ABOUT QURRAT ANN KADWANI
Qurrat Ann Kadwani is an award-winning actress, producer, MC, TV Host and philanthropist. She is the first South Asian female to have a solo play, They Call Me Q, produced Off Broadway for which she has won awards including Best Actress, Best Play, NYS Assemblyman, Bronx Borough President, Trailblazer from SAIPAF, Cultural from AAPICC, Dream from SAPNA. In addition to her ongoing college tour, she has a webseries www.youtube.com/theQreview. She is the founding Artistic Director of eyeBLINK (www.eyeblink.org) and the head of the Theatre department. She is a graduate of The Bronx High School of Science and a theater graduate of SUNY Geneseo with a double scholarship recipient for her directing and acting contributions. Ms. Kadwani teaches private classes in Solo Play Creation, Monologue Writing and Performance, Monologue Prep, Audition Prep and Acting Business Plan. She has hosted Desi Jams and 100% Desi on Namaste America. Some TV appearances also include Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The Sinner, Luke Cage, The Blacklist, Falling Water, What Would You Do, Brown Nation. Stage work extends to Love Alone (Shaker Bridge Theatre) Blind Angels (Theatre for the New City), Baby Taj (TheaterWorks Palo Alto), Perfect Fit, The Women of the Mahabharata, Sankalpan (New Group), First Language (New Group), Inside Out (Abingdon Theatre Company), The Quaking (Abingdon Theatre Company), Falling Man (NYU), The Greeks (Imua Theatre Company), Beneath the Banyan Tree(eyeBLINK). Film credits include Purge 4, Antigone 5000, The Tailor, One Night Stand, Last Saturday with Morli,Jabeen. She has appeared in print campaigns, industrials, corporate videos and commercials.
Ms. Kadwani coordinates an annual philanthropic project “A Slice of Hope” (www.asliceofhope.org) as well as an annual Echoes Of Love: Suicide Prevention Fundraiser with music. She has been the MC of events for non-profit organizations such as World Womens Global Council at the United Nations, Sapna NYC, Your Dil, Lend A Hand India, LRBT- Free Eye Care Trust, Asha for Education, Chhaya Community Development Corporation, and SOS Children’s Villages India. She has also been the MC for The Set NYC: New Year’s Eve Fashion Gala, NzK Designer’s Studio Store Launch, Broadway Comedy Club, Bronx Fashion Week, Kollaboration New York Music Showcase, Runway Princess The Super Model Pageant, Party at Gatsby by Trendz Entertainment, weddings, and educational videos.
She ran the 2007 Marine Corps Marathon (26.2 miles)in Washington DC, the 2009 ING NYC Marathon (26.2 miles), 2008 Queens Half Marathon (13.1 miles), 2008 Manhattan Grand Prix Half Marathon (13.1 miles) and many more!
She is a proud member of AEA and SAG-AFTRA.
THEY CALL ME Q - FULL SYNOPSIS
THEY CALL ME Q is the story of a girl from Bombay growing up in the Boogie Down Bronx who gracefully seeks balance between the cultural pressures brought forth by her traditional parents and wanting acceptance into her new culture. Along the journey,Qurrat Ann Kadwani(Q) transforms into 13 characters that have shaped her life including her parents, Caucasian teachers, Puerto Rican classmates, and African-American friends. Laden with heart and abundant humor, THEY CALL ME Q speaks to the universal search for identity experienced by immigrants of all nationalities.
Under the direction of Obaid Kadwani and Claudia Gaspar, and developed with Ellery Schaar, THEY CALL ME Q played Off Broadway in 2014 for 7 months at St. Luke’s Theatre in NYC, making Ms. Kadwani the first South Asian female to achieve this accomplishment. She has been interviewed on Fox News, Fox 5 NY, News 12 Bronx and has been labeled “a woman who shapes the future.” To date, she has performed her solo play over 150 times in 30 states.
THEY CALL ME Q scored the Best Actress Award for Ms. Kadwani in the productions debut at Variations Theatre Groups 2012 Harvest Theatre Festival. The emotionally charged play subsequently opened to rave reviews in cities all around the country and Canada including Montreal, Washington D.C., Orlando, and even Hawaii where THEY CALL ME Q was awarded Best Play at the 2013 Maui Fringe Festival.
In December 2013, United Nations Unicef invited Ms. Kadwani to perform. Non-profit charity organizations such as Sankara Eye Foundation, Lend A Hand India, and Sapna NYC have presented her solo play as benefit fundraisers. Colleges in 30 states have invited Ms. Kadwani to perform her solo play as part of their diversity programming, alongside discussions and workshops on multiculturalism.
She has received an award by the New York State Assemblyman, Bronx Borough President, World Women Global Council at the United Nations, the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center after performances in San Francisco, Trailblazer award from South Asian International Performing Arts Festival, an award by SAPNA NYC for enabling South Asian women to dream and was a Guest Speaker for Council for the Advancement of Muslim Professionals Philadelphia. In addition, Ms. Kadwani has produced her solo play, coordinated publicity and contributed to sold out performances at Orlando Fringe Festival, Montreal Fringe Festival, Capital Fringe Festival and NYC Fringe Festival. She received additional performances after NYC Fringe 2013 as part of Encore Series: Solo in the City, awarded to only 6 solo shows at Baruch Performing Arts Center. THEY CALL ME Q has been nominated for Best Fringe Solo Play by Broadway World DC and Best Solo Performer by MD Theatre Guide.
THE CREATIVE TEAM
Obaid Kadwani (Co-Producer and Co-Director) is an entrepreneur whowears many hats including producer, director, author, actor andcharity activist. He isthehead of It’s OK Films and the author of the upcoming book, A Slice of Hope.He is the co-founder of Working Actor Studio, an acting schoolwhich is dedicated towards providing actors with quality, affordable training. Heis an actor and television personality seen by a million Americans every week as the host of Bollywood-focused TV shows for Namaste America.Obaidacts in Hindi (Bollywood films) as well as American films and tv. He has appeared in numerous print ads, corporate video and voiceovers.Obaidis also a charity activist and the architect of the philanthropic annual event, also calledA Slice of Hope. A Slice Hope raises joy and optimism in America by throwing pizza parties with live music in homeless shelters throughout America.
Claudia Gaspar (Co-Director) is a producer, director and stylist. As the previous Executive Producer of established audio post house Penny Lane Studios,Claudiahas casted for and produced radio and television commercials for clients such as Verizon, Bazooka, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Bud Light in both English and Spanish. Previous casting for Verizon Radio has resulted in recognition such as ANAMulticulturalExcellenceAwardRadioFinalist2012. She has coordinated radio interviews, recording sessions and shoots for talent such as Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Oprah Winfrey, Nick Cannon and Lucy Liu among others. Having graduated with a BA in Film Studies as well as having worked in fashion and beauty,Claudiahas a keen visual eye and affinity for details.When not producing,Claudiacan be found styling photo shoots or event planning.Or out in nature, training to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro- her next feat! Claudiais proud to be a part of They Call Me Q. As a child of immigrant parents herself, she believes strongly in the themes and message represented.
Ellery Schaar (Developer) is the Artistic Director of Repurposed Theatre in San Francisco. Her NY directing credits include Most Massive Women Wins Access Theatre, Quickes 13th Street Repertory, In the Shadow of The Lighthouse Tomorrow’s Gold New Work Series eyeBLINK productions, One Act Play Festival Keagan Theatre Company, Evolution of the B Fresh Fruit Festival. Ellery associate produced the national collaboration Come As You Are! Celebrate Queer Sex! at Brava Theatre San Francisco in co-production with Bostons Theatre Offensive. Come As You Are was a national celebration of the riots at Stonewall and pieces were performed throughout the United States including Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Seattle, Alaska and Portland. Most recently Ellery produced and directed the World Premiere of Drowning Ophelia by Rachel Luann Strayer at Repurposed Theatre in San Francisco. Ellery also recently took part in the Cultural Exchange Project between ZSpace in San Francisco and the MFA program for Experime