No Rules Theatre Co. Presents IN LOVE AND WARCRAFT, 1/7-25

No Rules Theatre Co. offers a cure to the winter blues with a witty modern day love story. In Love And Warcraft, written by Madhuri Shekar and directed by NRTC Artistic Director Joshua Morgan, chronicles the hilarious happenings when the two worlds of online gaming and in person relationships collide on a college campus. Performances are January 7 to 25 in the The Ark at Signature Theatre, Arlington. Tickets are $25 to $38 and available at or through the box office at (703) 820-9771.

Shekar will attend the opening night performance and also participate in a panel discussion following the January 11, 3 p.m. performance.

Shekar was awarded the 2014 Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition for In Love And Warcraft. Her up-to-the-minute comedy about straddling the real world and the virtual one focuses on Evie Malone, a college student, a Warcraft Universe master, and a virgin. Evie also makes a little extra cash by writing love letters for people who can't quite manage their own real relationships. No amount of digital gaming expertise or even her virtual boyfriend can help her out when she finds herself with a handsome, non-virtual, boyfriend, who is ready to rock her worlds.

"In Love and Warcraft is a smart and timely romcom that will resonate with gamers and non-gamers alike. While gamers will easily identify with the virtual camaraderie and commitment to the Warcraft world, it's more of a story about college students finding their language for love and sex," said director Joshua Morgan who founded NRTC in 2009 with Brian Sutow and Anne Kohn and now serves as the theatre's artistic director.

Morgan played the role of Ryan, the hapless online gaming boyfriend of Evie, when In Love and Warcraft was workshopped as part of the 2013 MFA Playwrights' Workshop by Atlanta's Alliance Theatre and the Kennedy Center in association with National New Play Network. Alliance went on to present the world premiere in February of 2014.

The NRTC cast features Anu Yadav as Evie (Forum Theatre's Meena's Dream), AJ Melendez (Studio Theatre's Carrie: The Musical) as Raul, Dani Stoller (Keegan Theatre's Hair) as Kitty, David Johnson as Ryan, Jamie Smithson (NRTC's Boeing Boeing and Arena Stage's Fiddler On The Roof) as Man, and Kaitlin Kemp as Woman.

In Love and Warcraft looks at relationships in the digital age through the eyes of an avid female gamer who feels safer in her relationships behind a monitor than IRL (in real life). The world's gaming market is huge with the research firm comScore reporting that in 2013 there were nearly 30.3 million online gamers in North America. The female protagonist Evie represents a growing trend where the number of women older than 18 is more than double the number of boys younger than 18 in gaming, according to a recent study by the gaming advocacy group Entertainment Software Association.

Madhuri Shekar is a playwright based in Los Angeles, born in the Bay Area, and brought up in Chennai, India. 2014 saw the world premiere of two of her plays - In Love and Warcraft (Alliance Theatre, Atlanta) and A Nice Indian Boy (East West Players, Los Angeles.)

She was the 2013/14 winner of the Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Award and an alumnus of the 2013/14 Center Theatre Group Writers' Workshop. She was a finalist for the 2013 Princess Grace Award for Playwriting, and the 2013 Many Voices Fellowship at the Playwrights Center. Her plays have been showcased or developed at the Kennedy Center, the Alliance Theatre, the Old Globe, Center Theatre Group, Playwrights Horizons and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She received her MFA in Dramatic Writing from USC.

Prior to her MFA, Madhuri received an MSc/MA in Global Media and Communications from the London School of Economics and USC. She consults in social media, content creation, and arts marketing.

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