Shayok Misha Chowdhury is a queer Bengali director, writer, musician, and performance-maker based in Brooklyn. He is currently a Resident Artist at Ars Nova, a member of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, and a New York Theatre Workshop 2050 Fellow. His work has also been seen or developed at SPACE on Ryder Farm, HERE Arts Center, NYMF, Vineyard Arts Project, the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, Barn Arts Collective, Cloud City, Vox Populi, Asian American Writers’ Workshop, and the CATWALK Institute. Misha is the Levitt Artist-in-Residence at Williams College, where he recently directed Sarah DeLappe’s The Wolves and will be directing Aleshea Harris’ Beast Thing this fall. Other upcoming collaborations include Virginia Grise’s rasgos asiaticos (Soho Rep and CalArts Center for New Performance) and MukhAgni (Ars Nova), co-created with Kameron Neal. This past year, he assisted Jo Bonney (An Ordinary Muslim, NYTW) and Richard Jones (The Hairy Ape, Park Avenue Armory).
Misha has written and directed five new musicals with composer Laura Grill Jaye. The Optics of Dying Light, a semi-finalist for the O’Neill’s National Music Theater Conference, was first presented as his MFA thesis at HERE Arts Center and has since been developed at New York Theatre Workshop. Their first collaboration, Artemis in the Parking Lot, was awarded Best of Fest at the 2016 New York Musical Festival’s Reading Series at Playwrights Horizons, and their newest piece, How the White Girl Got Her Spots and Other 90s Trivia, was presented at Ars Nova’s 2017 ANT Fest.
A recipient of fellowships from Fulbright, Kundiman, and the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Misha’s writing has been published in The Cincinnati Review, TriQuarterly, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Portland Review, Asian American Literary Review, Lantern Review and elsewhere. He was a soloist on the Grammy-winning album Calling All Dawns, which he performed in concert at Lincoln Center.
Misha received his Bachelors in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity under the mentorship of Maestra Cherríe Moraga at Stanford University, his Master of Fine Arts in Directing Theater at Columbia University under Anne Bogart, Brian Kulick, and Greg Mosher, and studied Lecoq-based physical theater at the London International School of Performing Arts. He has been a visiting artist at Stanford, Fordham, and Syracuse Stage.