO Andy Sandberg.

Deepa Purohit (she/her) is a Brooklyn-based playwright. She made her Off-Broadway debut in the Atlantic Theater Company’s 2022-23 season with the world premiere of her play Elyria (2023 Drama League Award Nominee for Outstanding Production of a Play, 2017 NEA Commission, and 2019 Jerome Foundation support w/Ma-Yi Theater Company). She received the 2023 Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award for Excellence in Playwriting, and a 2022-23 Edgerton Foundation Award for Elyria. Plays: Crushed Earth with Sanjit De Silva (2017 People’s Light Theatre: New Play Frontiers Commission) – 2023 audio play debut with People’s Light, Theatre Horizon, and Hedgerow Theatre, The In Between, Mxx/perience, A Valentine (2016 Kilroys Honorable Mention), Bones (2017 Andrew Mellon Foundation Residency w/Ma-Yi Theater Company), Have Sari Will Travel! (Rising Circle Theater Collective), Flight, and Mothering: a collection of short form plays. Co-writing with Sanjit De Silva and Rising Circle Theater Collective: Pulling the Lever, American Family Project, Grace. Deepa is currently adapting Elyria into a TV series and working on a NYSCA new play commission from Atlantic Theater Company.   She co-founded and ran Rising Circle Theater Collective (2000-2012), a theater company centered on the stories of people of color. A former Baltimore City middle school teacher and 1992 Teach For America alumna, Deepa has a BA in History from Northwestern University, Masters in Public Health from Columbia University, and an MFA in Playwriting from Brooklyn College. She is currently the Director of New Works at People’s Light Theatre.

Hermitage Fellow Kavita Shah is an award-winning vocalist, composer, researcher, and educator who makes work in deep engagement with the jazz tradition, while also addressing and advancing its global sensibilities. A lifelong New Yorker of Indian origin hailed for possessing an “amazing dexterity for musical languages” (NPR), Shah incorporates her ethnographic research on Brazilian, West African, and Indian traditions into her original music. Notable projects include “Visions” (2014), co-produced by Lionel Loueke, “Folk Songs of Naboréa” (2017), presented at the Park Avenue Armory, and “Interplay” (2018) in duo with François Moutin, which was nominated for France’s Victoires de la Musique for Jazz Album of the Year. Shah regularly performs her music at major concert halls, festivals, and clubs on six continents. She holds a B.A. in Latin American Studies from Harvard and a Master’s in Jazz Voice from Manhattan School of Music.

Hermitage Fellow and theater artist Nandita Shenoy is a New York-based writer and actor. Her play The Future is Female was recently a Finalist for the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, and her Rage Play was named to the 2020 Kilroys List. Her play Washer/Dryer has been produced multiple times nationally after its world premiere at LA’s East-West Players and an Off-Broadway production at Ma-Yi Theater, in which she also starred. Her first full-length play, Lyme Park: An Austonian Romance of an Indian Nature, was produced by the Hegira in Washington, DC. Her one-acts have been produced in New York City and regionally. Nandita won the 2014 Father Hamblin Award in Playwriting. Her acting credits range from dancing on national tours to Shakespeare festivals to world premieres of new plays by living playwrights. She is a proud member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab, Dramatists Guild, Actors Equity Association, and SAG/AFTRA. She also sits on the Steering Committee of the Asian-American Performers Action Coalition (AAPAC), which won a 2020 Obie for their Advocacy in the Field of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Nandita holds a BA in English literature from Yale University. NanditaShenoy.com