Rehana Lew Mirza '07 Named La Jolla Playhouse Artist in Residence.

May 1, 2018

Headshot of Rehana Lew MirzaLa Jolla Playhouse announced that married playwrights, alumna Rehana Lew Mirza '07 and Mike Lew have been named the Playhouse’s newest Artists-in-Residence. During their residency, the couple plan to continue work on their Playhouse-commissioned trilogy: The Colonialism Project, as well as a new musical, Bhangin’ It.


Rehana's Child of Colonialism was commissioned by the Playhouse and was shown as part of the theater’s 2017 season. The play is one part of The Colonialism Project trilogy. “The Colonialism Project is an ambitious time-spanning trilogy about colonialism and its aftermath. Through three interconnected full-length plays that together comprise an epic evening of theater, this work seeks to trace the scars of colonialism across nations and centuries, from British Raj in India, to plantation labor in the Caribbean, to the ripple effects of colonialism in America today,” According to the Playhouse.


The musical project, B​hangin' It, has a book by Mirza and Lew, with music and lyrics by Sam Willmott. "The story follows a biracial student, Mary, who gets kicked off her bhangra team for not being 'Indian enough.' When she forms a team of her own, cultural authenticity and cultural pluralism are set on a collision course in this brash, intoxicating and gripping new musical," according to the show's description. 


“Mike and Rehana both possess riveting new voices in the theatre, and it is deeply gratifying to be able to offer them this joint residency to develop new projects together and immerse themselves in the day-to-day operations of the Playhouse,” La Jolla Artistic Director Cristopher Ashley told The San Diego Tribune


Rehana Lew Mirza’s full-length plays include: Soldier X ( Brooklyn College 2016 production; 2015 Ma-Yi Theater production; 2015 Kilroy Selection; 2012 NYSCA Commission; Lark Development Center Studio Retreat); Lonely Leela (production at LPAC; workshops with Magic Theatre, HERE, and New Georges; reading at 2G); Barriers (productions at Desipina and Asian American Theater Company; readings at Rasik Arts, Toronto, and Asian Arts Center, Philadelphia; Princess Grace Finalist); Neighborhood Watch (NNPN/InterAct Commission, readings at Brooklyn College, Ma-Yi Theater, and InterAct). Her plays have been published with the Alexander Street Press, indietheaternow, and the New York Theatre Review. Her breakout play, Barriers has been included on the curriculum at West Virginia University, Yale University and NYU. 


For her advocacy work with the South Asian community, Mirza was nominated for a South Asian Media Award and was featured in publications such as India in New York, DesiTalk, India Abroad, Bibi Magazine, Nirali Magazine, EGO Magazine, among others. Mirza is also the recipient of a 2016 Lilly Award. She is a member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab  and a member of the Dorothy Strelsin Primary Stages Writers Group. In addition to her MFA in Playwriting, Mirza holds an BFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU, Tisch School of the Arts.