BROTHEL #9, CHAI HOUSE and BHOPAL Coming Up This Month at Diwali Fest

BROTHEL #9, CHAI HOUSE and BHOPAL Coming Up This Month at Diwali Fest

The Diwali Fest celebrations continue into November. Presented by the Diwali Celebration Society, Diwali Fest opened on October 11 with the Western Canadian premiere of Piya Behrupiya (Twelfth Night) and runs until November 30. The Diwali Fest events scheduled for November include the Western Canadian premiere of Brothel #9 by South Asian playwright Anusree Roy, the return of "Chai House", and a staged reading of the world-renowned, critically acclaimed play Bhopal, by Canadian playwright Rahul Varma.

Produced and presented by Touchstone Theatre as a part of Diwali Fest, Brothel #9 takes place November 17-27 at the Vancity Culture Lab at The Cultch. The Dora Award-winning production is a provocative and moving story about the power of the human spirit and its ability to triumph in the face of corruption and suffering. Tickets are available at www.thecultch.com.

After the success of "Diwali Downtown" in Vancouver and Surrey, Diwali Fest is excited to co-present another signature event - this one with the Evergreen Cultural Centre in Coquitlam on November 20 at 6pm. "Chai House" is a South Asian-themed, cabaret style evening which will feature Bollywood dancer Karima Essa, a Bharatanatyam performance by Arno Kamolika, spoken word and Tabla performances by Diwali Fest Youth performers, Bollywood Belly Dance by Get Bent Dance & Yoga School, a classical Indian music performance by Tom Hunter, a live music performance by Raga Mantra Trio, and more. Tickets for "Chai House" are available at www.diwalifest.ca.

The Diwali Celebration Society is also thrilled to welcome Canadian playwright Rahul Varma to Diwali Fest for a staged reading of his world-renowned, critically acclaimed play Bhopal at the Firehall Arts Centre on Monday, November 21 at 8pm. Commemorating the 30th anniversary of the world's worst industrial disaster, the Bhopal gas tragedy claimed over 25,000 lives and currently affects nearly 500,000 people with neurological and respiratory illness, birth defects, and disability and malformation among children. The play is a reminder that the frequency of industrial disasters is on the rise all over the world with oil spills, pipeline leaks, hazardous chemicals being dumped into our oceans, and closer to home, the recent disaster in the town of Lac-Mégantic in Quebec. Diwali Fest Artistic Producer Rohit Chokhani will direct this reading and facilitate a post-reading Q&A with Rahul Varma. Tickets for this event are pay-what-you-can at the Firehall Arts Centre.

For more information on Diwali Fest, visit www.diwalifest.ca, or follow on Facebook: www.facebook.com/diwalifest and Twitter: www.twitter.com/diwalifest (#diwalifest).

Produced by the Diwali Celebration Society, Diwali Fest is an annual South Asian arts and culture festival that celebrates the universal light that exists in everyone. Diwali Fest originated in 2004 and has since evolved to become one of the largest Diwali-themed events in the Lower Mainland and a destination event on the city's cultural calendar. It strives to promote unity in diversity and showcases the best and brightest South Asian talent, exhibiting artistic innovation through a myriad of forms while engaging a wide community in an active and inclusive role. Each year's festival engages dozens of artists in events across the city, the majority of which are open and free to the general public, by donation, or at affordably priced tickets. Diwali Fest would not be possible without the generous support of its board members: Kriti Dewan, Gurdeep Birdi, Chirag Vesuvala, Sahil Bhrany, Soutomi Kundu, and Gurpreet Sian.

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