Madhuri Shekar was born in California and grew up in India, and after a couple of quick detours in Singapore and London, made her first grown-up home in Los Angeles. She is currently based in New York City and is studying playwriting at Juilliard. She writes on themes of love, relationships and sexuality inspired by her cross-cultural background.
Her play QUEEN began its journey in the Center Theatre Group Writers’ Workshop, and received its World Premiere at Victory Gardens Theatre in Chicago after being developed in their 2015 Ignition Festival. The Victory Gardens production was nominated for a 2017 Jeff Award for Best New Play. Her new play HOUSE OF JOY has been developed at Juilliard, the Atlantic Theater, New York Stage & Film and Pratidhwani (Seattle.) She has received two commissions from Atlanta’s Alliance Theater (BUCKET OF BLESSINGS and ANTIGONE, PRESENTED BY THE GIRLS OF ST. CATHERINE’S), which were both produced for their TYA programming. She has also been commissioned by the Kennedy Center and is currently under commission from Victory Gardens, South Coast Repertory and Audible.
She is the 2013/14 winner of the Kendeda Graduate Playwriting contest held by the Alliance Theatre for her play IN LOVE AND WARCRAFT, for which they did the world premiere production. It is published by Samuel French and is now being produced around the country and abroad. She was also the second place winner of the East West Players 2012 Face of the Future Playwriting Contest for her play A NICE INDIAN BOY. They subsequently produced the play which has also been produced in Chicago by the Rasaka Theatre Company and EnActe Arts in San Francisco.
Her plays have also been developed or showcased at the Old Globe, the Kennedy Center, the Hedgebrook Playwrights Festival (in conjunction with Seattle Rep) and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She has been a finalist for the Princess Grace Playwriting Fellowship and the Many Voices Fellowship. QUEEN placed 2nd in the Kennedy Center’s 2017 Paul Stephen Lim playwriting contest, and is an Edgerton Grant awardee. BUCKET OF BLESSINGS won the Suzi Bass Award for Outstanding Original Work – Theatre for Young Audiences.
She has an MFA in Dramatic Writing from USC, and a dual Master’s degree in Global Media and Communications from the London School of Economics and USC. She is a member of the Ma-Yi writers’ lab and the Ars Nova Play Group in New York, and a co-creator of the Shakespearean web series, TITUS AND DRONICUS.