Meet the Labbies: NANDITA SHENOY

Founded in 2004, the Ma-Yi Writers Lab is the largest resident company of Asian-American playwrights ever assembled. We reached out to a few of the members to learn more about the artists that are shaping the landscape of theatre for Asians.


Meet Nandita Shenoy!


Nandita Shenoy

Nandita is a writer-actor making her Off-Broadway debut as a playwright with Ma-Yi Theater Company. Her play, “Washer/Dryer” will be a part of the Fall LabFest 2015 as well as one of our main stage productions in 2016.

Ma-Yi Theater Company: Who are you?
Nandita Shenoy: A sassy New York gal.

MYTC: What kind of stories do you like to tell?
NS: Funny ones with heart

MYTC: What play(s) are you currently working on?
NS: I’m working on my latest full-length “Washer/Dryer” as well as on a new commission for Flux Theater Ensemble which in my mind is called “Female Noir.”

MYTC: Is there a particular piece of theatre or art that strikes your fancy right now and why
NS: This question makes me feel simultaneously overwhelmed and totally blank. I can’t say.

MYTC: If you could meet one fictional character, who would it be and why?
NS: Elizabeth Bennett to find out how she got a happy ending when the odds were stacked against her. Also Wonder Woman to learn more about how she kicks ass.

MYTC: How would you describe your style of writing and/or aesthetic?
NS: Funny with heart. Also diverse and pro-woman.

MYTC: What makes you angry?
NS: Injustice. Inequality. Ignorance. Stupidity. Often, the MTA.

MYTC: What makes you happy?
NS: Great performances, delicious food, shirtless men, restoration of balance, wine, and chocolate.

MYTC: What is your favorite midnight snack?
NS: Ice cream

MYTC: Why do you write plays?
NS: I started writing plays because I didn’t see enough roles for me or my friends on stage in New York. But now I write because I like it and it makes me feel empowered to create my own work.

MYTC: How did you find out about the Writers Lab?
NS: Rey came to the very first production I ever had and suggested that I apply.

MYTC: Are there any upcoming readings, workshops, and/or productions of your work coming up? Tell us when and where!
NS: Washer/Dryer is running from September 17th to October 11th in Chicago. Rasaka Theater is producing it as part of their residency at Victory Gardens.
I am participating in #Speak Up: The Street Harassment Plays at Judson Church on September 2nd with a monologue called “The Interruptor.“Ma-Yi Theater will be producing “Washer/Dryer” in February 2016!

MYTC: Do you have a website?

Nandita Shenoy is a writer-actor hailing from Buffalo, NY and living in New York City. Her comedyWasher/Dryer recently received its world premier at East West Players in Los Angeles and will be produced again by Rasaka Theater in Chicago this fall. Another full-length play, Lyme Park: An Austonian Romance of an Indian Nature, received a workshop production at The Round House Theater in Silver Spring, MD, produced by theHegira. Nandita is the winner of the 2014 Father Hamblin Award in Playwriting from the Abingdon Theater Company for her commissioned one-act, Safe Haven. Other one-acts, Marrying NandiniBy Popular Demand, Rules of Engagement, and A More Perfect Date, have been produced in New York City as well as regionally. Acting credits include World premiers of Eric Pfeffinger’s “Some Other Kind of Person” and Richard Dresser’s “Trouble Cometh” as well as a season as a repertory company member at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. She is a member of the Ma- Yi Writers Lab and an Associate of the Dramatists Guild. Nandita holds a Bachelors Degree in English literature with a distinction in the major from Yale University.


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