Aditi Brennan KapilCore Writers 2009 // McKnight Advancement Grants 2009 // Core Writers 2008 // Core Writers 2010 // Core Writers 2011
Aditi Brennan Kapil is a playwright, actress, and director, of Bulgarian and Indian descent, raised in Sweden, and currently residing in Minneapolis, MN. She is a graduate of Macalester College with a B.A. in English and Dramatic Arts.
Her play Love Person, a four part love story in Sanskrit, ASL and English, has been produced to critical acclaim around the country. It was developed during a Many Voices residency at the Playwrights' Center, workshopped at the Lark Play Development Center in NY, and selected for reading at the National New Play Network (NNPN) conference 2006. Love Person was produced in a NNPN rolling world premiere at Mixed Blood Theatre (MN), Marin Theater (CA), and Phoenix Theatre (IN), in the 2007/08 season. In 2008/09 it was produced at Live Girls! Theatre in Seattle, Alley Repertory Theatre in Boise, and Victory Gardens Theatre in Chicago. Love Person received the Stavis Playwriting Award in 2009.
Her most recent play, Agnes Under The Big Top, a tall tale, was selected as a 2009 Distinguished New Play Development Project by the NEA New Play Development Program hosted by Arena Stage, and was developed by the Lark Play Development Center (NY), Mixed Blood Theatre (MN), InterAct Theatre (PA), the Playwrights' Center (MN), and the Rhodope International Theater Laboratory (Bulgaria). Agnes Under the Big Top premiered at Mixed Blood Theatre and Long Wharf Theatre (CT) in 2011, and Borderlands Theater (AZ) in 2012 in a NNPN rolling world premiere.
Aditi is currently writing a trilogy commissioned by Mixed Blood Theatre based on the Hindu trinity, and on a play loosely based on the character of Imogen in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, commissioned by Yale Repertory Theatre. She is a Resident Artist at Mixed Blood Theatre, an Artistic Associate at Park Square Theatre, and a Core Writer at the Playwrights' Center.
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Brahman/i: A One-Hijra Stand-Up Comedy Show[Work-in-progress]
Download Script Sample
Sixth grade was hard enough before Brahman discovered he was intersex—or in the words of his traditional Indian aunt, a hijra. This hilarious stand-up comedy routine/play takes on history, mythology, gender roles, and high school through the inimitable comic lens of Brahman/i, a boy/girl tethered by neither gender nor culture, and wildly curious and inventive in his/her examination of both.
(part of trilogy)
Read the Dialogue Interview with Aditi Brennan Kapil:
The Chronicles of Kalki[Work-in-progress]
This comic-book infused girl-gang thriller chronicles the adventures of Kalki, a young girl who may or may not be the final avatar of Vishnu, come to rid the world of demons and evil.
(part of trilogy)
Agnes under the Big TopA Tall Tale
Agnes Under the Big Top, a tall tale explores the intersecting lives of immigrants in a US city. It is a magical tale of hope and disappointment, identity and reinvention, narrated by an itinerant subway busker. Against the subterranean rhythms of a subway train, an itinerant subway busker, a Liberian home care worker, a former Bulgarian ringmaster and his wife, and an Indian call center escapee find and redefine themselves in today’s America.
"...this lovely, brooding play bodes well for the future of the theater."
-Sylviane Gold, New York Times
"...a tough and tender play ... that is as graceful and evocative as trapeze artists flying through air with the greatest of ease."
-Frank Rizzo, Variety
"Lives intersect while others hover in parallel, but Kapil has created a masterly matrix for what are essentially first-person short stories told by the five main characters... this lyrical, bittersweet play is a spirit-soaring experience."
-Susan Hood, Hartford Courant
In this four part love story in Sanskrit, ASL, and English, love transcends sexual orientation, physical attraction, and social structure, and rests instead on the ways in which we communicate and how communication bonds or breaks us.
Love Person is structured around four Sanskrit love poems that influence and reflect the journeys of the characters.
Free, a Deaf woman in a relationship with Maggie, accidentally falls into a deceptive email correspondence with her sister Vic’s love interest Ram, a Sanskrit professor. Free and Ram discover a connection, based largely on an affinity between their two languages. As a result of the deception, Vic and Ram also begin to fall in love. Meanwhile Free and Maggie's relationship struggles to survive.
Love Person is available through Samuel French, Inc.
"Kapil's Love Person is a fascinating brew of emotion, wit and intellect that challenges its audience to reassess how the form of communication shapes understanding."
-Lisa Brock, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Startling and evocative"
-Michael Opperman, Twin Cities Daily Planet
"Heart-pounding attraction, intense all-night conversations- Aditi Brennan Kapil's Love Person captures the giddiness of new love affairs. But the play is even more eloquently realistic about the wear and tear that time wreaks on relationships."
-Nicole Estvanik, American Theatre Magazine, July 2008
The Adventures of Hanuman, King of the Monkeys(Theater for Young Audiences)
A Bollywood-style musical loosely adapted from the central story in the Ramayana from the perspective of Hanuman the mischievous monkey. The young monkey Hanuman is a social outcast with a fantastical imagination. When the Princess Sita is kidnapped by the 10-headed demon Ravana, Hanuman finds his courage and his destiny in helping Prince Rama rescue his beloved.
Running time: 55 minutes
Cast size: 12-22
Hanuman and the Girl Prince(Theater for Young Audiences)
In this sequel to The Adventures of Hanuman, King of the Monkeys, the monkey king Hanuman meets the Princess Chitrangada, who has spent years ruling her kingdom disguised as a boy. When she falls in love with the brave warrior Arjuna, Hanuman is the only one who can help her reconcile her life as prince with a new life as princess. Inspired by Shakesperean breeches comedies, this musical is in contemporary iambic verse.
Running time: 75 minutes
Cast size: 12+
The Deaf Duckling(Theater for Young Audiences)
In this coming of age tale intended for young audiences, a deaf child growing up in a hearing family discovers her voice when she discovers American Sign Language. The play is fully bilingual, and accessible in ASL and English.
Running time: 45 minutes
Cast size: 3
What is the psychological residue of colonialism? In this metaphorical exploration of the shattered economy and value systems of post-colonial India, an aging con-woman named Shiv manipulates, seduces, and tears apart an affluent east coast family, and possibly herself in the process. Must we destroy what we are in order to be reborn?
(part of trilogy)