Photo Credit: Thomas Dunn
Shayok Misha Chowdhury is a queer Bengali director, writer, musician, and theater-maker based in Brooklyn. Co-founder of The Lonely Painter Project, an interdisciplinary collaborative of seers, movers, and makers, Misha looks to performance as the art of embodied inquiry. As a Director-in-Residence at The Drama League, Misha is currently developing Beast Thing, with Aleshea Harris, and Speech, with Scott Sheppard and Saori Tsukada. In the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, he is co-creating rasgos asiaticos with Virginia Grise; he will direct the premiere at CalArts Center for New Performance in 2020. He is also directing Grise’s Your Healing Is Killing Me at PlayMakers Rep in North Carolina. As a Resident Artist at Ars Nova, he is making MukhAgni with Kameron Neal, and as Resident Director at The Flea Theater, he will be directing Mac Wellman’s Bad Penny this fall.
Misha has written and directed five new musicals with composer Laura Grill Jaye. 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 been developed at New York Theatre Workshop, where Misha was a recent 2050 Directing Fellow. Their first collaboration, Artemis in the Parking Lot, was awarded Best of Fest at the 2016 New York Musical Festival’s Reading Series at Playwrights Horizons, and their newest piece, How the White Girl Got Her Spots and Other 90s Trivia, was presented at Ars Nova's 2017 ANT Fest. 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, 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.