|(New York, NY – September 20, 2010) Shabana Azmi kicks off yet another national tour in New York for her latest theatrical project, Broken Images, written by Girish Karnad and directed by illustrious stage personality Alyque Padamsee. The play is being presented by a non-profit organization, Bitiya, in association with the Indo American Arts Council on Friday, October 8 at 8:30 p.m. at New York University’s Skirball Center (566 LaGuardia Place). All proceeds from the play will benefit educational programs for under-served girls. A press conference will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. in the lobby of the Skirball Theater before the play. On-one-one interviews with Azmi are available upon request, and media MUST RSVP to attend the press conference.
For tickets, please go to www.skirballcenter.nyu.edu/page/tickets. For more information about the play and tour dates in the U.S., please visit www.brokenimagesplay.com.
The play is dubbed as a psychological thriller that brings out the various truths of the life of a celebrity writer, Manjula. Manjula is not a very successful Hindi short story writer. She suddenly becomes wealthy and internationally famous by writing a best seller in English. The question haunting Manjula is whether in opting for the global audience, has she betrayed her own language and identity? Now, without warning, it’s her own “image” who decides to play confessor, psychologist, and inquisitor. The play builds up with Manjula torn by various conflicts and ends in a very dramatic fashion.
“The play has just the right ingredients: a script by the acclaimed Girish Karnad, direction by Alyque Padamsee, and acted by the wonderful Shabana Azmi,” says Aroon Shivdasani, Executive Director of the Indo-American Arts Council. “We are thrilled to be associated with this theatrical tour-de-force.”
About Shabana Azmi:
An actress par excellence, Shabana Azmi has starred in some of the greatest Indian films like Ankur, Mandi, Arth, Khandar, Paar, Sparsh, Godmother and Tehzeeb, just to name a few.
Born to noted Urdu progressive poet and IPTA President Kaifi Azmi and theatre actress Shaukat Kaifi, Shabana has acted in films by virtually all of India's most famous art house directors, including Shyam Benegal, Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, Aparna Sen, and others, as well as in commercial and middle-of-the-road Hindi films, and some international films where she has essayed several strong female characters.
She has also acted on stage to considerable acclaim in plays like Harold Pinter’s Betrayal for Singapore Repertory Theatre – 2005, Tanika Gupta’s The Waiting Room for The National Theatre London – 2002, Ibsen’s The Dolls House for Singapore Repertory Theatre – 1997, Urdu adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle for IPTA – 1980 and most notably in Tumhari Amrita, the Urdu adaptation of A.R.Gurney’s Love Letters – 1992 - 2006.
Shabana Azmi has won the National Award for Best Actress five times, including three times in a row from 1983-85 for the landmark films Arth, Khandar and Paar. She has also won innumerable awards for acting, including the Filmfare Award for Best Actress three times and the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005. Internationally, she is one of the most respected faces of Indian cinema and has won awards at festivals like Toronto Reel World International Film Festival, IIFA (Life Time Achievement 2005) and Chicago International Film Festival, among others.
In 2006, Shabana Azmi became the first Indian to receive the prestigious International Gandhi Peace Prize for her two-decade struggle for slum dwellers through her movement 'Nivara Hakk' in Mumbai. She received the prestigious Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum – Davos 2006 for achieving outstanding excellence in the field of culture and having used art to reach out to other cultures. The President of India has also conferred her with the Padmashri in 1988. Recently, she was conferred with the `Akkineni Nageswara Rao Award' for her service to Indian cinema.
Having worked in over 140 films as well as in theatre, Shabana Azmi believes art should be used as an instrument for social change. She is married to Javed Akhtar, Urdu poet, film lyricist, and the one of the finest scriptwriters in Hindi cinema.
About The Indo-American Arts Council:
The Indo-American Arts Council is a registered 501(c)3 not-for-profit, secular service and resource arts organization charged with the mission of promoting and building the awareness, creation, production, exhibition, publication and performance of Indian and cross-cultural art forms in North America. It is passionate about showcasing, celebrating and building an awareness of artists and artistic disciplines of Indian origin in the performing, literary, visual and folk arts. For further information please visit www.iaac.us.