"Adventurous theater in Astoria"

-- The New York Times


New York Premiere


By Madhuri Shekar

Directed by J. Mehr Kaur

 January 31 – February 16, 2019

Thursdays & Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 2pm & 8pm

The Black Box at the Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens
21-12 30th Rd @ 21st St, Entrance on 21st Street

WINNER- Madhuri Shekar, Outstanding Full Length Script
NOMINEE- Outstanding Premiere Production of a Play
NOMINEE- Mahima Saigal, Outstanding Lead Actress
NOMINEE- Margaret Montagna, Outstanding Sound Design



Queen tells the story of two female scientists, Sanam and Ariel, who have spent the past seven years researching vanishing bee populations across the globe. Just as they are about to publish a career-defining paper, Sanam stumbles upon an error which could cause catastrophic damage to their reputations, careers, and friendship. Now, both women are confronted with an impossible choice: look the other way and save the bees – or tell the truth and face the consequences?


Production History

Queen began its journey in the Center Theatre Group Writers’ Workshop and received its World Premiere at the 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. Included on the 2017 Kilroy’s List, an annual industry survey of excellent un- and underproduced new plays by female and trans playwrights, Queen has had subsequent productions in Seattle and the Bay Area. The play placed 2nd in the Kennedy Center’s 2017 Paul Stephen Lim playwriting contest and is an Edgerton Grant awardee.


About the Playwright

Madhuri-Headshot-large-reduced-1024x683Madhuri Shekar was born in California and grew up in India. Her plays include House of Joy (South Coast Rep’s Pacific Playwrights Festival, upcoming world premiere at California Shakespeare Theater), Queen (world premiere at Victory Gardens Theatre in Chicago, Jeff Award nomination for Best New Play), In Love and Warcraft (winner of the Alliance Theater’s Kendeda Graduate Playwriting contest and published by Samuel French), A Nice Indian Boy (East West Players), and Bucket of Blessings (winner of the Suzi Bass Award for Outstanding Original Work). Madhuri is a recipient of Audible’s new commissioning program and has been commissioned by South Coast Rep, Victory Gardens, and the Alliance Theater. She holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from USC, a dual Masters in Global Media and Communications from the London School of Economics and USC, and recently graduated from the Playwriting program at Juilliard. She is a member of the Ma-Yi writers’ lab and a co-creator of the Shakespearean web series, Titus and Dronicus.


About the Director

J. Mehr Kaur is a director, producer and curator of live and multimedia performance. Her work has been seen in New York at The Wild Project, Dixon Place, La Mama and Ars Nova, and internationally across the U.S., UK, Canada, India, and Malaysia. Mehr was a member of the Fresh Ground Pepper’s New Producer’s Lab in which she curated two evening-length works of performance collage. She has assisted directors Kimberly Senior (The Niceties, Huntington Theatre Company, Manhattan Theatre Club), James MacDonald (Williamstown Theatre Festival) and Oliver Butler (Juilliard) among others. Mehr is a graduate of Smith College and has been featured as a speaker at the Surat Sikh Conference and the Pluralism Project at Harvard Divinity School. She is a member of the Williamstown Theatre Festival Directing Corps, a Directing Fellow at Manhattan Theatre Club and a recipient of The Samuel A. Eliot, Jr./Julia Heflin Award for Distinguished Directing, the Bernhardt Brueger Prize and a Fulbright-Nehru Directing Grant.



On Saturday, February 9th, after the 2pm performance, APAC will host a post-matinee talkback featuring members of the Queen creative team and cast.

Patrick HOn Saturday, February 16th, after the 2pm performance, APAC will host “To Bee or Not To Bee,” a post-matinee discussion with Patrick Harrison, owner of HarBee Beekeeping. Patrick will speak about bees, beekeeping, and the problems that face both native and honey bees. Patrick keeps bees for four families in northern NJ and manages 15 hives of his own. His company, HarBee Beekeeping, is a suburban beekeeping operation based in Bergen County NJ with the goal of developing a more sustainable food system through a love for honey. Being both ecological and socially sustainable is important to HarBee Beekeeping. 



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