Dipika Guha

1st Shakespeare’s Sister Fellow

Guha was in Old Harbor Bookstore in Sitka, Alaska, on a Rasmuson Foundation artist residency, when she received the call from the legendary Ellen McLaughlin telling her that she was the first Shakespeare’s Sister Fellow. “Even though it’s on a remote island,” Guha said, “this bookstore is one of the best I’ve ever been to. And even more so now.” Dipika-Guha

“Raised in tea-drinking countries all over the world,” Guha writes in her Shakespeare’s Sister application, “I was born in Calcutta thirty-five years after Indian independence. In those thirty five years, my grandmother buried her singing talent. My mother, warned that no man would marry her, was stopped from pursuing her education. My great-grandmother went blind from reading in no light…” Faced with this reality she concludes, “My inherited silence is closer than I had realized. My history still unwritten. The form for the story is not yet imagined. I pick up my pen.”

Of receiving the award Guha says, “It’s such a rare and incredible opportunity for me to grow a work supported by an ingenious structure that honors process and invites the creation of something that maybe hasn’t even been dreamt of yet… I’m over the moon.”

web-linkExcerpts of Dipika’s “playworlds…sustained by paradox and passion so immense that it dissolves boundaries,” live on her website.  Read them all and catch glimpses of what’s to come by clicking on the image “moon” above—a portal that will transport you to her website. Or, if you prefer a more pedestrian route, click here.

From Passing:


I don’t suppose you think about being lovely or being good do you?


When you’re doing God or your country’s work, it’s easy, yes, it’s easy to be good.

Lovely, on the other hand, that’s for the young.


So if I had some work.

Given to me by God, or my country.

I could move from my place at the window.


Matilda, from Guha’s play Passing

Blown Youth

Blown Youth

Guha’s plays include I ENTER the VALLEY (Weissberger nom ’14), THE BETROTHED (Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre, Chester Theatre), THE RULES (Superlab Clubbed Thumb/Playwrights Horizons) and BLOWN YOUTH (New Georges/Barnard commission). Her work has been developed by Old Vic New Voices in London, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, WordBRIDGE, Cutting Ball Theatre, the Playwrights Foundation, the Flea, INTAR, the Culture Project, One Coast Collaboration and the Tobacco Factory (UK) amongst others. Residencies include SPACE at Ryder Farm, Ucross Foundation, Djerassi Resident Artists Program and the Sitka Island Institute. She’s a former Dramatists Guild Fellow, a Time Warner Fellow at the Women’s Project Lab, Ars Nova Playgroup alum & alum of Young Writers Program at the Royal Court Theatre, London. She’s a proud member of Ma Yi, the Claque writers group, an affiliated artist with New Georges, the Soho Rep Lab W/D Lab and has recently completed a project with the Yale Center for Scientific Teaching on women and gender bias in the sciences. BA: Canonical Travails or Eng Lit (UCL) MFA Playwriting (Yale) under Paula Vogel. Despite a long run in the north east of the United States she still drinks tea.