Lavina Jadhwani

Lavina Jadhwani

Lavina Jadhwani is a Chicago-based director, adaptor, and activist. She creates work that is well-crafted, rigorously researched, compassionately curated, and radically inclusive. As a second generation immigrant, Lavina constantly investigates the question, “What does it mean to be an American?” and through her work, she strives to expand the definition of that word to include more minority voices.
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Lavina Jadhwani is a Chicago-based director, adaptor, and activist. She creates work that is well-crafted, rigorously researched, compassionately curated, and radically inclusive. As a second generation immigrant, Lavina constantly investigates the question, “What does it mean to be an American?” and through her work, she strives to expand the definition of that word to include more minority voices.

As writer, her work had been developed by American Theatre Company, Gadfly Productions, the Gift Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and Stage Left Theatre. Her play VANYA (or "That's Life!") premiered with Rasaka Theatre Company (the Midwest's first South Asian American ensemble) in 2017. Lavina’s directing credits include work at Actors Theatre of Louisville, American Conservatory Theater, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Guthrie Theater, Mixed Blood Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Remy Bumppo Theatre Company, Teatro Vista, and Writers Theatre.

Lavina maintains relationships with Silk Road Rising (Artistic Associate), Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Artistic Engagement Associate), and the National New Play Network (Affiliated Artists Council). Time Out Chicago named her their “Best Next Generation Stage Director” in 2013.

Lavina is a graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University (MFA, Directing), Carnegie Mellon University (BFA, Scenic Design; Masters, Arts Management) and the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy.

Plays

  • THE SITAYANA (or "How to Make an Exit")
    The young princess Sita follows her new husband Ram to his kingdom in Ayodhya - only to learn that he has been banished to the forest! Refusing to abandon her partner, she joins him in exile, but finds her loyalty tested to surprising lengths. A solo piece written for a South Asian woman, The Sitayana is part Hindu epic, part coming of age story, and, ultimately, a break up play. Adapted from the Sanskrit epic...
    The young princess Sita follows her new husband Ram to his kingdom in Ayodhya - only to learn that he has been banished to the forest! Refusing to abandon her partner, she joins him in exile, but finds her loyalty tested to surprising lengths. A solo piece written for a South Asian woman, The Sitayana is part Hindu epic, part coming of age story, and, ultimately, a break up play. Adapted from the Sanskrit epic poem, The Ramayana


    "An artful, winkingly shrewd modern transposition of a Hindu myth about love, marriage, betrayal and acceptance." --Chicago Sun-Times
  • VANYA or "That's Life!"
    Uncle Vanya continues to be one of the greatest and continually relevant of plays, concerned with and sending up family relationships, broken hearts, and the rampant disappointment of midlife crisis. In this hilarious and sharp reinvention, there is great providence in the shattering of a teacup, time moves backwards, and our bored, sad Chekhovian friends have a tendency to lapse into singing American Indie...
    Uncle Vanya continues to be one of the greatest and continually relevant of plays, concerned with and sending up family relationships, broken hearts, and the rampant disappointment of midlife crisis. In this hilarious and sharp reinvention, there is great providence in the shattering of a teacup, time moves backwards, and our bored, sad Chekhovian friends have a tendency to lapse into singing American Indie Folk tunes. What could be more Russian? Or American?
  • Shakuntala, an East-Meets-West Love Story
    A modern adaptation of Kalidasa’s Sanskrit drama, infused with a mashup of contemporary Bollywood and American pop music.
  • JULIET AND REESE
    A pair of star crossed lovers are forced to grow up too soon when their are confronted with violent events in their community. This 10 minute play that spans four centuries, including two shootings in Dallas (1963 and 2016) with a little Shakespeare mixed in.
  • A Christmas Carol
    A Dickensian adaptation with a contemporary lens. Written to be performed by as few at 12 (or as many as you'd like). Inclusive casting required.
  • Uncle Vanya
    A streamlined, 90 minute (ish), freely written adaptation. Contemporary language. Written for a cast of 7.