Naveen Chandra Gupta of San Francisco has died, leaving behind an unusual request in his will. As his friends struggle to honor his last wish with some suggesting that it be ignored, they learn a little about him, a little about themselves, and a lot about what it means for an Indian to die in America.
Keeping with its tradition of being “different,” India Currents (IC) magazine collaborates with local theater company Naatak, to present the premiere of “Death in San Francisco” in celebration of its 25th anniversary. “Death in San Francisco,” a play in English, is a dark comedy written and directed by Sujit Saraf, and performed by Naatak.
Two community organizations, Naatak and Narika, deeply rooted in the community, are partners in this celebration. Naatak, a theater company founded to bring relevant, thought-provoking and responsible Indian drama to residents of the San Francisco Bay Area, have produced several cutting-edge plays over the years, including “Kamala” and one of the most controversial yet popular plays to come out of India, “Sakharam Binder.” Narika is a local non-profit organization that empowers South Asian women to confront and overcome cycles of violence and exploitation.
Founded in 1987, IC quickly became a community resource, a mainstay in most Indian homes. IC began as a small black-and-white newsletter covering Indian cultural events in the SF Bay Area. Rooted in the classical arts of India, IC’s initial focus was on dance and music events in the Bay Area. Interviews with notables in the music and dance world were the main focus of the publication.
In the years that followed, the magazine became a leading source of information pertinent and relevant to a fast growing South Asian diaspora. (Today IC is a two-edition print publication with over 125,000 readers, its arc following that of the community it serves). As the community grew so did the magazine’s editorial content. From featuring only events stories, IC evolved into telling stories of the growing diaspora. Our editors and writers tackled issues such as domestic violence, homophobia, interracial relationships, and assimilation vs. acculturation. The magazine emphasized courage and honesty in its editorial content, despite two death threats along the way.
This journalistic intrepidity has won several awards from South Asian Journalists Association, New California Media, New America Media, Best American Essays, as well as recognition from Arts Council of Santa Clara County and Utne Reader. Run by a small team of dedicated professionals, including an all-female publishing and editorial staff, IC has adapted to a changing media landscape.
After 25 years, the voice of India Currents remains—a monthly reflection of life in California’s South Asian community, a printed product that has never lost its focus: the community it serves, remaining firmly connected with the information he or she needs most, consistently delivered.
We invite the community to meet the India Currents team—the faces and voices behind the magazine, past and present, at special receptions on all three days. Enjoy compliemntary pre-show h’ordeuvres and drinks as you mingle with the IC team.
On Friday, Sandy Close, Executive Director of New America Media and winner of the 1995 MacArthur “Genius Award,” will join us as the guest of honor. On Saturday our Chief Guest is the Consul General of India, N. Parthasarathy. Suhas Patil, Chairman Emeritus of Cirrus Logic, will join us as our Chief Guest on Sunday.
Proceeds from the shows will benefit Narika.
Friday, June 8 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, June 9 at 6 p.m., and Sunday, June 10 at 5p.m.
VIP: $40 ($45 after May 27), General: $30 ($35 after May 27)
Snacks and drinks will be served on all three days.
Theater at San Pedro Square, San Pedro Square, 29 N. San Pedro St., San Jose. www.naatak.com/ic/, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Ashok: (408) 905-6831.