Photo Credit: Thomas Dunn
Shayok Misha Chowdhury is a queer Bengali director, writer, and theater-maker based in Brooklyn. Misha looks to performance as the art of collaborative, embodied inquiry. He is currently in residence at BRIC and The Drama League and was a recent Resident Artist at Ars Nova, a 2050 Directing Fellow at New York Theatre Workshop, a member of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, and a Resident Director at The Flea Theater. Recent and upcoming: Aleshea Harris’ Beast Thing (The Drama League & Williams College); SPEECH (BRIClab & Playwrights Horizons Theater School) with Lightning Rod Special; MukhAgni (Ars Nova Makers Lab) with Kameron Neal; rasgos asiaticos (Soho Rep & CalArts Center for New Performance) and Your Healing Is Killing Me (PlayMakers Rep) with Virginia Grise; and Lucas Baisch’s Dry Swallow (Brown University).
As Grill and Chowder, Misha has created five new musicals with composer Laura Grill Jaye. Their automythography How the White Girl Got Her Spots and Other 90s Trivia has been performed at Joe’s Pub and Ars Nova’s ANT Fest. The Optics of Dying Light, a semi-finalist for the O'Neill's National Music Theater Conference, was first presented at HERE Arts Center and has since been developed at New York Theatre Workshop. The duo’s first collaboration, Artemis in the Parking Lot, was awarded Best of Fest at NYMF’s 2016 Reading Series at Playwrights Horizons. With Matt Minnicino, they are developing Inhume: A Genesis Story, for which they were granted a Creative Residency at SPACE on Ryder Farm.
Other credits include: Sarah DeLappe’s The Wolves (‘62 Center for Theatre and Dance @ Williams College); Nia Witherspoon’s The Messiah Complex (Downtown Urban Theater Festival @ HERE Arts Center); Cherríe Moraga’s The Mathematics of Love (Nitery Experimental Theater @ Stanford University); The Lonely Painter Project’s MAKE (The Hemispheric Institute’s 2016 Encuentro in Santiago, Chile); and an adaptation of O.Henry’s The Last Leaf (Barn Arts Collective). Misha’s work has also been seen or developed at Signature Theatre, Vineyard Arts Project, New Orleans Film Festival, Detroit Art Week, Digital Graffiti, Deep Water Literary Festival, Cloud City, Vox Populi, Asian American Writers' Workshop, and the CATWALK Institute. A recipient of fellowships from Fulbright, Kundiman, and the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Misha’s poetry has been published in The Cincinnati Review, TriQuarterly, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Portland Review, Asian American Literary Review, Lantern Review and elsewhere. He was a soloist on the Grammy-winning album Calling All Dawns, which he performed in concert at Lincoln Center.
Misha received his Bachelors in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity under the mentorship of Maestra Cherríe Moraga at Stanford University, his Master of Fine Arts in Directing Theater at Columbia University under Anne Bogart, Brian Kulick, and Greg Mosher, and studied Lecoq-based physical theater at the London International School of Performing Arts. He has been a visiting artist at Stanford, Fordham, Syracuse Stage, and is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Williams College Department of Theatre.