by Madhuri Shekar

directed by Joanie Schultz

Originally produced at Victory Gardens Theater, Chicago, IL

April 14 - May 14, 2017

About the Premiere Production:

Synopsis: PhD candidates Sanam and Ariel have spent the better part of the last decade exhaustively researching vanishing bee populations across the globe. Just as these close friends are about to publish a career-defining paper, Sanam stumbles upon an error in their calculation s, which could cause catastrophic damage to their reputations, careers, and friendship. Now, Sanam is confronted with an impossible choice: look the other way or stand by her principles and accept the consequences? Queen, by Madhuri Shekar and directed by Joanie Schultz (Cocked, The Whale), returns to Victory Gardens Theater after enthralling audiences last summer at the 2015 IGNITION Festival of New Plays.

Artistic Statement: For Victory Gardens Theater, this play is a continuation of our exploration of social and political issues seen through the prism of personal relationships. At the core of Queen, though its themes center on the pressing issues of our global environment today, we are asked to question to what ends we (and women) are willing to go for our careers. How much would we be willing to lose? And what is the ultimate price of friendship and love? Queen isn’t just a story about the disappearance of bees and the decline of bee colonies worldwide.  It’s a story about two women from very different worlds coming together to make a difference and at a cost.

Under Chay’s leadership, Victory Gardens continues to bring new, bold and culturally diverse work to the stage to Chicago and to national audiences. One of our assets is our strong and nurturing relationships with artists of many cultural and diverse backgrounds and we are committed to bring underrepresented voices to our stages. Our engagement with the national South Asian artistic community is relatively new, and Madhuri Shekar is one of the foremost emerging artists who is representing this community in our field. Chay has been looking to give more South Asian American voices a home on our stages, and to represent the third largest populations of South Asians in the country now living in our city. And Madhuri’s Queen is the play.

Grant Statement: This Edgerton grant is allowing Victory Gardens to schedule two additional weeks of rehearsal, one in the fall on 2016 and another that will be attached to the pre-production rehearsal period in March & April, 2017.


Additional Funders Supporting Queen: REAM Foundation