THEY CALL ME Q!Last modified: May 2, 2013
THEY CALL ME Q!
WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY
QURRAT ANN KADWANI*
DIRECTED by OBAID KADWANI and CLAUDIA GASPAR
DEVELOPED with ELLERY SCHAAR
*Appearing as courtesy of Actors' Equity Association
Orlando Fringe Festival
THURSDAY, MAY 16 @ 8:45 PM
FRIDAY, MAY 17 @ 7:15 PM
SATURDAY, MAY 18@ 5:15 PM
SUNDAY, MAY 19 @ 11:30 AM
The John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center: PURPLE VENUE
812 E. Rollins St.
Orlando, Florida 32803
Purchase tickets HERE!
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BIJOY GUHA ENTERPRISES
presents A Special Event Fundraiser for www.asliceofhope.org
FRIDAY, JUNE 14 @ 8:00 PM
Hunter College, Ida K. Lang Hall
69th Street between Park and Lexington Ave, 4th Floor
Montreal Fringe Festival
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 19 @ 6:00 PM
THURSDAY, JUNE 20 @ 7:45 PM
FRIDAY, JUNE 21 @ 2:30 PM
SATURDAY, JUNE 22 @ 9:45 PM
SUNDAY, JUNE 23 @ 1 PM
Mission Santa Cruz
60 Rachel O. Montreal
Quebec H2W 1G3
Purchase tickets HERE!
BECOME A PART OF THE DREAM!
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Who is Q? Why do they call her Q? Travel with Q as she goes on a journey to find herself amidst 13 characters based on her traditional Indian parents, Caucasian teachers, Puerto Rican classmates, African-American friends and various Indian women. Life wasn’t easy growing up in the Bronx but will Q be able to reconcile being Indian and American?
*Appropriate for audiences over 13 years old.
September 6-9, 2012, THEY CALL ME Q! debuted at The Chicago Fringe Festival
November 6-17, 2012, THEY CALL ME Q! debuted in NYC as part of Variations Theatre Group: Harvest Theatre Festival in Long Island City. Best Actress Award
Jan 10, 2013, THEY CALL ME Q! was a Special Event hosted by "The Inspired Word" in NYC
Feb 1-3, 2013, THEY CALL ME Q! debuted in Hawaii at the Maui Fringe Festival. Best Play Award
Mar 5, 2013, THEY CALL ME Q! was performed at the State University of New York at Cobleskill
Mar 15, 2013, THEY CALL ME Q! was a Special Event hosted by Sankara Eye Foundation in NYC
Mar 16, 2013, THEY CALL ME Q! was performed at Anna Maria College in Massachusetts
April 19, 2013, THEY CALL ME Q! was a Special Event hosted by Lend-A-Hand India in NYC
May 16-19, 2013, THEY CALL ME Q! will be part of the Orlando Fringe Festival
June 14, 2013, THEY CALL ME Q! will be a Special Event hosted by Bijoy Entertainment in NYC, raising funds for A Slice of Hope
June 20-23, 2013, THEY CALL ME Q! will have its Canada debut at the Festival St. Ambroise Fringe de Montreal
July 18-21, THEY CALL ME Q! will be part of the Capital Fringe Festival in Washington, D.C.
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Beautiful, very well done! This is very unique, the history reminds all of us, what we went through, what our children went through and where they stand right now. I’m very proud of the show! – Mr. Jatrani, Lend-A-Hand India Fundraiser NYC
I could relate in so many ways. I grew up in Pennsylvania in a one race community and I could feel her pain. Her parents are pretty much like mine too. I was tearing up – I felt connected. It’s amazing how one person can do so many roles. I hope she does more shows and I hope she makes it big. – Ireen Bary, B4U Host, Lend-A-Hand India Fundraiser NYC
I thought the play was really dynamic. She’s funny but also serious, she’s sad, intelligent, clever, it’s a lot of fun, like a rollercoaster. James Emmerich, Lend-A-Hand India Fundraiser NYC
I absolutely enjoyed the show, I found it inspiring to watch. At moments, I felt like someone telling a similar story that I experienced. It was phenomenal, heartfelt and I really appreciated it! – Dina Denis, Lend-A-Hand India Fundraiser NYC
I’m from The Bronx. Qurrat ripped the play. She did her thing. She performed her heart, her soul, her blood, her sweat, her tears. I can’t express in words how proud I am of her. -Tanzeel Kayani , B4U Producer, Lend-A-Hand India Fundraiser NYC
I really liked the club scene, it was really cool, she really translated that feeling of being in a club for the first time, coming in underage and letting loose. – Ashish, Lend-A-Hand India Fundraiser NYC
Q was amazing, surprised me. Very emotional ,very funny, it was a great show. I loved it. – Bolti Studios, Lend-A-Hand India Fundraiser NYC
I thought the show was really great, very relatable to my own self! – Ese, Lend-A-Hand India Fundraiser NYC
I thought it was a fantastic show! – Antoine Jackson
The variety of personalities was fantastic, it was a great experience! – Sanjeev, Lend-A-Hand India Fundraiser NYC
Acting was amazing, writing was really great. Moving and funny, it was a great combination! – Anita, Lend-A-Hand India Fundraiser NYC
I really appreciated how multicultural this performance was. It touched on the intersectionality of identity as the characters progressed. It touched on culture – whether or not to assimilate and maintain ethnic authencity while trying to manuever through life. It's relatable for all students with so many golden nuggets! The closing tied everything together with a really nice message and leaves you with a nice philosophical thought – leaves you questioning yourself. I want to bring you back! – Stephanie Williams, Director of Multicultural Affairs, Anna Maria College
I loved the show! Qurrat is an awesome, versatile actress – the way she switched the accents was awesome! Everything was so good. Her own self was the best – her experiences as a child – I loved it! It was worth watching. – Sonia Lawani, Desi Talk and News India Times, Sankara Eye Foundation Fundraiser NYC
In a truly enlightening performance, Qurrat Kadwani delivers powerful, universal messages that appeal to college and community audiences alike. By re-enacting her experiences as an Indian immigrant looking to assimilate into the melting pot of the Bronx, Ms. Kadwani eloquently conveys the struggle to define one’s identity and the challenges of confronting change. In her interaction with traditional parents seeking to preserve her heritage and her “marriageability”, Ms. Kadwani strikes a delicate balance between allegiance to family, the quest for individuality, and women’s empowerment. In the ensuing catharsis, Ms. Kadwani emerges as a stronger, more confident person, one who speaks with the wisdom of experience which connects her to her audience in a way that creates lasting impressions. – Brian Kaiser, Director of Center for Community Engagement, SUNY Cobleskill
It was a great show – very enriched for the experience. And I love Indian food – I love cooking it – so that was my favorite part. I could smell it. - Jeff Foote, Director of Student Life
I thought it was beautiful. It was awesome! – Katie, Freshman
I loved her mother, very real. – Michael, Junior
I liked her contrasting her culture with The Bronx. – Ann, Faculty
I was very amazed! I related to the Indian woman. It's really a matter of how your culture comes around to you and the way it shapes your circumstances and the way you view life. I find that fascinating. – Leah, Community Member
I've read the play but this was the first time I saw it performed and I thought it was very funny and moving. I like the dad character alot – he's a funny guy! – Michael Pulliam, Maui Fringe Festival Coordinator 2013
I'm not a big theatre guy but I'm glad I came! I was impressed. I'm Black Hawaiian and there weren't many Blacks where I was raised. I was teased and I could relate. There's stereotypes everywhere and the play speaks to many people. -Lee Ho'omana, Maui Fringe Festival 2013
Absolutely amazing, filled my heart! I was mesmerized the whole time. She told some of my story. I thought, if I could transform my pain from childhood like she does, then everything would be ok. -T, Maui Fringe Festival 2013
I was thinking of Whoopi Goldberg when I saw her on Broadway! I loved your mother and how much she really loves her daughter. -Zack, Maui Fringe Festival 2013
My name is Cleta and no one ever pronounces it correctly. They always ask me where did you get this name, how long have you had this name? Is it a family name? I could totally relate. -Cleta, Maui Fringe Festival 2013
My family was from New England but I grew up in the segregated South and I was completely lost. I joined the Debate team that gave me a sense of power, and I felt we had similar challenges, being a duck out of water. -Laura, Maui Fringe Festival 2013
I loved the show – I came to see it again because I wanted to remember the stories. I wanted to keep them. I loved your brother because he was so still and he told you not to cry and because he told you to cry and I felt that was very touching. In the transitions, you could see how the peices fit – there was nothing missing. Your attention was clear, so exact. -Matthew Gurewitsch, Maui Fringe Festival 2013
Towards the end when we are experiencing the cultural aspects of India directly,it was very comforting. It was what I was waiting for the whole time. I was sitting there and experiencing it with you. -Peter, Maui Fringe Festival 2013
That was a great performance – the point of view, the different perspectives! It surprised me how well you were able to bring the parent characters to life! That was clearly an enlightening and enriching experience! -Tom Blackburn-Rodriguez, Judge, Maui Fringe Festival 2013
I'm Japanese but I was born in Hawaii and I related to all of it! – May, Maui Fringe Festival 2013
I liked seeing you grow up in college, cuz that's where I'm at right now. I'm still finding myself- what have I done, who am I and parents telling you to do certain things. Really awesome! – Josh, Maui Fringe Festival 2013
You pulled out so many great lessons, little golden nuggets, and what got me was the Indian woman who was waiting for her suitors – she had somehow resigned herself to her existence but she was still happy. Terez, Maui Fringe Festival 2013
The show is fantastic. Qurrat is a powerhouse. Everyone has to go! – Heather Hume, NYC at VTG Harvest Festival
Amazing show!!!! For those of you who haven't been, you're missing out!!! – Elizabeth Juenger, NYC at VTG Harvest Festival
Great show! Was entertaining and fun to watch from start to end!!! – Russ Horowitz, NYC at VTG Harvest Festival
So many authentic nuances of The Bronx, growing up in the 90s, what it means to be Asian, American and Asian-American…a beautiful work of art. – Annalissa Vicencio, NYC at VTG Harvest Festival
I really loved it. It is such a wonderful story. One that everyone can relate to – which is what makes it so special. I especially loved the way you drastically transitioned from character to character, and we could all tell so easily who it was that was coming onto the stage. AMAZING! – Marisa Uranovsky, NYC at VTG Harvest Festival
The show is PHENOMENAL! – Annie Burns, NYC at VTG Harvest Festival
Knowing you personally made your performance all the better, but even if we were perfect strangers, I would have thought you were completely endearing and inspiring. Congratulations on such an amazing show. – Jamie Hanson, NYC at VTG Harvest Festival
Great performance, I didn't want it to be over! – Erin Sloan, NYC at VTG Harvest Festival
Fantastic show! Great storytelling, depth of characters, humor and honesty. Thanks so much for the invitation and bringing the show to Chicago. (ps. my 13 yr old son enjoyed it as well!) – Tracy Fletcher, Chicago Fringe Festival
You were WONDERFUL!!! YOU'RE VERY TALENTED!! Loved the show!! – Ruby Yo, Chicago Fringe Festival
Off the chain – Kenneth Wright, Chicago Fringe Festival
I really enjoyed your show. You're dope!!! – Joe Kollege, Chicago Fringe Festival
GREAT SHOW!!! Loved knowing there was someone else out there with brown girl problems!!! Thought provoking and fun, I suggest all my brown queens watch this show. – Asha Mathew, Chicago Fringe Festival
The show was fantastic. I am so glad I spent the time and money to see it! Great job! – Schae Lewis, Chicago Fringe Festival
What a great performance! – Shah Riaz, Chicago Fringe Festival
Notes from the Author:
As a South Asian female who immigrated to America with my family, I have come across many challenges in the quest to developing and understanding my identity. Many plays written by South Asian artists reflect the immigrant experience. However, I wanted to address the immigrant experience of the person who has grown up in America, who is caught in the middle of the American and the home culture, and who tries so hard to make sure that both cultures have a voice. I wanted to address the question: What happens when you don’t fit in either culture?
Growing up in the Bronx, I had experiences with many diverse people. I have written characters based on real people who inspired me; who stayed with me in my journey to understand who I am and who have helped me to become the person I am today. These characters vary from a Puerto Rican student who teases; a Caucasian teacher who takes advantage of her power; an Indian mother who tries to teach cooking; an Indian father who tries to give a compelling argument for arranged marriage; a black high school student who is care-free but has a secret, a black college student who uses her intelligence to show that she is tired of others who judge her; an Indian dancer in America who smokes while showing choreography; an Indian woman in India who has a very strict family but likes to be dependent; and an Indian henna-artist in India who gives a lesson about being happy in life, and many more. Through direct address to the audience and character monologues, I hope to show that my story, while specific to my life, is universal. I hope to show that this show will appeal to a person of any ethnicity. Everyone has had the feeling of not belonging; everyone has pressures from their parents; and most people struggle so much to find happiness in a world in which it is so easy to be angry.
I have also focused heavily on the theme of my name. Based on conversations with many ethnic friends, I have found that we share the bond of having our names constantly mispronounced. This may seem harmless, but when this error is made repeatedly, we are forced to accept it or constantly correct people. The latter becomes tiring and proves to be useless most times, and more often than not, it affects our psyches. The mispronunciation of a name affects how we view ourselves and how we feel others view us. We will always be the ethnic person, the Other, and so the quest to define where we fit into society gets even more complicated.