Madhuri Shekar is going places. I actually always knew this. Ask my mom. I told her so. But recently, other people have come to know it too, which is really exciting. Madhuri’s thesis play, “A Nice Indian Boy,” won second place in East West Players’ 2012 Face of the Future Playwriting Contest. And her play, “In Love and Warcraft,” won the Kendeda Playwriting Award from the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia, which includes a couple of readings leading up to a full production in their season early next year!
There are a few reasons I’m excited about this. First, I kindof feel like Lena Dunham. Not in the hyper-successful, controversial “it-girl” kind of way. But in a recent article, she was talking about her new (new?) boyfriend, a rock musician, and how she’s not gonna do the typical starlet thing, be demure and secretive about their relationship, because really, he’s great and her best advertisement. I think that was the basic jist. Well, Madhuri (and Zury) are my best advertisement. It’s hard to explain why Madhuri winning this big deal award (and beating me, I might add) was an ego boost, but it was. Sometimes I know I’m a writer because I write and talk writing with these two. So… watch out, Lena Dunham. Madhuri’s coming for you. And I’m her guitarist boyfriend.
Another even bigger reason I’m excited is that I’m always excited to see or hear Madhuri’s work. A full production of “In Love and Warcraft” is going to be the most delightful night of theatre ever. That’s the word I’d use for Madhuri’s work. Delightful. She clearly has so much fun writing her stories, and because she’s good, that means fun for all of us. Our professor used the word “exuberant” at one point. Okay. I guess that works, too.
Madhuri’s plays stick with you. She can write a funny scene, whether it’s two sweet Indian parents trying to decipher the movie Milk, or a romantic reconciliation inside a video game, or an OCD monkey pooping out a wedding ring. That last image is not from “A Nice Indian Boy,” I’m sorry to say. You won’t be seeing that in May. You will however get a rich, funny, hopeful story about marriage and family and love, in its many forms, and food, and tattoos. It’s a great play from a great writer. And when you all love it, I’m gonna be super proud.