Unanimously Praised “Nirbhaya” Plays Final Weeks at Lynn Redgrave Theater
Rick Miramontez/ Lily Robinson/ Patrick Lazour
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, PLEASE
THE UNANIMOUSLY PRAISED
“ N I R B H A Y A ”
PLAYS FINAL WEEKS AT LYNN REDGRAVE THEATER
AND SHIVHANS PICTURES
PRESENT THE U.S. PREMIERE OF
AN ASSEMBLY, RIVERSIDE STUDIOS, AND POORNA JAGANNATHAN PRODUCTION
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
BASED ON THE PERFORMERS’ REAL LIFE EXPERIENCES AND THE VIOLENT INCIDENT THAT SHOCKED DELHI AND THE WORLD
**WINNER: THE AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AWARD**
**WINNER: THE SCOTSMAN FRINGE FIRST AWARD**
**WINNER: THE HERALD ANGEL AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING NEW PLAY**
FINAL PERFORMANCE MAY 17th
New York, NY (May 5, 2015) – Nirbhaya, which has received unanimous critical praise in its North American premiere will play its final weeks at The Lynn Redgrave Theater. Written and directed by internationally -acclaimed Yaël Farber (Mies Julie), in collaboration with an extraordinary cast and creative team from India, Nirbhaya had its world premiere at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August 2013. The production won the coveted Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award (for the outstanding Fringe production that raises awareness of human rights) as well as the Scotsman Fringe First and the Herald Angel Award for Outstanding New Play. Nirbhaya, hailed as one of the most urgent and compelling pieces of human rights theatre ever, began its 5 week run Thursday, April 16 and will play its final performance Sunday, May 17.
On the night of December 16th, 2012, a young woman named Jyoti Singh Pandey and her male friend boarded a bus in urban Delhi heading for home. What followed, changed the lives of these two people and countless others forever. Unable to reveal her name, the press names her “Nirbhaya” – Fearless One. In a bid to shatter the silence around sexual violence, Nirbhaya’s company of actors present the shocking events surrounding Jyoti Singh Pandey’s story as well as giving their own moving testimonials, cracking open the cone of silence around women whose lives have been shattered by gender-based violence.
“As a woman from Delhi, the story of Nirbhaya shocked and outraged me as it did so many millions of people around the world. It is an honor to help bring this breathtaking work to New York in April, which we hope will serve as a call to arms to end violence against women everywhere.” – Shivani Rawat, Founder of ShivHans Pictures
Nirbhaya is playing the following performance schedule: Tuesday through Saturday at 8:00PM, and Sundays at 5:00PM. Final performance will be on Sunday, May 17 at 5:00PM. Tickets for the production, priced at $30 – $89.50, are now on sale at https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/cal/351 .
For more information, visit http://nirbhayanyc.cultureproject.org/
Yaël Farber is a multiple award-winning director and playwright of international acclaim. Her productions have toured the world extensively – earning her a reputation for hard-hitting, controversial works of the highest artistic standard. She has most recently directed an award-winning production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible for The Old Vic at London’s West End, garnering 10 x 5 star reviews from the UK’s top publications, and exceptional reviews from top USA publications – including The New York Times. The production is one of the most successful in The Old Vic’s illustrious history and has recently earned her a London Evening Standard nomination and Broadway World Westend Best Director award. Nirbhaya (directed and written by Farber in India 2013) earned exceptional reviews and three international awards at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival. Mies Julie (written and directed by Farber) won a string of international awards at the 2012 Edinburgh Festival, was named one of the Top Ten Productions of 2012 by The New York Times, and Top 5 Productions of 2012 by The Guardian. Nirbhaya, Mies Julie and several other works written and directed by Ms. Farber continue currently on prestigious international touring circuits. A selection of her awards include: BroadwayWorld Best Director (2014); Asian Media Award (2014); The Amnesty Freedom of Expression Award (2013); Best of Edinburgh Award (2012); Scotsman Fringe First Awards (2000, 2012, 2013); Herald Angel Awards (2003, 2012, 2013); South Africa’s Fleur du Cap (2012), Vita (1991) and Naledi Awards (2002, 2008, 2013); Boston’s Elliot Norton Award (2013); Canada’s Dora Mavor Moore Award (2014) and a BBC Sony Award (2001). She was named Artist of the Year in her native South Africa (2003). Her productions have toured across the major cities of the Europe, USA, UK, Africa, Canada, Australia, India and Asia. She has been an invitee at the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab (NYC), a guest artist at Mabou Mines Theatre Company (NYC), Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin), The Public Theater (NYC) and the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab (Utah). She served as Head of the Directing Program at the National Theatre School of Canada between 2009 and 2012. Ms. Farber was named amongst the top 100 South Africans by Citypress in 2013. Her plays are published by Oberon Books (London, UK).
Poorna Jagannathan is an award-winning actress and has worked extensively in theatre, film and TV in India and in the US. She is best known to audiences for her movie with Aamir Khan, Delhi Belly, for which she won a Stardust and a L’oreal Femina Award for best supporting actress in 2012. In 2013, Nirbhaya, the play she co-produced and acted in, won the Scotsman Fringe First Award, The Angel Herald Award and The Amnesty Freedom of Expression Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Ms. Jagannathan is a series regular on HBO’s new show, Criminal Justice. Some film credits include Thanks for Sharing by Stuart Blumberg and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani by Ayan Mukerji. TV credits include House of Cards, Royal Pains, Law & Order and Rescue Me. She also recently produced an India tour of Martin Moran's award-winning plays The Tricky Part and All the Rage. The tour sought to raise awareness of the much silenced epidemic of sexual violence among boys in India. Jagannathan is part of The Barrow Group in NYC and a brand ambassador for PETA. She was born in Tunisia and grew up in Ireland, Pakistan, Brazil, Argentina and America. She has a degree in Journalism and Women’s Studies from the University of Maryland. She currently lives between Mumbai and New York City.
The Culture Project was founded in 1996 by its current Artistic Director Allan Buchman. Its courage to create has paved the way for many mainstream theaters to tackle subjects that may previously have been viewed as too controversial in contemporary terms. Culture Project has declared controversy and purpose are the new black. As lead producer of The Exonerated, the show recouped and became profitable in its fourth month. In addition the show raised well over 1 million dollars for the individuals whose stories were depicted. The play also won every award for which it was eligible both here and abroad. It also won the prestigious Champion of Justice Award from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Culture Project also produced Sarah Jones' Bridge and Tunnel with Meryl Streep, a show that was taken to Broadway where the artist was awarded a special Tony for Unique Theatrical Experience. Guantanamo: Honor Bound to Defend Freedom was considered so important by the NY Times that it received a full above-the-fold half-page photo in the Arts and Leisure section on the Friday before the Republican convention. Buchman was able to lure Howard Zinn, Samantha Power, Danny Glover and Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu to be in the cast at various times. Culture Project has three main initiatives that extend outside the realm of traditional theater fare: Impact, a festival of political art featuring music, dance, film, theater and conversation. Women Center Stage, a yearly festival focusing on women artists, whose voices contribute to a world in which we would like to live. Blueprint For Accountability, a series that combines theater, film, and conversation about topics mainstream media tends to avoid where by government, corporations and individuals are responsible for their thoughts and deeds. UN General Assembly Hall Concerts – to date Culture Project is the only organization outside of the UN community ever invited to produce and sponsor a UN day concert in the 70 year history of the organization. In 2013 the Culture Project was renamed The Lynn Redgrave Theater.
ShivHans Pictures founded by producer Shivani Rawat, is a production and finance company creating unique and compelling feature films outside the Hollywood studio model. The company strives to keep the financing process simple in an effort to fully support filmmakers and their visions, while collaborating with top-tier talent. This year, ShivHans will release its first three films through Bleecker Street Films: Dan Fogelman’s Danny Collins was released in March, featuring an all-star cast including Al Pacino, Annette Bening, Jennifer Garner, Bobby Cannavale, and Christopher Plummer; Matt Ross’Captain Fantastic, starring Viggo Mortensen, Frank Langella, Steve Zahn, and Kathryn Hahn; and Jay Roach’s Trumbo, starring Bryan Cranston, Helen Mirren, Diane Lane, John Goodman, Louis CK, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Elle Fanning. For information about ShivHans Pictures and its upcoming slate of films, please visitwww.shivhans.com.
Shivani Rawat is the Founder and CEO of ShivHans Pictures. Originally from New Jersey, Rawat attended school in India before returning to the United States and settling in New York to study film and be close to her family. Driven by a love of film, Rawat founded ShivHans in an effort to champion compelling projects outside the studio model while giving filmmakers the artistic freedom to carry out their visions.
Assembly and Riverside Studios Led by William Burdett-Coutts the team has extensive experience in producing and presenting the highest quality arts and entertainment to live audiences of more than 500,000 annually. From bases in London and Edinburgh they also tour with partners nationally and internationally. They present around 150 shows as Assembly Festival – the longest running of the multi-venues at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Programme highlights include: Mies Julie (London 2013) and Simon Callow in both A Christmas Carol (London 2011 & 2012) and Tuesday at Tesco’s (Edinburgh 2011) and The Exonerated with The Culture Project (London and Edinburgh 2006). www.riversidestudios.co.uk – www.assemblyfestival.com
Cornelia Ravenal, co-founder of Wilderness Films, is producing with the Culture Project. Wilderness Films produces theater, documentaries and narrative features with compelling social themes. Her original work has been performed in theaters across the country and screened at over 25 film festivals. She was previously a journalist in India and a US correspondent for India Today, South Asia’s leading newsmagazine.
Abigail E. Disney is a filmmaker, philanthropist and the CEO and president of Fork Films. Disney’s longtime passion for women’s issues and peace building culminated in producing her first film, Pray the Devil Back to Hell (winner, Best Documentary Feature, Tribeca Film Festival 2008). She then executive produced the five-part PBS series, Women, War & Peace. Since then, she has produced numerous acclaimed social-issue films, including 1971, Citizen Koch, Family Affair, Hot Girls Wanted, The Invisible War (2012 Academy Award Nominee, Best Documentary Feature), Return and Sun Come Up (2011 Academy Award Nominee, Best Documentary Short). Upcoming projects include The Trials of Spring, and her directorial debut, The Armor of Light.
The mission of The Embrey Family Foundation is to cultivate human rights awareness and advance initiatives that challenge and embolden people to walk better in the world. The foundation values a vibrant creative spirit evidenced by the leadership of Lauren Embrey, philanthropic visionary. The focus and aspiration has been evolutionary and contemporary. This is expressed through their belief that art and media have the positive power to open up hearts and transform lives. The Embrey Family Foundation actively collaborates with others to infuse diverse concepts of arts and media nationally.
Julio DePietro is an award-winning independent film producer, writer, and director. Screen credits include Sundance Film Festival winner “Manda Bala”, “Disgrace” with John Malkovich, and “The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete” with Jennifer Hudson. Mr. DePietro is on the board of directors of the Culture Project at the Lynn Redgrave Theater.