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Letters to a Daughter from Prison

‘Little one, may you grow up into a brave soldier in India’s service!’

Nehru the statesman, continually separated from his shy, intellectual daughter Indira Priyadarshini by the turmoil of building a country, forges the bonds of a loving, nurturing and formative relationship through the written word.

October 23rd – 25th

written by

directed by

EnActe Zoom Room

Lavonne Mueller

Deesh Mariwala

Friday October 23rd, 8:30pm PDT
Saturday October 24th, 5:00pm PDT
Sunday October 25th, 7:30am PDT
Sunday October 25th, 12:00pm PDT

An EnActe Arts production. Join us in the Zoom Room and stay for the talkback!


Meet the Cast!

Denzil Smith as Nehru

Denzil Smith is a versatile Anglo-Indian actor based in Mumbai, known for Viceroy’s House (2017), The Lunchbox (2013), and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011). In 1988, Smith began his career onstage as a member of Motley Productions. By 1998, he joined Lilette Dubey’s PrimeTime Theatre in productions such as Sammy, August: Osage County and “Gauhar”, touring India and various cities in North America, Europe, South-East Asia and Australia. More recently, Smith has joined Netflix’s Delhi Crime (2019) and P.O.W. Bandi Yuddh Ke (2016-17), for which he won the Indian Television Academy Award Best Actor in a Negative Role (2017).

Vinita Sud Belani as Indira

Vinita has been acting since the age of five with both amateur and professional theatre companies and has directed 21 plays to date. Non-profit Arts management is her second career. She is an engineer by training and was previously in the corporate tech world, now an actor, director, and producer. Her recent directing credits include Conference of the Birds, Soundwaves, Queen, and The Case of The Vanishing Firefish. Vinita trained in street theatre with the renowned director and playwright Badal Sircar. Vinita is committed to providing the EnActe community with a talent development platform in all aspects of theatre arts.

Reena Kapoor as Kamala Nehru

Reena has been active in writing, theatre and performance since high school. She recently wrote her first play “Art of the Possible” as playwright in residence for a leading Bay Area theatre company. Reena has been writing poetry for over a decade, and “Arrivals & Departure” is her first published work. Kapoor is an avid photographer (@1stardusty). Reena graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from IIT Delhi and a graduate degree from Northwestern University. Today, Reena works as a software technology professional in Silicon Valley. She also supports various causes including preserving the history of India’s 1947 Partition and women-related causes.

Shawn Jain as the Young Man

Shawn is an NYC actor, writer, and communications professional born and raised in Northern California. Recent stage credits include Target Margin (Present Shame and Further Woe), New Repertory Theatre (Heartland), Merrimack Repertory Theater (Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley), American Repertory Theater (Charlotte’s Web, Assistance, Our Town), Gloucester Stage Company (Hamlet), Moscow Art Theater (Fear and Misery in the Third Reich). Upcoming Film/TV: Thespian Season 2 (Amazon), Extra Room, A Ring for Christmas. Training: MFA in Acting from A.R.T. Institute at Harvard University/Moscow Art Theater School and The Theatre Lab Honors Conservatory in D.C. Online: @shawnjain on Twitter and Instagram.

Stefan Fisher as the Policeman

Stefan is an actor and theater teaching artist based in Santa Clara, California. He is pleased to be doing his third show with EnActe. Previously he played Cyril Radcliffe in The Parting and the King in Kingdom of Cards. Over the course of his career, he has acted in about 200 productions. Some other favorite roles are: Juliet in Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) (California Theatre Center), Blackbeard in The Changeling (Epic Immersive), and Eugene Sorn in Stupid F!@#ing Bird (City Lights). He would like to thank his wonderful wife Amy for her love and support.

Director: Deesh Mariwala

Deesh Mariwala grew up wanting to be a scientist, and discovered along the way that theatre was a great place to explore the landscapes of that most elusive of frontiers, the human psyche. In theatre and film and the world of words, he still enjoys doing what he loved most as a child – picking things apart to see how they work, and thinking of all the different ways they can be put back together and what an incredible difference each choice along the way can make. He has been doing this for over 30 years as actor, writer, director and sweeper of stages. He currently lives and works in London.

Playwright Lavonne Mueller is a published playwright, textbook author, editor, and Fulbright Fellow. She has had more than ten plays produced Off-Broadway and her play The Only Woman General earned the Critic’s Choice award at the Edinburgh Festival. She is currently a Woodrow Wilson Fellow in playwriting. Mueller is editor of Elvis Monologues (1997) and Baseball Monologues (1996), both published by Heinemann.

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