Mitali Perkins to Sign Books at San Francisco Opening of Rickshaw Girl on Today

Award-winning Bay Area author Mitali Perkins will sign books at the San Francisco opening of Rickshaw Girl, presented by the Bay Area Children's Theatre (BACT), Saturday, April 16, at the Children's Creativity Museum Theater, 221 4th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103. Rickshaw Girl, based on Perkins's book by the same name, plays weekends, April 16 - May 1, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Songs sung in Bangla and the haunting rhythms of the tabla will welcome families to the world of Bangladesh as BACT brings to life on stage the daring adventure of Naima, an artistic ten-year-old girl in an impoverished Bangladeshi village who yearns to help earn money for her family.

Perkins grew up speaking Bangla and hearing her parents' stories about their life in the part of the world we know today as Bangladesh. Later, she spent three years in Bangladesh, meeting the people, learning what they hold dear, and observing the impact of changes, like the advent of microcredit, on local customs and culture.

When BACT Executive Director Nina Meehan read Perkins's book, she knew immediately that she wanted to bring Naima's daring adventure to the stage for children and their families to see.

"Naima's story opens a window on a different culture for our young audiences, which is so important for their experience, yet it has universal appeal in its depiction of courage, duty and caring," Meehan said.

Adapted by playwright Aditi Kapil and directed by Vidhu Singh, with live music by vocalist Sonali Bhattacharya, percussionist Amit Sharma, and others, Rickshaw Girl is a colorful production that children and grown-ups alike will find heartwarming and engaging. Recommended for age 6 and up.

TICKETS: $22 adults, $20 seniors, $18 children, $13 groups (minimum 15)

BOX OFFICE: or call (510) 296-4433

Photo credit: Joshua Posamentier

Aditi Kapil, playwright, is a writer, actress and director of Bulgarian and Indian descent. She was raised in Sweden, resides in Minneapolis, MN, and her work is produced nationally and internationally to critical acclaim. Love Person, a four-part love story in Sanskrit, ASL and English, received the Stavis Playwriting Award in 2009. Agnes Under the Big Top, selected as a 2009 Distinguished New Play Development Project by the NEA New Play Development Program, was hosted by Arena Stage and premiered at Mixed Blood Theatre and Long Wharf Theatre (CT) in 2011 and at Borderlands Theater (AZ) in 2012 in a National New Play Network rolling world premiere. The Displaced Hindu Gods Trilogy plays have been produced across the US and in the UK. Brahman/i and The Chronicles of Kalki received an unprecedented double nomination for the James Tait Black Prize, University of Edinburgh, UK. Kapil is currently working on commissions with Yale Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, South Coast Repertory Theatre, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and is the playwright-in-residence at Mixed Blood Theatre, an artistic associate at Park Square Theatre, a core writer at the Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis, and a resident playwright at New Dramatists.

Mitali Perkins, author, has written nine novels for young readers, including Rickshaw Girl (chosen by the New York Public Library as one of the top 100 books for children in the past 100 years) and Bamboo People (an American Library Association's Top Ten Novels for Young Adults, starred in Publishers Weekly as "a graceful exploration of the redemptive power of love, family, and friendship.") Her newest novel, Tiger Boy, is a Junior Library Guild selection. She has been honored as a "Most Engaging Author" by independent booksellers across the country and selected as a "Literary Light for Children" by the Associates of the Boston Public Library. Perkins was born in Kolkata, India, before immigrating to the Bay Area with her family. She has lived in Bangladesh, India, England, Thailand, Mexico, Cameroon, and Ghana, studied at Stanford and the University of California, Berkeley, and currently resides in the East Bay, where she is a lecturer at Saint Mary's College of California. (

Vidhu Singh, director, holds a master's degree in Dramatic Art from the University of California at San­­­­­­ta Barbara and a doctorate in Asian Theatre from the University ­­­of Hawaii at Manoa, specializing in contemporary Indian theater. Singh is a resident artist at Brava Theater and a core member of Theatre Without Borders. She has taught theater at Foothill College and has been the managing director of the Asian American Theater Company. Vidhu is a graduate of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab and a founding member of World Wide Lab, an international theater directors' collective, which did its inaugural residency at The Watermill Center in 2011, followed by residencies at the Irondale Center, Brooklyn, in 2012 and 2013 and Teatro Due, Rome in 2014. In 2004, she founded RasaNova Theater to produce bold new plays from across the globe, including South Asia and its diaspora. Recent productions include Saviana Stanescu's Waxing West and Shahid Nadeem's Burqavaganza at Brava Theater and Dancing on Glass by Ram Ganesh Kamatham, selected for the National Asian American Theater Festival.

Established in 2004, the Bay Area Children's Theatre, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, serves more than 90,000 children and adults throughout the Bay Area, with main stage performances in Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco and San Ramon; selected productions in local schools; and classes and summer camps in more than 10 East Bay communities.

Our Mission: To inspire young audiences with imaginative productions, introduce children of all backgrounds to the excitement of live theatre, and create an engaging, entertaining, and educational environment in which children and their families can explore and enjoy the arts.

How We Carry Out Our Mission:

· Bring high quality, professional theatre to children and their families, with artists who create vibrant worlds that are intriguing to young audiences

· Encourage young people to explore literature, language, and the arts by producing stage adaptations of great children's books

· Engage preschoolers in the world of theatre with productions specially designed for them

· Develop and perform exciting new work for the stage

· Reach out to children who might not otherwise experience live theatre with free tickets, special performances for school groups, and touring productions at local schools

· Create touring productions for young audiences nationwide

· Partner with communities to meet the need for theatre education

· Introduce children to the joy of performance through our theatre education program

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