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Shishir Kurup Poster

Biography

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Overview (1)

Born in Bombay, India

Mini Bio (1)

Shishir Kurup, is an actor/writer/director/composer and Books-On-Tape narrator born in Bombay, India raised in Mombasa, Kenya and the U.S. His one-man shows "Assimilation" and "Exile: Ruminations on a Reluctant Martyr" (the latter a commission from Highways Performance Space) have been seen in countless cities and universities nationally and internationally including Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Austin, London and Manchester, England. His essay "In-Between-Space" appears in "Let's Get It On: The Politics of Black Performance," published by the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. Assimilation is published by Rutgers Press in the anthology "Bold Words: A Century of Asian American Writing." He was profiled in author Mei Ling Cheng's book: "In Other Los Angeleses-Multicentric Performance Art." His solo performance piece "Sharif Don't Like It" examines the fallout from the USA Patriot Act and the disappearance of over two thousand South Asian and Arab Muslims and played in October '09 at the National Asian American Theatre Festival in NYC. He received his BFA in Acting/Directing from the University of Florida and his MFA in acting from the conservatory at U.C. San Diego.

Shishir is a long-time ensemble member of the nationally renowned Cornerstone Theater Company and was nominated for an Ovation Award for acting in Cornerstone's, "Malliere." He has also written over a hundred and fifty songs for Cornerstone, winning Garland and Dramalogue Awards for music composition in "Los Vecinos" and "Candude" (the latter directed by him and nominated for an Ovation Award for Best Musical of the Year); and for Acting in "Twelfth Night," "MedeaMacbethCinderella (MMC)"and "Los Biombos," directed by Bill Rauch, Tracy Young and Peter Sellars, respectively. He was composer for Cornerstone's adaptation of "The Good Person of New Haven" at the Long Wharf Theater and for a subsequent MMC production at the Yale Rep. MMC recently opened at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and ran through November 2012.

In 2006 he composed songs for Cornerstone's production of "As You Like It: A California Concoction" at the Pasadena Playhouse and Co-composed songs for and directed Cornerstone's twentieth anniversary show, "Demeter in the City," at Redcat in Disney Hall written by Macarthur Fellow Sarah Ruhl. His play "On Caring for the Beast" opened in New York in April 2001 at the Currican Theater and was the inaugural production for both Disha Theatre Company and Inner City Arts' Rosenthal Theater in February 2010 respectively, the latter as an ensemble show for Cornerstone Theater Company. Shishir was one of only six people Nationally to receive the TIME (Time for Inspiration, Motivation and Exploration) Grant from the Audrey Skirball Foundation in recognition of his body of work. In 2006 and 2010 he was a Herb Alpert Award nominee for theater. Also in 2010 he was one of three finalists for the prestigious Alan Schneider award in directing from Theatre Communications Group. Shishir closed a very successful sold out run in the fall of 2010 of Making Paradise: The West Hollywood Musical for which he was the lyricist. In the spring of 2011 he directed Lynn Mannning's, The Unrequited: Between Two Worlds.

For Cornerstone, he has also written and directed "Ghurba" with the Arab-American community in the Los Angeles Festival and written, directed and composed "An Antigone Story," a multi-media, Rock'n'Roll hijack of Sophocles' classic at The Getty Center and The Subway Terminal Building. He also co-directed (with Bill Rauch) and composed songs for "Everyman in the Mall", and was playwright and composer for "Sid Arthur" and "Birthday of the Century." "As Vishnu Dreams," Shishir's meditation on the Ramayana, completed a highly successful run in 2004 at East West Players with critic's choice from both the LA Times and LA Weekly. In June 2007 he directed the sold out run of "Los Illegals," by Michael John Garces, which kicked off Cornerstone's three year Justice Cycle. Shishir is nearing completion of his first feature film with Cornerstone of "Sharif Don't Like It," and will be looking for distribution around the country and abroad.

Elsewhere, he directed Sung Rno's, "Cleveland Raining" at East West Players and "Ten Angry Clowns" at the Delle Arte School as well as several productions at the Los Angeles Theater Center where he was a part of the Artistic Staff running the Asian American Theatre Project. Shishir is a Princess Grace fellow. He is a California Arts Council Grant and Kennedy Center, Roger. L. Stevens Award recipient for his modern verse appropriation, "Merchant on Venice," set in the South Asian community in and around Venice Boulevard in Culver City. Merchant was picked for the first annual South-Asian Diaspora festival at New York's Lark Theatre. It also received an NEA/TCG Extended Collaboration Grant for further development workshops in Los Angeles and New York at East West Players and The Lark respectively. Merchant performed at the Mark Taper Forum's New Plays for Now Festival at the Kirk Douglas Theater in the Spring of '05. In the Fall of '07 Merchant premiered at The Silk Road Theatre Project in Chicago to unanimously stellar reviews and the Ten Best List of the Chicago Tribune, Sun-Times and Time Out Magazine as well as other publications. The play will travel to England for its London premiere produced by Rented Space Theatre. Merchant was recently published in the anthology Beyond Bollywood and Broadway: Plays from the South Asian Diaspora from Indiana Press. He recently received a MAP grant along with writer Sigrid Gilmer for Cornerstone's fall '12 production of SEED: A weird Act of Faith for which he directed. Upcoming directing projects include: the Mellon commissioned play by James Mcmanus, Love on San Pedro, for Cornerstone Theater Company in L.A.'s Skid Row and the Pulitzer Prize winning play Water by the Spoonful by Quiara Allegria Hudes for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. In the Spring of 2014 his own Mellon commission, Bliss Point, will be produced by Cornerstone Theater Company and directed by Juliette Carrillo.

Shishir's many theatre roles have included Macbeth, Feste, Azdak, and Trigorin. He played 'The Director' in Alison Carey's "For Here or to Go?" at the Mark Taper Forum. His many film and television credits include: Coneheads, Trigger Effect, City of Angels (film and TV series), In Good Company, Sleeper Cell, Bones, Cold Case, Numb3rs, Lost, Alias, Monk, Charmed, NYPD Blue, The Agency, Murder in Small Town X, Strong Medicine, Judging Amy, Off Centre, Six Feet Under, ER, C-16, etc... recurring roles on: Heroes, Surface, M.D.'s, Chicago Hope, and West Wing; series regulars in the Pilots: Veronica's Video, Laugh Damnit! w/the late Greg Giraldo and The Ripples; Independent films: The Zeroes, Turbans, The Want, The Prime Gig, A Day Without A Mexican and Miss Nobody. Most recently he was seen in the ABC/Disney film Lemonade Mouth and for Lifetime Television's Five More directed by Bryce Dallas Howard. He is the proud father of the lovely Tala Claye Ananya Perl Kurup who continues to be the most instructive presence in his life.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Shishir Kurup

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