Festival of New American Theatre BCKGRND


March 27, 2021 to March 28, 2021
The Phoenix Theatre Company Courtyard

NAYIKA is a new interpretation of an old story based on the Indian art and dance concept of the Ashtanayikas (Eight Heroines). These female characters have been immortalized through paintings, songs, and dance pieces. But they have always been seen through the eyes of men seeking to package them into eight perfect boxes. No more. Nayika seeks to bring these women into the spotlight and showcase them as who they are: three dimensional characters full of passion, desire, lust, sadness, rage, and everything in between. With an eclectic score that moves from disco to musical theatre to Indian classical with ease, Nayika pays homage to the women who inhabited these stories before us and investigates the many faces of modern femininity.

Upcoming Performances for NAYIKA

Saturday 3/27/2021 4:00 PM Buy Tickets
Sunday 3/28/2021 12:00 PM Buy Tickets

Artistic Team

Vaibu Mohan (she/her/hers) is an Indian-American writer, singer, songwriter, dancer, and storyteller currently based in Brooklyn. Vaibu began her journey has a Bharatanatyam dancer (South Indian classical dancer) and Carnatic vocalist. She gained a deep appreciation for the stories she was told and portrayed as a child through music and dance and her love for storytelling brought her to the world of musical theatre. Vaibu received her BM in musical theatre performance from ASU and is currently receiving her MFA in musical theatre writing at the NYU Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program where she met her current collaborator, Raiah Rofsky. As a performer, some of Vaibu’s favorite credits include Franca (Light in the Piazza), Young Wife (Hello Again) and The Witch (Into The Woods). Vaibu credits her first teacher, her mother Srimathy Mohan, has the person who imbued her with the spirit to do it all. Vaibu made her debut as a director at ASU with the show Fly By Night and has credits as a leader producer on The Color Cabaret (ASU) and Zoom For The Holidays, a show with all original music crafted for the 2020 holiday season. Vaibu is dedicated to creating anti-racist theatre pieces which highlights BIPOC voices and her personal mission is to bring more South Asians into the theatre on stage, backstage, on the creative team, and in the audience. This piece is dedicated to her artistic ancestors who continued to create and tell stories even in the face of adversity. For more information, visit www.vaibumohan.com.

Raiah Rofsky (she/her/hers) is a composer and orchestrator currently based in Brooklyn. She is currently receiving her MFA in musical theatre writing at the NYU Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program where she met her current collaborator, Vaibu Mohan. Raiah received her composition training from Emmy winning composer Adam Schoenberg at her alma mater Occidental College, where she received a BA in music. Her major achievements include Lorelei: I'm Coming Out, a one-drag queen semi-autobiographical cabaret, which was performed at the 2018 Hollywood Fringe Festival and received three Broadway World Award nominations, and It's All Downhill From Here, a song cycle surrounding the topics of various post-grad situations. Raiah is dedicated to furthering anti-racist theatre both on stage and behind the scenes and making theatre more accessible to marginalized groups. She centers her artistic practice around lifting up voices that are silenced such as BIPOC and LGBTQ+ voices.

Greg Paladino (he/him/his) is a music director, conductor, and pianist driven by his dedication to helping develop musical theatre into new and innovative sonic spaces. He has established relationships with professional theater companies and educational programs around the country, including Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre, Arizona State University, The Phoenix Theatre Company, and James Madison University. He is an experienced educator of musical theatre score interpretation, and an independent vocal coach for singers/actors of all training levels and styles. Using synthesizing software, he has explored virtual instrument technology applications in musical theatre. With other music technology platforms, he has created arrangements for producing original musical projects, realizing large-scale works for pit ensembles, and for remote recording. Greg occasionally appears onstage as well, as a cabaret artist, singer, accordionist, and pianist (recently as “Pianosaurus” in Triassic Parq). Recent music direction/conducting credits include 35mm: A Musical Exhibition, The Light In the Piazza, Sister Act, Disaster!, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Newsies, Forever Plaid, and Rock of Ages. Visit Paladinokeys.com for video, news, and upcoming engagements.