DEEPA PUROHIT is a theater artist (playwright, actor) who passionately believes that personal stories are the building blocks to a leader’s development and telling them out loud to others, is a powerful force for change in our society. As a theater artist and a voice and speech coach, she has been engaged in social justice work working in organizations based in and working for justice in low-income communities across the United States for over 20 years.
Playwriting: A Valentine (2017 Kilroys Honorable Mention, Ma-Yi Writers Lab Fest 2017), Have Sari. Will Travel! (Rising Circle’s June 2017 Refinery Workshop, 2016 Lilly Awards Foundation Family Residency at SPACE on Ryder Farm, developed in part with Ma-Yi Writers Lab and assistance from SPACE on Ryder Farm - 2015 and 2016), Bones (2017 Ma-Yi Writers Lab/Andrew W. Mellon Creative Fellowship Residency at the University of Washington, Ma-Yi Writers Lab Fest 2015), Flight (2011). Short plays: LotusMart, Ohio (Desipina Productions 2003), Exiled (2001). Writing w/Sanjit De Silva and Rising Circle: Grace (2010), The American Family Project (2007), Pulling the Lever (2004, Published in Plays and Playwrights 2006, 2004 NYIT Award for Best Ensemble). In development: Untitled “Indian” Project (2017 Recipient of New Play Frontiers Residency and Commission at People’s Light Theatre – w/Sanjit De Silva), “M Experience” (dir. Noelle Ghoussaini), “Elyria” (dir. Stephen Brown-Fried).
Deepa has been a member of Ma-Yi Writers Lab since 2014. She is the Co-founder of Rising Circle Theater Collective, a theater company dedicated to developing and producing the unheard stories of people of color on the American stage. As the Artistic Director of her theater company for 12 years, she oversaw the development and/or production of 20 original plays written by playwrights of color, the reconstitution and development of a new Board, the expansion of programming for Q Up, a five-day arts intensive for Asian American high school girls from Queens, the development of Rising Circle’s, INKtank, a 12-week writers lab for writers of color, currently in its 4th year, and a new play development program called The Refinery, bringing plays from page to the stage. Deepa completed her acting training at Harlem Theatre Company. Acting Credits include: Elementary, The Sopranos, Sex in the City 2, L&O Criminal Intent.
As Founder and CEO of her consulting company, Finding Your Authentic Voice, Inc., she uses her extensive training as an actor, writer and producer in the theater combined with her ongoing work in education to coach senior education leaders who are laser focused on educational equity on how to use storytelling and public speaking techniques to inspire people
to take action and make change in their communities.
MPH, Columbia University. BA, Northwestern University. Baltimore 1992 Teach For America alumnus.
NEW YORK THEATRE WORKSHOP: Founded in 1979, NYTW is dedicated to ensuring the robust and compelling presence of the artist in society. This mission is manifested in two distinct focuses of activity: through producing an annual season of productions in our 199-seat theatre and by inviting theatre-makers at all stages of their careers to participate in activates that allow them to gain support for both themselves and their projects.