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California Shakespeare Theater Extends The World Premiere Of HOUSE OF JOY

Due to box office success, California Shakespeare Theater extends the world premiere of House of Joy by Madhuri Shekar through September 8, 2019 at the Bruns Amphitheater adding two more performances on September 7 at 8 pm and September 8 at 4 pm.

A darling of the 2018 Bay Area Playwrights Festival, House of Joy-directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian-is an action-adventure romance set in a harem at the beginning of the end of the Mughal Empire. Once upon a time and place, in something like 17th century Delhi, an imperial bodyguard risks her life to fight for what's right, turning against everything she's been raised to believe.

"The title of the play is to be taken literally. There is a lot of joy in it, there is a lot of acceleration, surprise, and delight," adds Sandberg-Zakian, saying that it's exciting to be in a "muscular, fast world that is also a world of brown people, a world of women and gender non-conforming folks, and a world that reminds us that other empires besides ours haven risen and fallen."

Sandberg-Zakian and Shekar are collaborating on their second project together having just finished Evil Eye-the first audio play to be commissioned by Audible. Shekar has been workshoping the House of Joy since 2017 at various theaters across the country including a staged reading at Julliard.

"I'm thrilled that House of Joy is getting its world premiere at Cal Shakes," says Shekar. "I couldn't imagine a more beautiful setting for this epic, larger-than-life adventure story, and I'm very excited to be in conversation with Cal Shakes' passionate community of artists, company members and theatre goers. I'm so looking forward to our process with our brilliant creative team, and I can't wait for the Bay Area to come and see our show."

House of Joy is part of Cal Shakes' New Classics Initiative-funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Walter & Elise Haas Fund, and the MCJ Amelier Foundation-which develops new works by playwrights who, while diverse in perspective and experience, share Shakespeare's vision of the power of story. New Classics productions reimagine timeless dramas from across cultures, expanding our classical canon and, by extension, broadening our understanding of who we are.

For Artistic Director Eric Ting, the play's connection to the Bay Area makes it all the more exciting. "Cal Shakes first encountered Madhuri's mighty play at last summer's Bay Area Playwright's Festival, so we're excited to announce the Bay Area Playwright's Foundation as our community partner for House of Joy," says Ting, "The work of the Foundation and the Festival has been a vital and essential resource to the Bay Area theater community and the national field, holding space for the chroniclers of our time."

The cast is led by Emma Van Lare making her Cal Shakes debut and includes Rotimi Agbabiaka, Sango Tajima, Rinabeth Apostol, Nandita Shenoy, Lipica Shah, and Raji Ahsan.

House of Joy's creative team includes Scenic Designer Lawrence Moten, Costume Designer Oana Botez, Lighting Designer Wen-Ling Liao, Sound Designer and Composer Arshan Gailus, and Fight Director Dave Maier.

Single tickets for House of Joy range from $20 to $94 with discounts available for seniors, youth, students, military families, persons age 30 and under, and groups. Prices, dates, titles, and artists are subject to change. For information or to charge tickets by phone with VISA, MasterCard, or American Express, call the Cal Shakes Box Office at 510.548.9666. Additional information and online ticketing are available at

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