East West Players (EWP), the nation’s longest-running professional theatre of color in the country and the largest producing organization of Asian American artistic work, is pleased to announce the cast and creative team for the US premiere of Free Outgoing, which Time Out, London has praised as “…a gripping and insightful story”, and The Independent has called “…profoundly affecting.” Written by Anupama Chandrasekhar and directed by Snehal Desai in his directorial debut as EWP Artistic Director,Free Outgoing begins performances on February 9 and runs until March 12, 2017, with opening night on February 15.
In this internationally acclaimed and timely play about a middle-class home in conservative Chennai, 15-year-old Deepa is filmed by her boyfriend engaging in a sexual act. The indiscreet cell phone video goes viral, becoming a national scandal that exposes gender double standards and conflicting views of female sexuality. Deepa’s single mother Malini—a modern-day Mother Courage—struggles to protect her children while caught between India’s embrace of new technology and adherence to old-world values.
“In the last decade, technology has transformed the way we navigate the world, yet the lens with which we see and judge our girls and women has hardly changed,” says playwright Anupama Chandrasekhar. “I wrote Free Outgoing in anger to explore hypocrisy regarding female sexuality and to understand my world better. I’m thrilled and honored that Free Outgoing is being staged by East West Players as part of their season showcasing women of color. EWP is indispensable for getting marginalized voices heard and for putting female practitioners center stage.”
“When I first read the script, it left me breathless,” says EWP Artistic Director Snehal Desai. “I was drawn to the timeliness and intensity of Free Outgoing, which centers on the epic struggle of a woman caught between traditional customs and youthful exploration. Anupama is a brilliant journalist and political playwright, whose writing incites dialogue about relevant social issues and gender inequality. It’s the most provocative play of our season.”
Making their EWP debuts are Anna Khaja (TV: Quantico, True Blood, Stitchers, and Silicon Valley) as Malini, Anil Kumar (Manhattan Theater Club’s The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife; TV: NCIS, Six Feet Under, 24, and Law & Order: SVU) as Ramesh, and Kavi Ladnier (The Public Theatre’s ANON(YMOUS); TV: Heroes and General Hospital) as Nirmala/Kokila/Usha. Kapil Talwalkar (EWP’s Animals Out of Paper) will play Sharan.
The creative team includes Snehal Desai (Director), Stephanie Kerley Schwartz (Scenic Designer), Katelan Braymer (Lighting Design), Sharath Patel (Sound Designer), Rachel Myers (Costume Design), Glenn Michael Baker (Assistant Scenic Design/Prop Master), and Brandon Hong Cheng (Stage Manager).
Free Outgoing is presented in association with Boom Arts.
All performances of Free Outgoing will be staged at the David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center of the Arts at 120 Judge John Aiso Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Previews are Thursday, February 9 through Sunday, February 12, with 8pm shows from Thursday to Saturday, and 2pm matinee shows from Saturday to Sunday. All preview seats are $25. Opening night is Wednesday, February 15 at 8pm. “Pay-What-You-Can” performance is on Thursday, February 16 at 8pm. The production runs until March 12.
Tickets may be purchased at www.eastwestplayers.org or please call (213) 625-7000, making sure to mention any wheelchair/accessible seating needs. Student, senior, and group discounts are available. General Admission ticket prices range from $35 to $50. Dates, details, and ticket prices are subject to change.
East West Players is proud to stage Anupama Chandrasekhar’s Free Outgoing as part of Radiant, a 51st Anniversary Season that focuses on featuring stories by and about women.
For more information about East West Players, please visit www.eastwestplayers.org.