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Public Obscenities

Shayok Misha Chowdhury

Presented by Theatre for a New Audience and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
A Soho Rep and NAATCO National Partnership Project Production

photos: Julieta Cervantes

“Delicate, wise, incredibly rich … gorgeously precise.”

Theatre for a New Audience and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company present Soho Rep & NAATCO’s National Partnership Project’s Production of Public Obscenities.

When Choton returns to Kolkata on a research trip with his Black American boyfriend Raheem, his grandfather’s photograph stares down at him from the walls of his family home. Choton loves being the translator, toggling nimbly between Bangla and English, interviewing queer locals, showing Raheem his world. But through the lens of Choton’s grandfather’s old camera, Raheem begins to notice things Choton can’t. Peer into Public Obscenities, the bilingual play from visionary writer-director Shayok Misha Chowdhury about the things we see, the things we miss, and the things that turn us on.

“A confident playwright…who with Public Obscenities, may have found himself on the brink of greatness.”


Wednesday, January 17 @ 7:30 pm
Thursday, January 18 @ 7:30 pm
Friday, January 19 @ 7:30 pm
Saturday, January 20 @ 7:30 pm
Sunday, January 21 @ 2:00 pm
Sunday, January 21 @ 7:30 pm
Run time: 175 minutes, with intermission

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*$30 tickets available for supporters


Theatre for a New Audience
Polonsky Shakespeare Center
262 Ashland Place,
Brooklyn, NY 11217

Polonsky Shakespeare Center is located near all major subway lines, a variety of bus lines, and the LIRR.

Subway: Take the 2, 3, 4, or 5 to Nevins Street; B, D, N, Q, or R trains to Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center; the C to Lafayette Avenue; or the G to Theatre for a New Audience is committed to providing accessible programs and services for our patrons with disabilities. Access for wheelchair users and individuals with limited mobility is available on all floors of Polonsky Shakespeare Center. When ordering tickets, please let us know if you or someone in your party uses a wheelchair or has limited mobility so that we can ensure that your seats meet your accessibility needs. For questions about accessible seating, please email tickets@TFANA.org or call 646-553-3880 (Hours: Monday-Saturday, 1PM-7PM).
Assistive Listening Devices that transmit sound via headsets are available for all performances. For an Assistive Listening Device, please visit the box office before entering the mainstage theatre.


Shayok Misha Chowdhury is a many-tentacled writer and director based in Brooklyn. A Mark O’Donnell Prize and Princess Grace Award recipient, Misha was an inaugural Project Number One Artist at Soho Rep, where he recently directed the world premiere of his playwriting debut Public Obscenities “with a swooning hypnotism reminiscent of the best works of neorealism” (New York Times, Critic’s Pick). Co-produced by Soho Rep and NAATCO, Public Obscenities was nominated for three Drama League and four Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Direction, and the cast won the Drama Desk Ensemble Award for embodying “the transnational world” of Misha’s “bilingual play with memorable authenticity, remarkable specificity, and extraordinary warmth.” Misha is also a Jonathan Larson Grant awardee for his body of work writing musical theater with composer Laura Grill Jaye; their as yet unproduced musical How the White Girl Got Her Spots and Other 90s Trivia was awarded the 2022 Relentless Award in honor of Adam Schlesinger and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Misha was also a collaborator on the Grammy-winning album Calling All Dawns. Other recent collaborations: Brother, Brother (New York Theatre Workshop) with Aleshea Harris; SPEECH (Philly Fringe) with Lightning Rod Special; MukhAgni (Under the Radar @ The Public Theater) with Kameron Neal. A Sundance Fellow, Misha is the creator of VICHITRA, a series of short films including Englandbashi (Ann Arbor Film Festival); The Other Other (Ars Nova); An Anthology of Queer Dreams (Audio Unbound Award finalist); and In Order to Become (The Bushwick Starr). A NYSCA/NYFA, Fulbright, and Kundiman fellow in poetry, Misha has been published in The Cincinnati Review, TriQuarterly, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Asian American Literary Review, and elsewhere. Residencies: Hermitage, Ucross, Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, SPACE on Ryder Farm, NYTW 2050, The Public’s Devised Theater Working Group, Ars Nova’s Makers Lab, Soho Rep’s Writer Director Lab, New York Stage and Film, Drama League, Mercury Store, BRIC. BA: Stanford. MFA: Columbia.