BOILED BEANS ON TOAST
By Girish Karnad
Directed by Sindu Singh
September 6th to 14th, 2019
Foothill College, Los Altos Hills
We begin our season with a heartfelt tribute to the late Girish Karnad – literary giant, activist, intellectual and an exemplary human being –whose recent passing has left us with a tremendous personal and professional void. Boiled Beans on Toast is his ode to the city of Bangalore - The Silicon Valley of India. With a zany cast of characters including an upper crust housewife who bemoans the cutting down of a sprawling tree for road building, a wide-eyed small town dweller seeking his fortune in the city's shiny, brave new world of outsourcing and a smart-as-a-whip, keenly resourceful maidservant willing to sacrifice all morals and ethics for survival, the play examines urbanization, modernization and the ensuing impact on average city folk across social classes with Karnad's signature wit, sarcasm and searing humor.
Basab Pradhan (PRABHAKAR)
Basab is a stage actor, director and playwright. His notable work as an actor includes Imam Saleem in The Invisible Hand, Nath in Kanyadaan, Chairman Rao in Not Equal To, Moolchand in Counter Offence, Salman in The Domestic Crusaders and Jairaj in Dance Like a Man. His original full-length plays Not Equal To and Greater Than were staged in 2017 and 2018. Divided By, his next original play is slated for December 2019.
Basab is Founder & Co-Artistic Director of Bay Area Drama Company.
Dhira Ramakrishnan (ANJANA)
Dhira is over the moon to be back on stage with her BAD Company family. In 2015, she made her debut with BADCo as Charu in A Doll's House. Her musical theatrical experiences include Camelot and Mowgli and I as well as traditional nautankis, Sultana Daku, Mission Suhani, and Indal Haran. She ventured onto the big screen in the full-length movie, Family Party, which is available on AmazonPrime. Currently, she sings with the Oakland Symphony Chorus under the direction of Dr. Lynne Morrow. Dhira enjoys a fulfilling career as a neurologist and healthcare consultant and is thankful for the unwavering support of her family and friends.
Rita Bhatia (DOLLY)
Rita is a passionate theatre enthusiast keenly interested in all aspects of theatre. She recently directed a staged reading of Mahesh Dattani’s Where Did I Leave My Purdah? for BAD Company’s ‘Low Res’ series. As an actor, she has essayed several roles with BADCo, including Sumitra in Basab Pradhan’s Greater Than, Dolon in Mahesh Elkunchwar’s Sonata and Priya in Basab Pradhan’s Not Equal To. Backstage, Rita has been a part of the BADCo production teams of Free Outgoing, Kanyadaan, The Invisible Hand and State of Denial. Besides theatre, Rita enjoys Hindustani classical music and playing bridge.
Vaishnavi Sridhar (ANUSUYA)
Vaishnavi discovered her love for the stage in 11th grade, when she realized this was the one place where she could overcome her innate shyness. She enjoys participating in substantive theatre and films with themes of social justice, women’s empowerment and also appreciates quality family drama and comedy. Apart from theatre and film, Vaishnavi enjoys reading, writing, gardening and cooking and watching movies with her two sons.
Vaishnavi debuted with Bay Area Drama Company when she anchored the trailer for Free Outgoing in December 2016 and then played Radhabai in Girish Karnad’s Wedding Album in May 2017. She has acted in Tamil, Telugu and English plays with various Bay Area theater groups. Most recently she was in The Fitting Rooms. She has also acted in short films, an advertisement and performed a cameo in a Telugu feature film. Vaishnavi is excited to play Anusuya in Boiled Beans on Toast.
Anirudh Mohan (KUNAAL)
Anirudh is delighted to be returning to Bay Area Drama Company having previously played Zohrab in State of Denial last season. He has studied acting at San Francisco State University and was part of a Shakespeare Troupe that toured multiple high schools around San Francisco. He played Norik/Haro in the production of Without Clouds from NOID inc. He has also contributed to a number of roles in independent plays and short films around the Bay Area. Apart from acting, Anirudh enjoys watching movies, reading novels, playing volleyball and supporting his favourite teams – the Golden State Warriors and Manchester United.
Richa Garg (VIMALA)
Richa made her Bay Area theatrical debut as Ismat in State of Denial and is thrilled to be working with BAD Company again as part of such a stellar cast.
She was actively involved with theatre in Hindi and English throughout her school and college years. Apart from theatre, Richa enjoys dancing and has received training in Indian Classical dance, Jazz and Belly dancing.
Kartic Bhargav (SHANKARA, HEAD CONSTABLE)
Kartic is an actor, an avid reader of plays and a theater enthusiast. He anchors BAD Company’s Low Res series of staged readings. This is Kartic’s second play with BADCo having previously essayed the role of Jayaprakash in Vijay Tendulkar’s Kanyadaan in 2018. Other plays include Lord Dunsany’s The Jest of Hahalabha, Oscar Wilde’s A Florentine Tragedy and Martin Mcdonagh’s The Pillowman.
Devika Garg (MUTTU)
Wanting to do it all, Devika is forever on the hunt for creative outlets. Whether its singing, emceeing or acting, she has always loved the stage. Among other roles in high school theatre, she had the most fun playing Chitragupta, assistant to Yamraj, the Hindu God of Death. She’s looking forward to making her bay area acting debut with BAD Company.
Pratish Shah (INSPECTOR, BRIGADIER)
Pratish Shah has been a theatre enthusiast all his life and has acted in small roles during his school and college days. In 2015, to revive his own interest in theatre as well as to support his son's passion for the art form, Pratish decided to get involved with the Bay Area South Asian theatre scene. He was double cast in a staged reading of Donna Hoke’s Safe. He then helped build sets on BAD Company's production team for Dance Like A Man and co-produced The Domestic Crusaders. BADCo’s Free Outgoing was his first main stage performance as an actor, He has since stayed involved with acting and directorial assignments for several staged readings in BADCo’s Low Res series.
Ullas Gargi (SUNDARARAJAN)
Ullas Gargi is an engineer who has worked on making machines to understand images, video and most recently music. He also dabbles in writing poetry and science fiction. With Boiled Beans on Toast, Ullas is making his theatre debut in the Bay Area.
Divya Balu Pazhayannur (MUTTU’S MOTHER)
Divya has always been fascinated with the performing arts. She is a trained Bharatanatyam dancer and appreciates the abhinaya (art of expression) aspect of performance and the orchestrated interplay between characters on stage. It is this admiration that drew her to theatre, leading to her debut in Girish Karnad's Boiled Beans on Toast. She is excited to be working with the talented team at Bay Area Drama Company.
Anju Prakash (SAROJA)
Anju was actively involved with theatre in English and Hindi throughout her high school and college years. After a long hiatus, Anju returned to the stage in August 2018 as Dolon in Bay Area Drama Company’s production of Mahesh Elkunchwar’s Sonata. She has also performed in multiple staged readings as part of BADCo’s Low Res series. In her spare time, Anju passionately watches Indian cricket and movies, loves to travel, and practices yoga.
Anju is a full-time technical writer by profession.
Sunanda Mukundan (RECEPTIONIST, VIMALA’S SISTER IN LAW)
Sunanda was drawn towards theatre from a very young age. She was an active member of her college dramatics team in Bangalore, and participated in multiple inter-collegiate events. After moving to the United States, she took part in theater workshops as a way of staying in touch with the world of theater. Boiled Beans on Toast will be her first main stage performance with Bay Area Drama Company and it feels special because this play is all about Bangalore, the city where she grew up. She has also performed in a Low Res staged reading with BADCo. She hopes this is just the beginning of her theatrical journey ahead!
Malavika Jayasimha (SUMITRA, SHANKARA’S WIFE)
Malavika Jayasimha is honored to be performing with Bay Area Drama Company again. She has previously acted in BADCo’s Main Stage production of Dance Like a Man, and two Low-Res staged readings. She has also played roles in a couple of independent feature films. Malavika is a trained Bharatanatyam dancer. She thanks her entire family for their unending support and encouragement.
Abhinay Rao (RAVI, WIPRO GUARD, AUTO DRIVER)
Abhi is thrilled to be back with his BAD Company family after having worked on production teams for multiple BADCo productions over the last couple of years including Kanyadaan, Greater Than, Sonata, The Invisible Hand and State of Denial as well as performing in several Low-Res staged readings. He has acted in several short films as well as essayed significant roles in Telugu and English feature films, a couple of which are forthcoming.
Sindu’s directorial credits include Ayad Akhtar’s The Invisible Hand, Vijay Tendulkar's Kanyadaan, Rahul Varma's Counter Offence, Girish Karnad's Wedding Album and Mahesh Dattani's Dance Like a Man. She has essayed multiple roles with various Bay Area theatre companies. Some of her favorites include Roma in Basab Pradhan’s Greater Than, the dual roles of Aruna & Subhadra in Mahesh Elkunchwar’s Sonata, Khulsoom in Wajahat Ali’s The Domestic Crusaders, Malini in Anupama Chandrasekhar’s Free Outgoing, Naina in Basab Pradhan's adaptation of Ibsen's A Doll's House, Damyanti in Mahesh Elkunchwar's Party, Bagheera in Harish Agastya's Mowgli and I, Sarita in Vijay Tendulkar's Kamla, Hamida Begum in Asghar Wajahat's Jis Lahore Nahin Vekhya O Jammyai Nahin. the dual roles of Kaikeyi & Trijata in Dr. Parameswaran's Sitayascaritam Mahat for the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, the dual roles of Indal & Mahil in the nautanki Indal Haran, performed by invitation for the South Asia Institute, UT Austin, Rita in Sanjeev Desai’s Go To Your Room, Mother!, and Bhagwati in Divided Together, an adaptation of Girish Karnad's Hayavadana for Stanford University’s Graduate Winter Repertory. She founded 'Rangmanch', a South Asian theater group for the Stanford University community, and for its maiden outing, directed Yoni ki Baat, the South Asian version of Eve Ensler's Vagina Monologues.
She holds a Master's degree in International Finance & Business from Columbia University and in her previous life worked in various capacities in Corporate Marketing, Strategic Planning & Advertising. When she’s not acting or directing, Sindu can be found playing with her labradoodle puppy, Jamun, or spending time with her fast-growing children, Jai and Naina.
Sindu is Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Bay Area Drama Company.