The background photograph is from the Death March during the Armenian genocide in Turkey, 1915-18. From Wikimedia Commons.

The background photograph is from the Death March during the Armenian genocide in Turkey, 1915-18. From Wikimedia Commons.

STATE OF DENIAL

**AMERICAN PREMIERE**

By Rahul Varma

Directed by Kimberly Ridgeway

June 7 to June 15

Sunnyvale Theater

550 E Remington Dr, Sunnyvale


Odette, a young filmmaker, travels to Turkey to investigate stories of genocide for an upcoming film. When she interviews Sahana, an elderly Muslim woman who has spent her life assisting survivors of the Armenian genocide, she learns a devastating secret that she resolves to share with the world at any cost, even if it means revealing her own shocking secret.

Varma’s work will not be easily forgotten, and it is an important exercise in raising awareness of the story of the Armenians in Turkey. This play humanizes this part of history, and shows us how, in the words of Sahana, "Hatred is an acid that will burn through its container."
—Chris Lane, Charlebois Post

The duration of the show is 120 minutes including an intermission. There will be a TalkBack with the playwright Rahul Varma after the shows on June 7, 8 and 9.

Advisable for ages 13+.


Rahel Zeleke (ODETTE)

Rahel is thrilled to make her Bay Area Drama Company debut. While dancing was her first love, she is now a proud stage, film, and commercial actor based in the Bay Area. Her recent credits include Belleville (ACT’s Sky Festival), Two Gentlemen of Verona (RADA), and Dance of the Holy Ghosts (Ubuntu Theater Project). She graduated from the University of California system and received training from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and numerous places in the Bay Area such as American Conservatory Theater’s (A.C.T.) Summer Training Congress. As a child of refugees, she is very excited to bring to life such a compelling story to her home base. In her spare time, she loves to travel, advocate for human rights/social justice, and contemplate MFA drama programs.

Rahel gives all glory to God and thanks her family and friends for their continued love and support.

Ken Boswell (COOPER) 

Ken is delighted to be making his Bay Area Drama Company debut with State of Denial. Bay Area theatregoers may know Mr. Boswell from All The Shah's Men (Henderson) with the Arabian Shakespeare Festival. He has also appeared with the City Lights Theatre Company in Spamalot (Arthur), Rocky Horror Show (Narrator) and Noises Off (Selsdon). Ken has also performed with Los Altos Stage Company in 1940 Radio Hour (Clffton), Assasins (Guiteau) and Little Shop of Horrors (Mushnik). He has most recently appeared with the Tabard Theatre as Fighting Prawn in their production of Peter and the Starcatcher. When not performing, Ken teaches theatre arts to young people in the Bay Area.

Basab Pradhan (KAZIM)

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. 

Sindu Singh (MIRIAM)

Sindu is an actor and director. She has essayed multiple roles with various Bay Area theatre companies. Favorites include Roma in Greater Than, Malini in Free Outgoing, Naina in an adaptation of Ibsen's A Doll's House, Damyanti in Party, Bagheera in Mowgli and I, Sarita in Kamla, and Hamida Begum in Jis Lahore Nahin Vekhya O Jammyai Nahin.

Her 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 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.

Sindu is Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Bay Area Drama Company.

Roshni Datta (SINAM)

Roshni is a stage actress, dancer and choreographer. She has previously acted in various Bay Area theater productions such as Rehearsal for Murder, Jest of Hahalaba, Mahabharat, and Muavze. She is a trained classical dancer and has acted in short films & music videos. She also likes to direct plays and create content for recitation & films. Last year, she adapted and directed Premchand's Kafan for stage. This is her first appearance with Bay Area Drama Company and she is excited to work with such a stellar team.

Anirudh Mohan (ZOHRAB)

Anirudh is delighted to be making his debut with Bay Area Drama Company. Anirudh studied acting in San Francisco State University and was part of a Shakespeare Troupe that toured to 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 favorite teams – the Golden State Warriors and Manchester United.

Anjali Kirloskar (SAHANA)

Anjali was actively involved with theater in school and college. After being a stay-at-home mom for many years, she recently rediscovered her passion for the stage! Since then she has done play readings and one-act plays for many theater companies in the Bay Area. Recently she played the lead role of Deepa in A Widow of No Importance which was very well received by the community.

She was a nationally ranked tennis player in India as well as a competitive swimmer. She is also a certified scuba diver.

Dinesh Rao (HAKAN)

Dinesh Rao has had a long-standing passion for theater. He has been performing for the past few years in Marathi, Hindi, and English plays in the Bay Area and back home, in Mumbai, India. Most recently Dinesh was in the cast of The Odd Couple and before that featured in Chinta Chod Chintamani and Khare Sangaycha Ter. When not a part of a cast, you will find Dinesh working on the production team or ushering at a theater production. He sees this as a great opportunity to make new friends and meet new “characters”. He fills the theater gap in his small but artistic family, where his daughter has a passion for indian and western dance, and his wife for singing.

Tony Ortega (KHATRA)

Tony Ortega is thrilled to be making his Bay Area Drama Company debut! Tony has performed throughout the Bay Area and was last seen in Coastal Repertory Theatre's production of Death of a Salesman. He has helped numerous new works come to life on stage, including Teatrovision’s Departera, 3Girls Theatre’s Birthright, and City Lights Theatre’s staged reading of Max Tachis’ play Candelabrum. Tony also had the honor of being a 2017 Theatre Bay Area ATLAS recipient. Some additional theatre credits include, El Diablote in La Posarela(SFBATCO), Tullus Aufidius in William Shakespeare’s Coriolanus (Syracuse Shakespeare Festival), Benvolio in Romeo y Julieta (Half moon Bay Shakespeare), and Rodriguez in Take Me Out (Dragon Productions). Tony’s versatility has also led him to perform for Television in DiscoveryID’s I Almost Got Away With It.

Richa Garg (ISMAT)

Richa is a software engineer by profession. Dance, theatre and arts have always been her passions. She was actively involved with theatre in Hindi and English throughout her school and college years. She has supported theatre groups as a backstage crew member in the past. Richa is extremely excited about making her Bay Area debut in the cast of State of Denial.

Chanpreet Singh (CLERIC)

Based in San Francisco Bay Area, Chanpreet Singh is an actor and a model. He has performed in various English and Hindi plays with renowned theater groups both in the Bay Area and India. He is inspired by simple ideas and believes art is a reflection of our daily reality. He actively looks to express himself through theater, films, performing arts and is an aspiring writer. Link to Facebook page: @Vir.ChanpreetSingh

Havish Ravipati (CHORUS, Understudy for KHATRA)

Havish Ravipati has been acting for over a decade and has performed in everything from plays, short films, an independent feature film and voiceovers. Some of his theatre credits include Merchant on Venice, Chitra: The Warrior Princess and Unicorns. He was recently in Rehearsal for Murder as Frank Heller. After helping as stage manager/voiceover for 2016's The Domestic Crusaders, this is Havish's first acting appearance in a BAD Company production.


 
Kimberly Ridgeway HS 1a.jpg

Kimberly Ridgeway

 

Kimberly Ridgeway has been working professionally as an Actor, Director, Writer and Producer in film and theater for over 20 years. Kimberly wrote, produced, directed, and starred in the stage plays Heavy BurdensNo More SecretsProspect Place, and The Gigolo Chronicles, and the short film “The Confession”. Her favorite roles include Mrs. Muller, Doubt, Sam Stevens, The Gigolo Chronicles, Coretta Scott King/Fannie Lou Hamer, All The Way, Randa, Savannah Sipping Society, Bernice, The Piano Lesson, Duchess in Wonderland (World Premiere), Tiana in “Hopes Identity” and Camae in The Mountaintop for which she won the 2016 BroadwayWorld San Francisco Award for Best Leading Actress in a Play (Local). Kim will return to directing Hickory Dickory at Dragon Theater, Redwood City, in September 2019 and Wait Until Dark at Village Theater, Danville, in February 2020. Kim is honored to have been trusted to direct this amazing piece of work with this talented and supportive cast, crew and playwright.