Where does the idea for a new play come from? How does a playwright work with a director? What is the process from the page to the stage? Playwright Aditi Brennan Kapil, the writer of Long Wharf Theatre’s upcoming production of Agnes Under the Big Top, will join Associate Artistic Director Eric Ting in a wide ranging talk about these very subjects.

This unique free event will take place Wednesday, Nov. 10 on Stage II beginning at 7:30 p.m.

In addition, Kapil will read the 10-minute play that inspired Agnes, a piece called ‘Cirkus Kalashnikov’Agnes Under the Big Top, presented March 2 through April 3 on Stage II and directed by Ting, is a magical tale of hope, identity, and reinvention, exploring the journey of immigrants in New York City. “I first encountered Aditi and her play when I directed a workshop of it at a LARK Studio Retreat in New York City. I was blown away by a voice that so compellingly captured the modern immigrant experience in this country, the isolation that accompanies displacement and alienation from a familiar world, the tension between those with and those without, the grayness that creeps in the longer and further away we are from where we come from… And yet floating above it all – a keen sense of a poet seeking beauty amidst the chaos of migration,” Ting said. “For her part, Aditi is herself an immigrant, half Southeast Asian and half Bulgarian, grew up in Sweden, and currently residing in Minneapolis, MN. Agnes Under The Big Top – inspired in part by elements of her own journey – seeks to find meaning in the chance encounters that throw us into each other’s paths. It celebrates not simply that which makes us different, but the very common thread of our different-ness.”

Kapil and Ting’s conversation – the first of a series between the two planned for this season – will give audience members an unprecedented view into the process of writing, developing and staging a new play. Plays, particularly new ones, don’t just spring to life fully formed. The spark and process of creation – while initially a solitary one – often evolves into a meticulous collaboration, involving playwright, actors, directors and dramaturges. The journey is a long, delicate one – one that Ting and Kapil will be exploring throughout their conversations with audiences this season.

Kapil’s current work, Agnes Under The Big Top, a tall tale, was selected as a ‘Distinguished New Play Development Project’ by the NEA New Play Development Program hosted by Arena Stage, and developed at 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 will be featured in the Arena Stage New Play Festival in January 2011, and is slated to premiere at Mixed Blood Theatre, in addition to its staging at Long Wharf Theatre in March 2011.

Her most recent 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, work-shopped 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 was nominated for the Blackburn Prize, the Francesca Primus Award, and the ATCA/Steinberg Award, and received the Stavis Playwriting Award in 2009.

Aditi’s playwriting credits include a number of plays for youth, among them The Deaf Duckling, a bilingual (ASL & English) educational touring show about growing up deaf, created in collaboration with deaf performer Nic Zapko for Mixed Blood Theater, andThe Adventures of Hanuman, King of the Monkeys, a Bollywood style musical inspired by tales from the Ramayana, and Hanuman and the Girl Prince, a play for youth in iambic verse inspired by a brief episode in the Mahabharata, for SteppingStone Theater for Youth Development. She has also collaborated on several productions with In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater, notably Gotama a play about the early life of the Buddha, and “Beneath the Surface,” a water circus. Messy Utopia which she directed, and co-wrote with Seema Sueko, Velina Hasu-Houston, Janet Allard, and Naomi Iizuka, for Mixed Blood Theatre received an Ivey Award, and #6 in the City Pages Best of the Twin Cities 2007. Aditi is a Resident Artist at Mixed Blood Theatre, and a Core Writer at The Playwrights’ Center (Minneapolis).

For more information about Long Wharf Theatre, visit www.longwharf.org or call 203-787-4282.

Media contact: Steve Scarpa, director of marketing and communications, 203-772-8255, steven.scarpa@longwharf.org