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in collaboration with The South Asia Institute,
Columbia University and India Abroad
NOVEMBER 7-9, 2014

Nov. 9 - Session 4A
Playwriting and Drama
Moderated by Sunita Mukhi
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Aladdin Ullah
As inaugural member of the Public Theater's Emerging Writers Group, Aladdin has been been developing his soloshow Dishwasher Dreams which has been in festivals/workshops such as: New Works Now! At the Public Theater, New York theater workshop, New York Stage and Film, Chicago’s Victory Gardens, Cape Cod Theater Fest, Silk Road, Shakespeare in Paradise Fest in the Bahamas. He was the IAAC (Indo-American Arts Council) Playwright in resident at the Lark Play Development Center and resident playwright at New York Theater Workshop. His play the Halal Brothers was featured in the Labyrinth’s Barn Series at the Public Theater directed by Liesl Tommy and the Lab’s summer Workshop led by John Ortiz. It was also part of the 2010 Classical Theater of Harlem’s Future Classic Reading Series directed by Christopher McElroen at the Shomburg in Harlem. He is the recipient of the 2012 LMCC (Lower Manhattan Cultural Council) playwrighting grant and The Paul Robeson Development Grant. A recent book based on Aladdin's journey to research his father for the solo play was made into a critically acclaimed book called Bengali Harlem written by Vivek Bald and published by Harvard Press. ( A documentary is currently in production as well and you can see a clip of it online ( A recent interview on NPR highlights that journey:

As a comedian trailblazing the way for South Asians the past two decades, Aladdin has been performing all over the world as a stand-up comedian. He was one of the very first South Asians to appear as a stand up comedian on national television (Comedy Central, BET, MTV PBS etc)

He has been featured in hundreds of commercials, film and tv shows displaying his wide range of characters and voices. He was the hilarious Professor Gautaum in the film American Desi. On Television he was a series regular in the cult hit Uncle Morty’s Dub Shack which won several Telly awards for comedy and writing on IATV (Imaginasian TV). His voice was recently featured as the character of Hanuman in the critically acclaimed animated film- Sita Sings the Blues which won major awards at film festivals all over the world (Tribeca, Berlin, Toronto,etc ) It was hailed by critics such as Roger Ebert of Chicago Sun times-"two thumbs up!" and A.O Scott of NY times - " a tour de force".

Paul Knox
Paul Knox Paul Knox is a writer and director who lives between NYC and Mumbai. His play, Kalighat, based on his experiences working in Mother Teresa's homes in Kolkata was produced by the IAAC and published by the New York Theater Experience. His Gehri Dosti: 5 Short Plays with a South Asian Bent ;-) was seen at Harvard University, Wellesley College and in NYC at Circle East (formerly the Circle Rep Lab) where he was Executive Director. His short film, Two Men in Shoulder Stand, premiered at the IAAC and has played at festivals and NGOs around the world. Paul is a co-recipient of the UN Society of Writers' Award for his cultural exchange work with the Russian Academy of Theater Arts (GITIS). His feature screenplay, The Seaside Light, is in development with Columbus Productions in Mumbai and is shortlisted for a 2015 Sloane/Sundance Fellowship. Paul has taught at the University of Mumbai and serves on the Board of Equal Ground, an LGBT Human Rights NGO in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Samrat Chakrabarti

Neilesh Bose

Sunita Mukhi
Sunita Mukhi is a theater/film/performance artist, writer, cultural programs curator and an interdisciplinary performance scholar. She also writes and performs her poetry, stories, monologues that espouse the redemptive power of the arts with dynamic women as central characters. Her poems have also appeared in Contours of the Heart, Desilicious: Sexy, Subversive, South Asian, and in her own doctoral dissertation from New York University’s Performance Studies Department published by Routeledge as Doing the Desi Thing. As part of the Asia Society’s Cultural Programs Division and as the pioneering Director of the Charles B. Wang Center’s Asian/American Programming at Stony Brook University, she produced over 600 innovative programs promoting a multi-faceted, intellectually sound and humane understanding of Asianness. Also for Stony Brook University’s Asian and Asian American Studies Department she developed and taught courses on Performance, Cinema, and the South Asian Diaspora. She continues her curatorial work, arts advocacy and practice as a proud board member of the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective, and as the Artistic Director of DeviDiva Productions. She premiered her solo piece THE DEVI DIVA TRIAD as part of the prestigious United Solo Festival 2014 in Theater Row, NYC this last October.
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