Lavina Jadhwani is a Chicago-based director, adaptor, and advocate. She creates work that is well-crafted, rigorously researched, compassionately curated, and radically inclusive. As a second generation immigrant, Lavina constantly investigates the question, “What does it mean to be an American?” and through her work, she strives to expand the definition of that word to include more minority voices.
Lavina’s directing credits include work at Asolo Repertory Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Mixed Blood Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Phoenix Theatre (Indianapolis), Remy Bumppo Theatre Company, Teatro Vista, Writers Theatre, and Rasaka Theatre Company (where she served as Artistic Director for 6 years). Lavina maintains relationships with Silk Road Rising (Artistic Associate), Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Artistic Engagement Associate), and the National New Play Network (Affiliated Artists Council). Time Out Chicago named her their “Best Next Generation Stage Director” in 2013.
Lavina loves language-driven plays, both new and old, from Eastern and Western canons. Her adaptations include THE SITAYANA (a solo performance piece based on the Hindu epic, The Ramayana), VANYA (adapted from Chekhov), and SHAKUNTALA: AN EAST-MEETS-WEST LOVE STORY (an a cappella musical, adapted from Kalidasa).
In her free time, Lavina volunteers with the Masonic Association of Service and Therapy Dogs.
Lavina is a proud graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University (MFA, Directing), Carnegie Mellon University (BFA, Scenic Design; Masters, Arts Management) and the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy. SDC Associate since 2012, full member since 2017.
Director Lavina Jadhwani summarizes conversations about casting she's been involved with in the past, and offers advice to artists and producers who find themselves facing criticism for their choices.
Chicago director Lavina Jadhwani follows up on her previous HowlRound article about color-conscious casting, discussing how to create a safe space while color-conscious directing.
Director Lavina Jadhwani ask three questions, addressing how color-conscious casting impacts the story being told.
Blognews, trends, insights
Director Lavina Jadhwani shares her experience as an Asian American director, advocating the need for more spaces and opportunities for Asian American theatre artists to collaborate together.
I offered to cut "Henry IV, Part One" down to ninety minutes, schedule two rehearsals and one performance, and find a part for anyone who wanted to participate. Eighteen actors jumped on board, and I was determined to not direct them in this play.