Priyanka Shetty And Sangeeta Agrawal to Join The Women's Storytelling Salon In DC

The event will take place on April 24th at The Keegan Theatre in Washington, DC.

By: Apr. 11, 2024
Priyanka Shetty And Sangeeta Agrawal to Join The Women's Storytelling Salon In DC
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Internationally acclaimed actors Priyanka Shetty and Sangeeta Agrawal will feature in a women-only Storytelling Salon - Curtain Up: South Asian Women's Stories of Resilience and Perseverance in Film and Theater, the evening of April 24th at The Keegan Theatre in Washington, DC. This event co-hosted by The Women's Storytelling Salon and The Keegan Theatre, will offer an intimate glimpse into the lived experiences of two talented South Asian women who have chosen to explore their identity and culture through their work as actors-directors-filmmakers.

Though both born in India, Priyanka and Sangeeta arrived in the U.S. with different plans and different dreams. Their paths to theater and film are disparate. Priyanka trained and worked as an engineer before disillusionment with corporate life and the loss of a close friend inspired her to pursue acting and to earn a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of Virginia. Sangeeta is a self-taught actor who attributes her knowledge of filmmaking to the countless talented people she has worked with over the years. Yet, both are driven by a deeply ingrained motivation to share their authentic experiences and perspectives as women of color navigating life in a politically charged and increasingly divided country. They are thriving in an industry that, historically, offers very few opportunities and only roles that represent stereotypes based on gender, color, or age. Though their journeys to the stage and behind the camera are different, Priyanka and Sangeeta have had award-winning success.

Priyanka Shetty

is an actor, director and playwright based in Philadelphia. Her critically acclaimed one-woman show THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM has been performed at numerous venues across the country including The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. The show had an incredibly successful run at the 2022 Edinburgh Fringe as part of the Assembly Festival which was followed by a Scotland Tour. Priyanka made her Off-Broadway debut with her second solo show #CHARLOTTESVILLE at the Drama Desk award-winning 59E59 Theaters' 'East to Edinburgh' Festival in 2021. She was also handpicked for the prestigious Kennedy Center Playwriting Intensive in 2021 and was a semi-finalist for the 2022 Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference. Priyanka is currently on a nationwide tour with THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM which will be making its official DC Premiere at The Keegan Theatre from June 1-23, 2024.

Sangeeta Agrawal

is an award-winning actor and filmmaker with 30+ years of experience on stage and film. Sangeeta caught the acting bug in college, winning awards at national level theater competitions. Once in the US, she continued to act in Community Theater. Her first short film, A GOOD MATCH won her the Best NRI Actress Award at the Delhi International Film Festival. Sangeeta made her writing and directing debut with the short, FIVE O'CLOCK SHADOW. She has since won many awards for her performances and screenplays, such as COMING OUT WITH THE HELP OF A TIME MACHINE which screened at Tribeca and Marche du Film at Cannes, and was in the running for Oscars 2022. Her feature film, AMAR COLONY premiered at the prestigious Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival. Her most recent work is TUITION, a Netflix-funded TV pilot in which she plays the protagonist of the show.

The Women's Storytelling Salon aims to shift the narrative about women and girls by making them more visible and vocal in their leadership and participation in the workforce. The Salon's platform - Find It! Own It! Share It! - supports women in finding their stories, owning their stories - so they aren't appropriated, modified or completely forgotten - and sharing their stories as they wish to. Using proprietary methodology, The Salon's in-person and virtual Storytelling Salons, Salon Series and Special Sessions are a platform for women from around the world, across a range of professions to share their personal narratives and reflections and engage in meaningful dialogue.

Previous guests include National Medal of Arts recipient, Julia Alvarez, and Nguyēn Phan Qué Mai, one of Vietnam's foremost contemporary poets, who shared how they translate loss into stories that unite us even when it feels like the world is more divided than ever. Dr. Celine Gounder and Dr. Ingrid Katz, two women who led the COVID-19 response, spoke about how they became infectious disease specialists and effectively communicated information in a way that builds public trust. At the Institutionalizing Community Health Conference 2021, Dr. Bernice Dahn, the former Minister of Health for the Republic of Liberia, and Dr. Sylvia Chila, a pioneer of health reforms for safe motherhood and HIV management in Zambia, shone a spotlight on their vision and implementation of reforms to institutionalize the role of communities and primary health systems in achieving universal health coverage. The Salons are intended to open conversations about women's leadership and participation in the workforce, inspire others to envision what is possible, and celebrate women for all they are doing.

The Storytelling Salon is curated by Nandini Oomman, PhD, a global health and development specialist and the Founding Curator/CEO of The Women's Storytelling Salon. In 2020, Nandini, with her colleague, Kathryn Conn, embarked on a daring journey with a shared set of values and cofounded a start-up, Sāmya Ventures, where they integrate the lived experiences of individuals, organizations and movements with research and data to rethink how we define and describe impact in global health and development. Through their work at The Women's Storytelling Salon - now the storytelling platform of Sāmya Ventures - Nandini and Kathryn witness how storytelling is vital to uncovering the 'why' and 'how' change occurs, joining the dots and finding new, innovative ways to fight the power that perpetuates inequality.

Priyanka's and Sangeeta's work demonstrate that stories are truly an enduring equity-building tool. Their stories engage and elicit empathy from audiences with diverse backgrounds and competing priorities and empower those whose voices have been systematically or historically under- or mis-represented.

Proceeds from the Salon will go to two organizations selected by Priyanka and Sangeeta: The Keegan Theatre and Edu-GIRLS. Priyanka will be performing from June 1-23, 2024 at the Keegan Theatre, Dupont Circle's Resident Theater Company that takes audiences to the vital heart of the theater experience with extraordinary artists exploring the human condition in an intimate setting. It also creates connections and positive change in our community through vigorous, inclusive, empowering education and outreach. Sangeeta is a Board Member and current Global Ambassador of Edu-GIRLS. Edu-GIRLS is a non-profit that enables girls living in extreme poverty in India to achieve financial independence through customized, quality education, vocational training and college scholarships. It is one of the few organizations in the world which stays with girls from early childhood to college and on to successful careers.

Join in celebrating these two internationally acclaimed women who are not only emerging, but ARRIVING. Register for the event here:

Curtain Up: South Asian Women's Stories of Resilience and Perseverance in Film and Theater

Wednesday, April 24, 2024
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Keegan Theatre, 1742 Church St NW, Washington DC


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