Press Release - ​Yoga Play

Yoga Play Has World Premiere at South Coast Repertory

SCR Commission Helps Mark 20th Anniversary of Pacific Playwrights Festival

COSTA MESA, Calif. (​Dec. 5, 2016)—Business and spirituality meet in Yoga Play by Dipika Guha, a special added production to mark the 20th anniversary of South Coast Repertory’s Pacific Playwrights Festival (PPF) in April. Crispin Whittell will direct the world premiere production. Performances run April 19-30. Tickets will go on sale in February.

Yoga Play is an SCR CrossRoads commission, a program that immerses playwrights into the diversity of Orange County, Calif., communities.

“CrossRoads is an increasingly vital component of SCR's new-work program,” said Artistic Director Marc Masterson. “It enlists diverse playwrights to create original plays that explore the multicultural flavor of southern California. We believe that by going deeply local, we can find the universal stories that all Americans can relate to.”

Yoga Play follows Joan, who has been hired to stabilize Jojomon, a yoga apparel company, after its CEO is embroiled in a fat-shaming scandal. But just as she finds her stride, more trouble surfaces and sales free-fall. Jojomon needs an image makeover—and fast. Joan comes up with a plan so risky and unconventional that it could make or break the company and her career—and what it requires from her colleague, Raj, is far beyond the call of duty. This sharp comedy explores a Type-A personality in a feel-good industry rooted at the intersection of commerce and spirituality.

Guha grew up in India with yoga as part of the school curriculum and everyday living. She never had taken an American yoga class until her 10-day CrossRoads residency. She found herself drawn to the commerce of yoga and the merchandizing of classes, clothing and accessories.

Born in Calcutta, Guha was raised in India, Russia and the United Kingdom. She is the inaugural recipient of the Shakespeare’s Sister Playwriting Fellowship with The Lark Playwrights Development Center, A Room of Her Own and Hedgebrook. Her work has been developed at numerous theatres including Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, Cherry Lane Theatre, Red Bull Theatre and Roundabout Underground. She is currently under commission from Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Playwrights Horizons Theatre School.

Whittell previously directed the world premiere production of The Purple Lights of Joppa Illinois at SCR during the 2014 Pacific Playwrights Festival.

SCR’s annual Pacific Playwrights Festival is a major national showcase for new plays. The three-day festival features new-play readings and world premiere productions. It serves as a forum for theatre professionals and theatre-goers alike who aid in the development of new American works. Previous festivals have included award-winning plays such as Amy Freed’s The Beard of Avon, Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel, Melissa Ross’s Of Good Stock and David Lindsay-Abaire’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Rabbit Hole.

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ABOUT SOUTH COAST REPERTORY: Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory, founded in 1964 by David Emmes and Martin Benson, is widely recognized as one of the leading professional theatres in the United States. While its productions represent a balance of classic and modern theatre, SCR is renowned for its extensive new-play development program, which includes the nation’s largest commissioning program for emerging and established writers. One-quarter of SCR’s 525 productions have been world premieres. SCR-developed works have garnered two Pulitzer Prizes and eight Pulitzer nominations, several Obie Awards and scores of major new-play awards. Located in Costa Mesa, Calif., SCR is home to the 507-seat Segerstrom Stage, the 336-seat Julianne Argyros Stage and the 94-seat Nicholas Studio.