House of Joy

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RUN TIME: Approx. 2 hours

INTERMISSION: One 15 minute

TYPE: Comedy, Action-adventure, Romance

GROVE TALKS: 45 mins pre-show


Paradise isn't all it's cracked up to be.

House of Joy
by Madhuri Shekar
directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian
August 14-September 1

A darling of the 2018 Bay Area Playwrights Festival, House of Joy is an action-adventure romance set in a harem at the beginning of the end of the Mughal Empire. Once upon a time and place, in something like 17th century Delhi, an imperial bodyguard risks her life to fight for what’s right, turning against everything she’s been raised to believe.



Madhuri Shekar

(Playwright) Madhuri’s plays have been produced internationally and across the U.S., and she is thrilled for House of Joy to have its world premiere at Cal Shakes. Her other plays include In Love and Warcraft, A Nice Indian Boy, Queen, Bucket of Blessings and Dhaba on Devon Avenue (premiering at Victory Gardens next spring. Her first audio play Evil Eye is available now on, and debuted on their best-seller list in May 2019. She is an alumna of the Juilliard playwriting program, and a staff writer for the new HBO show The Nevers, created by Joss Whedon. (she/her) @madplays

Oana Botez

(Costume Designer) LCT: In the Green, Bull in a China Shop, Luck of the Irish (LCT3). Off-Broadway: Pearl; Hamlet, Richard II, Richard III, An Oresteia, The Tempest (CSC); Love's Labour's Lost (The Public); Love in the Wars, Master and Margarita (Bard Summerscape); A House in Bali, texts&beheadings/ElizabethR, Alan Smithee Directed This Play, Supernatural Wife (BAM). Regional: Macbeth (Old Globe); In The Next Room or the vibrator play; Angels in America I & II (Wilma); Man in a Case (Hartford).

Team member

Need some context before the show? Come early and picnic in The Talking Grove, where a professional educator or dramaturg will hold a free and informal 20-minute talk about the production. Grove talks are held 45 minutes before every show.

Arshan Gailus

(Original Music & Sound Design) Arshan’s music and soundscapes have been heard at ArtsEmerson, The Huntington Theatre Company, Shakespeare & Company, The Guthrie, Capital Rep, Contemporary American Theater Festival, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, A.R.T Institute, The Lyric Stage Company, New Repertory Theater, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Harvard, Brandeis, The Nora Theatre Company, SpeakEasy Stage Company, The Gloucester Stage Company, and Company One. B.S. in Music from MIT. (he/him)

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