Broadway's Life of Pi Launches 'The Power of Pi' Initiative For South Asian and AAPI Communities | Playbill

Broadway News Broadway's Life of Pi Launches 'The Power of Pi' Initiative For South Asian and AAPI Communities

The initiative will aim to nurture connections and partnerships with the AAPI community in New York and beyond.

Life of Pi has launched "The Power of Pi," an initiative to foster connections and partnerships across the AAPI community. The effort aims to highlight the transformative power of storytelling exemplified by the play, and encourage the community to celebrate each other.

Says playwright Lolita Chakrabarti, "This story is about the survival and faith of a South Asian boy... We invite the whole South Asian and broader AAPI community, and all friends of the community, to join us on this epic voyage."

The initiative will begin with a monthly talkback event following a performance of Life of Pi called "Tiger Talks." Every third Thursday of the month, the show will be preceded by a community reception, and will end with a talkback session. Presented by American Express, the first talk will be held May 18, with the pre-show reception at Utsav Indian Restaurant. All ticketholders for the May 18 performance may attend by using the code TIGERTALKS when purchasing.

Throughout the month of May, Life of Pi will also partner with three South Asian small businesses in New York City: The Kati Roll Company, Kola Goodies, and Shaz & Kiks.

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Lolita Chakrabarti (Red Velvet)'s Life of Pi opened at Broadway's Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre March 30. Based on Yann Martel’s best-selling novel, winner of the Man Booker Prize, Life of Pi follows a 16-year-old boy stranded in a lifeboat with some unusual company.

Hiran Abeysekera reprises his Olivier Award-winning performance in the title role, alongside Olivier award-winning puppeteers Fred Davis and Scarlet Wilderink, who are also returning to their West End roles puppeteering the tiger, Richard Parker.

They are joined by Brian Thomas Abraham as Cook/Voice of “Richard Parker,” Rajesh Bose as Father, Avery Glymph as Father Martin/Russian Sailor/Rear Admiral Jackson, Mahira Kakkar as Nurse/Amma/Orange Juice, Kirstin Louie as Lulu Chen, Salma Qarnain as Mrs. Biology Kumar/Zaida Khan, Sathya Sridharan as Mamaji/Pandit-Ji, Daisuke Tsuji as Mr. Okamoto/Captain, and Sonya Venugopal as Rani, along with Davis, Wilderink, Nikki Calonge, Rowan Ian Seamus Magee, Jonathan David Martin, Betsy Rosen, Celia Mei Rubin, and Andrew Wilson as Royal Bengal tiger “Richard Parker.”

Rounding out the company in the ensemble are Mahnaz Damania, Jon Hoche, Usman Ali Mughal, Uma Paranjpe, and David Shih. Adi Dixit serves as the Pi alternate.

Director Max Webster (Henry V) helms the production, with a creative team that consists of Tony- and Olivier-winning set and costume designer Tim Hatley, puppet and movement director Finn Caldwell (Angels in America), Olivier-winning puppet designers Nick Barnes (Angels in America) and Caldwell, Olivier-winning video designer Andrzej Goulding (Eureka Day), Olivier-winning lighting designer Tim Lutkin (Back to the Future), and sound designer Carolyn Downing (Les Liaisons Dangereuses). Original music is by Andrew T Mackay (Henry V), and dramaturgy is by Jack Bradley.

The work's West End production took home five 2022 Olivier Awards, including Best Play and Best Supporting Actor, with the latter awarded collectively to the team of puppeteers who play the tiger. The play made its North American premiere ahead of its Broadway bow at American Repertory Theater at Harvard University.

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