Vancouver NOW Representation and Inclusion Jessie Award for encouraging the inclusion of Indigenous and diverse voices in theatre and dance, and continuing to create works of theatre that communicate South Asian perspectives to a wider audience - 2018
Significant Artistic Achievement – Large Theatre – Jessie Award for Outstanding Work in Expanding the Diversification of Vancouver Theatre Through Excellence in Festival Programming, Diwali Fest - 2017
Shiamak Vancouver Community Award (by Bollywood star choreographer Shiamak Davar) in recognition of outstanding achievement in the field of Entertainment and Theatre Arts - 2017.
Vancouver NOW Representation and Inclusion Jessie Award nomination for leadership as a founder and executor of numerous initiatives and activities reflecting an expanding vision of cultural diversity - 2017
All’s Well That Ends Well - Voted amongst the Top 10 Theatre shows for 2019 in Vancouver by Colin Thomas and Vancouver Presents
Co-Presented Brothel#9 with Touchstone Theatre as a part of Diwali Fest 2016 - 5 Jessie Nominations
Associate Presenter for Sultans of the Street with Carousel Theatre as a part of Diwali Fest 2016 - 1 Jessie Nomination
Presented Piya Behrupiya – Twelfth Night in Hindi from India - 5 META Awards and 12 META nominations
Presented Amnesty International Freedom of Expression award winner Nirbhaya
2017 Vancouver Fringe Festival – Pick of the Fringe Award for Bombay Black.
2015 Vancouver Fringe Festival – Pick of the Fringe Award for Mrs Singh & Me.
2011 Vancouver Fringe Festival – Talk of the Fringe Award for Siddhartha: the Journey Home
Jessie award nominations for Touchstone Theatre productions of The Romeo Initiative (4 nominations), The Concessions (3 nominations), and Late Company (4 nominations)
4 Meta award nominations for the urban ink production Sal Capone
Cannes short film Corner official selection – Film screening for Afternoon at Gudrun, 2013
REVIEW QUOTES FOR BOMBAY BLACK
“This is one of the most harrowing, unsettling, and mesmerizing plays I’ve ever seen. Ten hours after leaving the theatre, I’m still shaken by its uniquely poetic horror, and marvelling at the complexity of what acclaimed playwright Anosh Irani weaves in Bombay Black’s dense 75 minutes. The performances are all stellar, but Kanji is unforgettable as the diabolical Padma, who belongs in the hall of fame of horrifying fictional mothers “
- - Andrea Warner for The Georgia Straight
“Blackest RomCom for deepest Kalyug. CultchLab lights up with Magic Realist vision of a City of Dreadful Night”
- - Liconln Kaye for Vancouver Observer
“I can see why Bombay Black directed by Rohit Chokani won Pick of the Fringe last year. I definitely appreciated the sensory exploration that he took us on”
“In this time of #metoo, the trauma that the two women are revealed to have suffered doesn’t come as a surprise. As sad as that reality is, you’ll emerge from this play reminded of the strength and resilience of women”
– Assaultedfish review
“Chokhani puts us, again and again, in the dark—a state of “blindness” that reflects the male character. The blackouts are especially effective when the blind man, Kamal (Munish Sharma), tells the dancer stories that transport both of them out of their depressing realities… The stripped-down staging highlights the actors’ abilities in three complex roles…The cast manages to make it all flow naturally. ”
- Janet Smith for The Georgia Straight
“There are fundamentally three aspects of Anosh Irani's play that magnetize the viewer in Diwali Artistic Director Rohit Chokhani's clever re-imagining of the script. Light/dark and chiaroscuro visuals. Terrific soundscape. And the acting. Oh the acting.”
– Brokenleg reviews
“Director Rohit Chokhani has brought this vibrant feature to life for the 2017 Vancouver Fringe Festival’s Dramatic Works Series. His cast and crew have done a great service to playwright Anosh Irani’s lyrical, humorous, and somber work; fuelled with cultural depth and theatrical talent”
- -Jorin McSween for SAD Magazine
Awards/Accolades for Bombay Black
Pick of the fringe award at Vancouver Fringe Festival 2017
Georgia Straight Pick amongst the top 20 shows on Vancouver stages in 2017
Georgia Straight Critics' Pick award runner up at Vancouver Fringe Festival 2017
Completely Sold out run at the Vancouver Fringe festival 2017
Top 5 shows at the Fringe picked by Global News TV - 2017
Top 7 show pick by Vancouver Sun and Vancouver province for 2017
Top 10 show pick by Vancouver presents for 2017
Picked by Vancouver Courier for a show to watch as a part of fall arts preview for 2017
Top shows at the Fringe pick by East Van picks - for 2017
Top Weekly Pick in 2018 by Vancouver Sun, Vancouver Province, Vancouver Magazine (VanMag), Peace River Record Gazette
Top December pick by BeatRoute Magazine – 2018
Top Weekend Pick by Review Vancouver – 2018
Pick of the week by JayMinter.com - 2018
Hot ticket weekly pick by The Georgia Straight - 2018
Review Quotes for All's Well That Ends Well
"All’s Well That Ends Well feels like an important cultural moment for Bard on the Beach.
In part, that’s because of decision to set this production in a British-occupied India at the turn of independence. It isn’t just a compelling creative choice, but a powerful recontextualization of a 400-year-old text. It also paves the way for brilliant act of translation in Act 2, wherein Hindi is spoken on-stage, in multiple scenes, between several actors of South Asian descent. Occupied India necessitates that colonization inform every relationship in this adaptation, and the implicit colonial violence and coded racism further complicate All’s Well That Ends Well’s class and gender issues"
"Set in British India in 1946, just before independence and partition, the production explodes with Ruby Singh’s joyful music, Poonam Sandhu’s spectacular choreography and Carmen Alatorre’s colourful costumes...The setting reshapes the play’s dynamics. Bertram’s inexplicable hostility towards Helena gets cultural context here in the brilliant wedding scene where he is surrounded, dumbfounded and perhaps disgusted by whirling, laughing, dancing Indian women who seem to mock his colonial British uptightness...The familiar Shakespearean bed trick gets a similar upgrade, and applause, when Helena and Bertram — who thinks she’s Diana — have sex in a wagon screened by bright Indian silks, wheeled offstage by Diana’s giggling village gal pals...A few of the second act scenes are played largely in untranslated Hindi, the dancing women are a knockout, and the sword dance of Bertram’s Gurkhas is scarily superb...They scornfully toss their uniforms at his feet as the Brits leave, Indian and Pakistani flags are unfurled, and Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs begin brawling. The British have made a mess of things, as Bertram has, but no Viceroys or Helenas can’t fix it as they can the romance plot...All’s not so well and the end is yet to come in this fascinating staging"
"This All’s Well That Ends Well looks and sounds gorgeous...And while it may not be good critical practise to talk about how beautiful a cast is, in this case it’s unavoidable. Without doubt, this is the best looking, multi-cultural cast to grace the Howard Family Stage...Production is 10 out of 10 and I appreciated the open end. Maybe, just maybe, it ends well. But not likely"
--- Jo ledingham
"Yes! This is the Bard on the Beach production I’ve been waiting for. This is the one to see...set the story in India in 1947, in the last days of the British Raj, and that choice unleashes myriad pleasures. It’s exciting to see more of Vancouver represented onstage and in the audience, thrilling to hear Hindi spoken in a Bard production, a joy to be introduced to so much previously unfamiliar talent, and a treat to revel in the aesthetic exuberance...this production succeeds...team just keep offering sensual pleasures...Setting this production on the cusp of the Partition is a bold choice and, with hints of the violence that will follow, a dramatic one"
--- Colin Thomas
“Saw All’s Well That Ends Well at [Bard on the Beach] in Vancouver this past week. I was inspired by their inclusiveness and creativity. Set in India, it was a wonderful examination of identity through Shakespeare.”
– Shaila - patron attending All’s Well That Ends Well
“Wow. [Bard on the Beach] thank you. Just saw All’s Well That Ends Well and I absolutely loved it… Gorgeous set and lighting design, beautiful staging and performances, really interesting added layer setting it in India at the tail-end of British occupation (and cusp of Indian independence), and lovely moments of levity, dance, tenderness, and conflict. The use of Hindi and [Punjabi], the subtle mannerisms, the music, the costumes and setting transported us – really bringing the world to life.”
– Anonymous Patron attending All’s Well That Ends Well
“Wow, what an amazing production. One of the best plays I have seen in my over 35 years of attending plays. I have been fortunate enough to have attended over 50 plays and so I have much to compare to.”
– Cynda (Patron attending All’s Well That Ends Well)
"Indian All's Well gives Shakespeare an upgrade. Bard on the Beach offers up another fascinating production"
-- Jerry Wasserman
"Bard’s production digs deeper into that problem by setting the action just before and after the partition of British India into an independent India and Pakistan...the tensions are crystal clear: Bertram, a colonizer, isn’t not-in-love, but is someone whose entire social standing means he can’t (or won’t) see Helena as a possible partner"
--- Montecristo Magazine
Review Quotes for Diwali in BC
"Diwali in B.C. spotlights women in inaugural series"
- Janet Smith, The Georgia Straight
"Dipti Mehta honours women as part of Diwali in B.C. celebrations"
- Vancouver Sun
"Shakti your booty! Diwali in BC is all about feminine energy"
- Inside Vancouver
"A Vancouver Guldasta: welcome nuance. The quiet ferocity that Lou Ticzon brings to the role of Andy broke my heart. Gunjan Kundhal (Niranjan, the mom) is every bit as thorough. Arshdeep Purba and Parm Soor are also impressively strong as Rani and Chattar. I’m grateful for A Vancouver Guldasta. It seems that, as theatre has lagged behind in terms of diversity, film and television may have been acting as incubators of significant talent. That we’re seeing this show is yet more evidence of the programming vision of Heather Redfern at The Cultch and Rohit Chokhani of Diwali in BC."
- Colin Thomas
"Take d Milk, Nah? creates space...this show blows most others out of the water"
- Vancouver Presents
"Take d Milk, Nah?'s Jivesh Parasram upends identity play with heartbreaking truths and hilarious asides"
- The Georgia Straight
"Yeah, take d milk...I’m feeling so high right now: Take d Milk, Nah? kept me consistently stimulated and engaged...it also offers an embodied experience"
- Colin Thomas
"All thumbs up and a glorious cow to “Take d Milk, Nah!” To truth-telling and taking up theatre space for stories that move us and make us feel our uncontested sense of belonging in our beautiful bodies"
- The Vancouver Arts Review
"A Vancouver Guldasta's exploration of home is intimate, generous, and affecting"
- Kathleen Oliver for The Georgia Straight
"Uniting East, west and all the rest"
- Megaphone Magazine
"Nanaimo’s TheatreOne opens season with Vancouver Fringe hit ‘Bombay Black’ "
- Nanaimo News Bulletin
"Diwali in BC: Bringing everyone together"
- SAD Magazine
"Rohit Chokhani and Diwali in BC Amplify South Asian Voices"
- The Georgia Straight
"Bro'hood: believe it or else...Medium is the message in Javaad Alipoor's immersive solo farrago"
- Vancouver Observer
"The Believers Are But Brothers: See it, believe it, and think really hard. I highly recommend The Believers Are But Brothers. It will give you an essential workout."
- Colin Thomas
"Celebrating the festival of Light in Maple Ridge"
- Maple Ridge News
"From live group chats to video projections, The Believers Are But Brothers clicks all the links"
- Kathleen Oliver for The Georgia Straight
"Vancouver Guldasta is refreshing"
- Vancouver Arts Review
"Diwali in B.C. to expand its offerings as part of Rohit Chokhani's five-year plan"
- Vancouver Presents
"First annual Diwali in Vernon kicks off after Thanksgiving"
- Vernon Morning Star
"catch one of Diwali in BC’s (page 53) trailblazing performances: A Vancouver Guldasta illuminates the challenges faced by the Sikh diaspora in the ’80s, while The Believers Are But Brothers shines a light on online extremism. A fresh take on Bengali dance drama Shyama (pictured) pays tribute to its original creator, the first non-European Nobel Laureate poet. Truly dazzling"
- Where Magazine
"Diwali in BC explores New Horizons with six weeks of celebrations"
- Vancouver is Awesome
"Celebrate Diwali with Launch of New Provincial Initiative "Diwali in BC"
- My VanCity
"The five-week Diwali in BC festival explores “feminine power through theatre, dance
and film, and shines a light on works created by diverse and talented women.”
- Surrey Now Leader
"Pamela Mala Sinha’s Happy Place is full of silver linings"
- North Shore News
"Vernon Diwali Festival to Shine"
- BC Local News & Salmon Arm Observer
"East will meet West during the inaugural Diwali in Vernon Festival Saturday."
- Casta net
To read complete reviews for Bombay Black please click here: Bombay Black Reviews
To download complete press kit for Rohit Chokhani please click here : Press Kit
To read complete reviews for Diwali in BC please click here: Diwali In BC Reviews
To download complete press kit for Diwali In BC please click here: Diwali in BC press kit
To download complete press kit for Project SAT please click here: Project SAT Press kit