Next Door at NYTW provides a home for companies and artists who are producing their own work. This initiative provides each project with subsidized resources and space for development and performance in the Fourth Street Theatre. As part of an ongoing effort to expand support for artists at every stage of their careers, this series served over 300 artists in the first two years alone.
Written after the events of September 11th in an attempt by Ahmed to confront her Muslim identity, RAISINS NOT VIRGINS is a story of spiritual and political upheaval combined with the backdrop of New York City dating angst. It tells the story of Sahar Salam, a Muslim American New Yorker approaching 30 and feeling the cultural pressure from her Bangladeshi mother to settle down. RAISINS NOT VIRGINS is a romantic comedy about a Muslim American woman, choosing to practice her religion on her terms and re-interpreting Islam in the process.
SHARBARI ZOHRA AHMED’s short fiction has appeared in The Gettysburg Review, The Asian Pacific American Journal, Catamaran, Caravan Magazine, Inroads, Wasafiri, Painted Bride Quarterly and Roanoke Review. Her debut novel is forthcoming in August, 2019 by Amazon India/Westland Publishing. She is a 2018 Storyknife Fellow and a Tribeca All Access Fellow. She is on the faculty of the MFA program at Manhattanville College and Artist in Residence in the Film and Television MA Program at Sacred Heart University. In 2018, she gave a TEDx talk about grappling with her Muslim identity, entitled, “Between the Kabaah Sharif and a Hard Place.” She was on the writing team for Season One of the TV Series, “Quantico” on ABC. Most recently she wrote the screen adaptation of Mitali Perkin’s YA novel Rickshaw Girl. Her debut book The Ocean of Mrs. Nagai: Storieswas released in November 2013 by Daily Star Books. The screenplay version of her play Raisins Not Virgins was part of the Tribeca All Access program at the Tribeca Film Festival.
She was born in Bangladesh and raised in New York, Connecticut and Ethiopia. She lives in Darien, CT.
ARPITA MUKHERJEE is a New York-based director who works on new plays and musicals. She is the Artistic Director of the Congressional Award-winning Hypokrit Theatre Company and the Festival Chair of Tamasha for South Asian artists.
Recent: Monsoon Wedding (Berkeley Rep); Elements of Change (co-production with UNICEF, Rattlestick, and Greenpoint Innovations); Romeo and Juliet (Access Theater); and My First Time ( D.C. premiere). She has developed work at the Public Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, Ma-Yi and Baruch College. Upcoming: Emily Mann’s Still Life reading (WP Theater); House of Joy with Sam Woodhouse (San Diego Rep); Untitled Climate Project (Mabou Mines); Anon(ymous) by Naomi Iizuka at Iowa State University, where she will be the 2019 Artist-in-Residence. Arpita is a 2018-2020 Women’s Project Lab Fellow, a 2018 Eugene O’ Neill National Directing Fellow, a 2019 Mabou Mines Resident Artist, a member of the 2018 Lincoln Center Directors Lab and recipient of the 2018 Jonathan Alper Directing Fellowship.
Hypokrit (n.): Actor (Ancient Greek)
Hypokrit Theatre Company’s mission is to encourage artistic inquiry by providing artists from minority communities a platform for their voices and work. Hypokrit works towards shaping and molding the artists of tomorrow by encouraging original and groundbreaking voices that bring an innovative approach to the arts.
Founded in 2014 by Arpita Mukherjee and Shubhra Prakash, Hypokrit made waves by bringing a radically reimagined Bollywood version of Romeo and Juliet to Access Theater, earning the company a certificate of special recognition from Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. Since then, Hypokrit has produced How to Succeed as an Ethnically Ambiguous Actor starring Zenobia Shroff from “The Big Sick” first at Paradise Factory and then in co-production with The Castillo Theatre, Elements of Change in collaboration with UNICEF, Greenpoint Innovations, and Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre and most recently developed at Mabou Mines, and Eh Dah? Questions for my Father at NYMF and most recently for a sold-out run at the Next Door Series at New York Theatre Workshop.
Hypokrit strives to embody the rich cultural complexity of the world we live in through our work. Our work is culturally specific, but ultimately about the universality of the human experience. We are a company exclusively run by and wholly dedicated to minority communities. Read more about us here – www.hypokritnyc.org.