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February 23, 2024 | Theatre,

A Look at Indian Ink Theatre Company

Indian Ink Theatre Company’s Mrs. Krishnan’s Party will arrive at ArtsEmerson on March 27 and theater-goers are already buzzing about this exciting performance. The show blends theater and experimentalism – no two performances are alike but a dance party is a likely occurrence. The piece tells the story of corner store owner Mrs. Krishnan and her young tenant. When her tenant invites a few friends over for a small party, chaos ensues as dozens of strangers show up (the audience) and Mrs. Krishnan is forced to throw the party of a lifetime!

Fans with DJ Jimmy

Indian Ink Theatre Company was founded in New Zealand by Jacob Rajan and Justin Lewis in the mid-1990s with their first production, Krishnan’s Dairy, being staged in 1997. This show, written and starring Rajan and directed Lewis, followed a married couple Gobi and Zena, (both played by Rajan) who are the new owners of a corner dairy shop. 

This performance received critical acclaim and is even considered by some to be one of the most successful plays in New Zealand’s history. It won the Edinburgh Fringe First Award and two Production of the Year Awards in New Zealand and has been performed over 400 times in the last 25 years. 

Before Indian Ink did their final run of Krishnan’s Dairy in 2022, they created a semi-sequel to the show in 2019, Mrs. Krishnan’s Party. This performance follows Zena Krishnan whose young tenant throws a party that soon turns into an epic blowout. Mrs. Krishnan’s Party exists separately from Krishnan’s Dairy but also poses an opportunity for longtime fans to see a beloved character in a new light. 

DJ jimmy arms raised

Aside from Krishnan’s Dairy, Indian Ink has written and produced a variety of other successful shows throughout the 2000s and 2010s. The Pickle King, originally staged in 2002, is Indian Ink’s most awarded piece: receiving an Edinburgh Fringe First, a Production of the Year Award, and a record seven nominations at the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards. The play Guru of Chai, originally staged in 2008, won Best Actor, Best Composer, and Best New Play awards. 

Since their inception in 1997, over 510,000 people have attended Indian Ink productions. Rajan and Lewis still collaborate on Indian Ink productions but have done independent theatrical work as well. Lewis helped found Auckland’s Q Theatre and has received a Kaupapa Oranga Award for his services to theater. Rajan is an Arts Foundation Laureate and has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for his services to theater. 

Fans with balloons

Indian Ink prides themselves on their culturally diverse and fun pieces that rely heavily on their talented artists and storytelling skills. One of Indian Ink’s goals is to use their pieces to create community amongst theater-goers and cultivate empathy and understanding of different cultures. 

Indian Ink Theatre Company’s Mrs. Krishnan’s Party will be performed at the Jackie Liebergott Black Box Theatre from March 27th – April 7th, 2024. For more information and to purchase tickets please click here.  Enjoy the show! 

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