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Studio Tenn Presents: The New Works Series, New Productions From Area Talent

FRANKLIN, Tenn.Franklin’s professional theatre company, Studio Tenn, has announced the latest in its “New Works Series,” an diverse collection of plays written, produced and performed by Southerners in an effort to cultivate and nurture the talent of the next generation of Southern playwrights, composers and lyricists.

The Studio Tenn team will deconstruct the age-old ideas of what voices, themes and stories have historically come out of The South, and foster a strong relationship between local artists and the Franklin community.

The second on-stage reading of The New Works Series, Dharma, by Nayna Agrawal, will be presented as a 90-minute reading followed by a 20-minute talk-back about the piece with the playwright, director and the New Works Director on February 6 at 7:00 p.m in the Mockingbird Theatre at The Factory.

Dharma is the story of three first-generation, South Asian-American thirty-something siblings who ask their immigrant parents to get a divorce so that they can fulfill their dharma, or cosmic duty: To house their parents during their sunset years. But none of the siblings wants to take both parents for fear that the dysfunctional marriage – which informed their early years – will prey upon their adult lives. When the request is made, invectives fly, secrets spill forth and the family dynamic is forever changed.

Playwright Nayna Agrawal

Playwright Nayna Agrawal is a former NYC analyst, DC policy writer, international aid director, and touring dancer. She was featured in Variety’s “100 Writers to Watch” in 2015. Her plays have been staged and produced in cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Seattle and Chicago. She has acquired writing credits for notable companies including Disney, ABC, Netflix, DreamWork and Mattel. Her most recent writing credits include ABC’s The Baker and The Beauty, Disney’s Encanto, and an upcoming Netflix live-action, young-adult fantasy show.

Estefanía Fadul – Director

Nationally recognized, Colombian-American director and producer, Estefanía Fadul, is attached to direct Agrawal’s play. She holds a B.A. in Drama and French from Vassar College, where she was awarded a Kazan Memorial Prize for her thesis production of A Streetcar Named Desire. Estefanía also holds a certificate in filmmaking from the Prague Film School, and her original short film BEAUTY MARK was accepted into the 2011 Cannes Film Festival’s Short Film Corner. Recent projects include the world premieres of Eva Luna by Caridad Svich (Repertorio Español), The Garbologists by Lindsay Joelle (Philadelphia Theater Company) and The Voting Project (Drama League Award nomination). Estefanía has developed new work off-Broadway and regionally at the Public Theater, Playwrights’ Realm, NYTW, Chautauqua, Audible and more, and has guest directed at training programs such as Juilliard, Princeton, NYU, and AADA. She serves on the Drama League’s Board of Directors, and is a member of the Leadership Circle of the Center for Performance and Civic Practice, the Latinx Theatre Commons Advisory Committee, and Lincoln Center Directors Lab.

The Studio Tenn team is committed to becoming a Tony Award-winning theatre company where artistry and community take center stage. It is thrilled to present this new series, highlighting exceptional regional talent and encouraging Middle Tennesseans to become active participants in the Franklin art scene.

Tickets to Dharma are free (a $10 donation is encouraged, but not required). There will also be a cash bar. You can find tickets now here: 

ABOUT THE STUDIO TENN THEATRE COMPANY: Studio Tenn is a professional regional theatre company and a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Franklin, TN. Its programming centers around innovative, custom-designed presentations of classic plays and musicals as well as an original “Legacy” series of theatrical concerts celebrating the work of time-honored musicians. Learn more at

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