MINITA GANDHI

MINITA GANDHI

Minita is an actress/playwright/writer who was born in Mumbai, India. Raised in the Bay Area, she is proud to call Chicago her artistic home for over 8 years. MUTHALAND has been featured on NPR, NBC News, and the Atlantic. It has played at Oregon Shakespeare Festival as a participant of the CAATA Festival, and The Statera Foundation for Women in the Arts Conference at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (...
Minita is an actress/playwright/writer who was born in Mumbai, India. Raised in the Bay Area, she is proud to call Chicago her artistic home for over 8 years. MUTHALAND has been featured on NPR, NBC News, and the Atlantic. It has played at Oregon Shakespeare Festival as a participant of the CAATA Festival, and The Statera Foundation for Women in the Arts Conference at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (2016). It was workshopped at Silk Road Rising for their Solo Festival (2015), selected for the Ignition Festival of new plays at Victory Gardens Theater (2015), and for a special performance sponsored by the Indo-American Heritage Museum. Muthaland will celebrates it's World Premiere this September 2017 at 16th Street Theatre.
Muthaland has toured the US with special performances at universities and Minita teaches an accompanying workshop, "Using Art as Activism."
Some of her regional theatre credits include Lookingglass Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Arena Stage and Milwaukee Repertory Theatre. Minita can be seen in the recurring role of Dr. Prospere on NBC's Chicago Fire, as Musarrat in Brown Girls, and has appeared on Fox's hit show Empire, NBC's Crisis, ABC's Betrayal, Fox's The Chicago Code, and was The Onion News Network's anchor, Nina Shankar. She is a Master Instructor for Pinnacle Performance Company, where she spent 2016 developing a Women's Leadership Program, and the co-creator of the Professional Mentorship Program for Women in the Arts in Parternership with the Statera Foundation.

Plays

  • Muthaland
    The brave adventures of a young woman whose life is forever changed on a trip to India where she unearths family secrets, encounters a prophet, and ultimately discovers her voice within a culture of silence. The familiar and the foreign swap roles in this dark comedy about culture, identity, spirituality, and sexuality. This play is inspired by true stories.
    In 2014, while foraging through her parents’...
    The brave adventures of a young woman whose life is forever changed on a trip to India where she unearths family secrets, encounters a prophet, and ultimately discovers her voice within a culture of silence. The familiar and the foreign swap roles in this dark comedy about culture, identity, spirituality, and sexuality. This play is inspired by true stories.
    In 2014, while foraging through her parents’ basement, she discovered her father’s worn suitcase from his very first journey to the United States, with a single statement scribbled in black Sharpie on the back of the bag: “When I die, discard this bag if you like, until then it stays.” This sparked a curiosity about her parents’ life journey and led to vulnerable interviews where they shared stories from their history they had never spoken of before. The telling of these stories began to bridge the cultural and generational distance between her and her family. Gandhi then realized by weaving their stories with her own life-changing journey to India in 2009 for her brother's arranged marriage, she had a powerful story she had to share with the world. Muthaland shares the magic of her journey to India, full of prophets, ritual, and the convergence of American and Indian cultures.

    After the first table read in 2015 a documentary entitled “India’s Daughter,” from BBC about the fatal gang rape of a young woman in New Delhi was banned because the Indian government felt it would “defame” India. Minita realized she could no longer treat the topic of sexual violence as a “bad dream.” She felt empowered to share her own experience with the world. It is Minita’s hope that Muthaland will bring love, laughter, hope to the community and bridge cultural and generational gaps regarding the culture of silence surrounding sexual assault and cultural identity.