The Artists of the Multitudes Staged Reading

Anand B. Bhatt

Anand B. Bhatt Headshot Anand B. Bhatt holds the title of Mr. Desi IL 2012 and Mr.India IL 2013. He began his carrer in the entertainment industry via dance productions, which quickly led to modeling for print and fashion runways. In 2013, Anand made his Bollywood debut in the role of Andy in the film Koi Aae Na, which was released in theaters February 20, 2015 in India. Anand is also known for his role in the Chicago premiere of A Widow of No Importance in 2016, where he played the male lead, Vinod, at Victory Gardens Theatre. He has also been a part of numerous other independent films, commercials, industrial films and theatre productions with companies such as Rasaka, Silk Road Rising, International Voices Project, and more. While primarily focused on acting, Anand also seeks to hone his skills in martial arts, acrobatics, stunts, and dance. He continuously works on multiple projects and develops his skills as an entertainer. Anand currently is performing as an understudy in Mosque Alert for Silk Road Rising.

Liz Carlin Metz

Liz Carlin Metz Headshot (Director; Lyn) is the Artistic Director of Vitalist Theatre in Chicago, IL, cofounded in 1997 with Robin Metz. Her Vitalist production of Mother Courage and Her Children Chicago’s was cited by the After Dark Theatre Awards for Excellence in Directing, Excellence in Acting, and Excellence in Composition. Other notable Vitalist productions directed by Liz include The Mill on the Floss, A Passage to India (After Dark Award for All Around Technical Achievement), The Night Season (Jeff Award for Best Supporting Actress), The Three Lives of Lucie Cabrol, Anung’s First American Christmas, and King Lear. She is a contributing author to The Voice and Speech Workout Book, Embodied Consciousness: Performance Technologies, and a forthcoming book on the Serbian theatre company, DAH Theatre. She has presented numerous panels and workshops at The Association for Theatre in Higher Education, The Symposium on Performance Pedagogies at Bowling Green University, and DAH Theatre International Theatre Conference and Festival. She has worked in professional theatre around the USA including Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Seattle Repertory Theatre, The Mark Taper Forum, California Shakespeare Theatre, and multiple seasons at Williamstown Theatre Festival. She serves on the board of directors for The International Voices Project (Chicago) where she also is an Associate Artist (directing), and has served on the Illinois Arts Council Theatre Panel. She holds an MFA from Temple University and currently teaches acting, directing, voice, and dramatic literature at Knox College where she is the Smith V. Brand Distinguished Professor of Theatre.

Kamal Hans

Kamal Hans Headshot (Kash) is the Producing Artistic Director of Rasaka Theatre Company. Recent productions include: Widow of No Importance (producer), Washer/Dryer (producer), and as an actor and producer of Rasaka Theatre’s A Nice Indian Boy. Kamal’s “day job” is Chief Operating Officer for Zarda King Ltd. (one of the largest distributors of South Asian products in the USA). Kamal recently appeared in Chicago PD, Showtime’s Shameles, and the feature film, Consumed. Favorite roles in theatre include: Aziz in A Passage to India (Vitalist Theatre), Invasion! (Silk Road Theatre), Avinash in Disconnect (Victory Gardens Theatre), Leonato in Much Ado About Nothing (Rasaka), Mayor in F*#kn’ A (Urban Theater), Marius in Fanny, and Caliban in Shakespeare’s Tempest (ITC), Devendra in Merchant On Venice (Silk Road Theatre), Salieri in Amadeus and Anatoly in Chess (Phoenix). Kamal has studied acting at the Theatre School, Julliard, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, the Univeristy of Chicago, Loyola, and IWU.

Kelly Lynn Hogan

Kelly Lynn Hogan Headshot (Natalie) holds an MA in Performance Studies from NYU and an MFA from The Academy for Classical Acting at GWU. Jeff nominated in 2009 for her work in Vitalist’s The Night Season, she also received critical acclaim for Mother Courage and Anna Karenina. As a company member, she associate-produced The Mill on the Floss and The Three Lives of Lucie Cabrol. For IVP 2015, she directed The Walruses by Cubana playwright Laura Liz Gil Echenique. With Frump Tucker Theatre, she directed In Perpetuity Throughout the Universe and The Conduct of Life. Kelly was AD to Michael Haney for 2007’sThe Heidi Chronicles at St. Louis Rep and Cincinnati Playhouse. She AD’ed 2015’s Macbeth and The Revenger’s Tragedy and 2016’s Cardenio for The Shakespeare Project of Chicago. Kelly held consecutive appointments as Visiting Instructor in Theatre at Knox College, where she directed Cloud 9, Intimate Apparel, and Angels in America: Millennium Approaches. Select Chicago acting credits: Silk Road Rising, Court, Metropolis, Live Bait, Chicago Dramatists, Body Politic, Piven, ATC, Piccolo, Raven, Aston Rep, Eclectic, OPFT, The ARC, Theatre-Hikes, Muse of Fire. Represented by Shirley Hamilton, Kelly appears in Dreaming Tree Films’ SAG feature Traveling Without Moving, releasing nationally in fall 2016.

Nikhaar Kishnani

Nikhaar Kishnani Headshot (Qdira) is from California and grew up in New Jersey. She is currently an MFA Acting student at the Theatre School at DePaul University and is in the Second City Conservatory program for improvisation. She is an improviser at the Upright Citizen's Brigade Theatre in New York, and a former television show host. She hopes to have her own sitcom. Her theatrical credits include Prospero's Storm (Gonzala) directed by Damon Kiely, The Children's Hour (Rosalie) directed by Nathan Singh, The Qualms (Regine) directed by Shade Murray, The Rimers of Eldritch (Patsy Johnson) directed by Chris O'Connor. Her film and television credits include Sama (Shaina Akthar), Him and Her and Him (Julie), and Brown Nation (Meera). She would like to thank Feroze, her family, and her friends for all their endless support and love.

Puja Mohindra

Puja Mohindra Headshot (Sam/Rukhsana/Harpreet) is a graduate of Northwestern University, the American Conservatory of Theatre MFA Acting program in San Francisco, and the UCLA Professional Program in Screenwriting. Her one-woman play, A Great Dive, was produced as four sold-out workshops by Silk Road Rising Theater (Chicago: 2015) and was in final consideration for the Sundance Theatre Lab and the Groundfloor Lab at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Her screenplays, Nima’s Beauty Shop, Amanat: India’s Daughter, and the film adaptation of A Great Dive were in final consideration for the 2014 Sundance Screenwriters’ Lab and the 2013 Mumbai Mantra Sundance Screenwriters’ Lab. Puja co-created, co-wrote, co-produced, and co-starred in the comedic web series, Friendly Confines, which earned an official selection at the 2013 Los Angeles Web Festival and the 2013 Hollyweb Festival. Her work has earned awards for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy Writing, Ensemble Cast Acting, and Best Theme Song. She is currently producing her second web series, Geeta's Guide To Moving On, which shoots in Chicago in May, 2016. She will direct a staged reading of Voiceless Melodies on April 27, 2016 for the International Voices Project at Victory Gardens Theatre in partnership with Rasaka Theatre. or

Alka Nayyar

Alka Nayyar Headshot (Monica/Sister/Waitress/Surgeon) has performance and choreography work featured in: The Jungle Book (Goodman Theatre, Huntington Theatre), The Secret Garden (Court Theatre), The Masrayana (Jeff nominee for choreography), A Widow of No Importance, A Nice Indian Boy, and Yoni Ki Baat (Rasaka Theatre), Merchant on Venice (Silk Road Rising), A Passage to India (Vitalist Theatre), Djamileh (Chicago Summer Opera), Haroun and the Sea of Stories (Halcyon Theatre), The Piano Tuner (Lifeline Theatre), thinkTank series (Remy Bumppo Theatre), LeapFest: Thirst (Stage Left Theatre), Around the World in 80 Days (Theatre-Hikes), Pacific Overtures (Porchlight Music Theatre), A Night at the Oscars (Chicago Humanities Festival), After Dark (Collaboraction at the Art Institute), and Chicago's Amazing India! festivals (Navy Pier), as well as multiple staged readings with the International Voices Project. She teaches dance at the Old Town School of Folk Music and through her organization, Chitrahar Cultural Academy. She holds a B.A. in Linguistics from the University of Chicago and is a Communications Consultant. Alka is always grateful to the artists and teachers she has learned from, and for family, without whom nothing is possible.

John Hollingworth

John Hollingworth Headshot (Playwright) John's first full-length play, Multitudes, played at the Tricycle Theatre London in February/March 2015 under the direction of the theatre’s Artistic Director, Indhu Rubasingham. He was subsequently awarded attachments to the National Theatre Studio and the West Yorkshire Playhouse. He has recently been working with Out of Joint in collaboration with the National Theatre on a new version of a modern classic. He is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin and UCLA. John also acts - having trained at RADA - and has appeared in productions at the National, Donmar, Old Vic, Hampstead and Tricycle theatres, among others. More recently he's played the regular character of Captain Henshawe in both the first and second series of BBC One's Poldark. He will shortly be seen on Masterpiece PBS in Dark Angel before Poldark's second season debuts in late fall.

Robin Metz

Robin Metz Headshot (Co-founding Executive Producer) received the Rainer Maria Rilke International Poetry Prize for his book Unbidden Angel (Cross-Cultural Communications), as well as a citation for excellence from US President William Jefferson Clinton. He has also won the Literal Latté International Poetry Prize (NYC), the Marshall Frankel American Fiction Prize (Other Voices), and 16 additional international awards. His play Anung’s First American Christmas received 4 Best of Season citations for its 2009 world premier (Theatre Building Chicago). His poetry, fiction, and nonfiction (more than 100 publications) have appeared in numerous national and international journals including Paris Review, Epoch, International Poetry Review, Rosebud, Other Voices, Fourth River, Oberon, Writers’ Forum, Visions International, Abiko Quarterly (Japan), New Welsh Review (Wales), The Wolf (England), Van Gogh’s Ear (France), NewFront (Nepal), Convorbiri Literare (Romania), The Seventh Quarry (Wales). He has presented his work (often in collaboration with musicians) in more than 70 US cities and in 24 nations (most recently Kosovo, Nepal, India, Wales, Cuba). His 2D and 3D art has been exhibited in Chicago. In the U.S., he has received grants and fellowships from the Illinois Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Music Corporation of America (MCA) among many others. He is co-founder and Executive Producer of Chicago’s acclaimed Vitalist Theatre Company and Director of Creative Writing, Knox College.

Jeff Awards Nominations
Vanessa Greenway (Rosaura/Astrea) has been nominated for a non-Equity Jeff Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Life is a Dream with Premiere Theatre and Vitalist Theatre. Read the full article in the Chicago Tribune.

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