Written and performed by Priyanka Shetty
Directed by Theresa M. Davis
“One-Woman Wonder” Priyanka Shetty’s THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM is a witty, dark comedy about just your typical Indian metalhead and software-engineer-turned-actor who must navigate life as an immigrant in post-Trump America. When Priyanka makes the bold move to defy her family by quitting her IT job and moving to the U.S. to pursue an acting career, things don’t quite turn out how she imagined. Gear up for a funny, tumultuous ride through immiscible cultures, unforgettable love, irreparable loss, and the desperation of not belonging anywhere. Standing room only at The Kennedy Center. “She's a performer to watch!” (MD Theatre Guide)
Part of 59E59 Theaters' East to Edinburgh 2022
Priyanka Shetty is an award-winning actor, playwright, and director based in Philadelphia, PA. As a creator of original works, Priyanka is focused on making art that is a reflection of our times. With humor, insight, and raw energy, her plays pose critical questions about contemporary issues, engender dialogue, and are a call for solidarity and collective action. Her critically acclaimed one-woman show THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM has been performed at numerous venues across the country including The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and will be staged at the 2022 Edinburgh Fringe as part of the Assembly Festival. This is Priyanka’s second time performing at 59E59 Theaters - her solo play #CHARLOTTESVILLE was presented at the 2021 East to Edinburgh Goes Virtual Festival and received rave reviews. She was handpicked for the prestigious Kennedy Center Playwriting Intensive 2021 and is currently a semifinalist for the 2022 Eugene O’Neill National Playwriting Conference. She is a certified teacher of Tectonic Theater Project's groundbreaking Moment Work Technique for Devising Theatre and is an instructor at the Moment Work Institute. Priyanka earned a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of Virginia and has served on the faculty of the University of Virginia’s Department of Drama. www.priyankashetty.com
Theresa M. Davis is an Artist-Educator in 3-D (Dramaturg-Deviser-Director) working on expanding the boundaries of creating culturally specific work in academic institutions and beyond. Theresa has collaborated as a Dramaturg at The Penumbra Theatre, The Contemporary American Theater, The Working Theater, and Geva Theatre’s Recognition Radio Festival as an “archaeologist of story” for Chisa Hutchinson’s play, The Bleeding Class. Tenured at three different institutions, Theresa has taught at Kalamazoo College, West Virginia University, and the University of Virginia, where she joined the faculty as Associate Professor of Performance. Her current research includes Speaking Social Justice, Black American Theatre, Hip Hop Theatre, and Poetry in Performance. Devised Poetic works include Give Me Liberation and Give Me Soul, Throw Your Head Back and Sing: A Tribute to Dr. Maya Angelou, Evolution. Revolution! Rebirth..., Speak! The Forbidden Truth, Struggle Seeks to Speak, Now!, and What If. Additionally, Theresa has directed staged readings by Playwrights Frank X Walker, Turn Me Loose: the Unghosting of Medgar Evers, and Kara Lee Corthron, Welcome to Fear City at CATF. Since 2019 she has had the pleasure of directing Priyanka Shetty’s The Elephant in the Room at The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, Keegan Theatre and Mill Mountain Theatre. Theresa is grateful for another opportunity to collaborate with Priyanka and share this powerful piece with the 59E59 Theaters’ audience.