Shayok Misha Chowdhury '16 Wins Prestigious Whiting Award in Drama

Carlos Barragán
April 18, 2024

Directing alumnus Shayok Misha Chowdhury ’16 has received the Whiting Award in the category of drama. He joins a select group of ten emerging writers recognized in the fields of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama. 

Each recipient receives an award of $50,000 based on early accomplishment and the promise of great work to come.

“Shayok Misha Chowdhury writes with ruthless splendor and inventiveness about the borders of language, sexuality, the public self and the hidden life,” the selection committee said. “He is a conjuror who manages to create highly theatrical work out of quotidian reality with a lightness of touch rarely seen on our stages. His debut play, written in Bangla and English, glows with allusion and homage but has its finger on the pulse of its moment.”

The complete list of Whiting Award winners can be found here.

Misha Chowdhury is an Obie Award-winning writer and director. His playwriting debut, Public Obscenities (Soho Rep, NAATCO, Woolly Mammoth, Theatre for a New Audience) was a New York Times Critic’s Pick and named in The New Yorker’s Best Theatre of 2023. Misha is the recipient of a Princess Grace Award, the Mark O’Donnell Prize, a Jonathan Larson Grant, and the Relentless Award for his musical How the White Girl Got Her Spots and Other 90s Trivia. Other favorite projects include MukhAgni, a performance memoir, and Englandbashi, a short experimental film. A Sundance, Fulbright, and Kundiman Fellow, Misha’s poetry has been published in The Cincinnati Review, TriQuarterly, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Asian American Literary Review, and elsewhere.