Bombay Black

Dec 5-15
Tues @ 7pm | Wed – Fri @ 8pm | Sat @ 3pm & 8pm | Sun @ 3pm | Wed @ 1pm PWYC (Dec 5, 12)

Please note that this production has graphic depictions of raw content that is sexual or violent in nature. It also has heightened lighting, visuals, loud sounds and complete black outs during certain portions of the play. Viewer discretion is advised.

The lives of an Indian exotic dancer and her embittered mother are altered when a blind stranger visits them. Poetic, mythic, and brave, Anosh Irani’s 2006 multiple Dora Award-winning Bombay Black is a searing play set in the bitter reality of India. Funny, violent, humane, and directed by Mumbai-born, Jessie and Fringe award-winning Indo Canadian producer Rohit Chokhani. In this re-imagination, it is for the first time the play is being presented from the perspective of the blind man. An early version of this production won the Pick of the Fringe award at Vancouver Fringe Festival 2017 and had a sold-out run after the first show wowed audiences with its unique vision. It was picked by the Georgia Straight amongst the 20 best shows on Vancouver stages in 2017 and was also one of the runners-up for the Georgia Straight Critics’ Pick award for Vancouver Fringe festival in 2017.

Other Awards  / Accolades for the 2017 Production: 

  • Top 5 shows at the Fringe picked by Global News TV
  • Top 7 show at the Fringe picked by Vancouver Sun
  • Top 7 show at the Fringe picked by Vancouver Province
  • Top 10 show at the Fringe picked by Vancouver presents
  • Picked by Vancouver Courier for a show to watch as a part of fall arts preview
  • Top shows at the Fringe pick by East Van picks

The Artistic Sign Language Agency will be presenting an ASL interpreted performance of Bombay Black on Tuesday, December 11 at 7pm. In order to book a seat that is accessible to the interpretation please contact the Firehall Box Office at

Cast and Crew

Anosh Irani – Playwright

ANOSH IRANI has published three critically acclaimed novels: The Cripple and His Talismans, a national bestseller; The Song of Kahunsha, which was an international bestseller and was shortlisted for Canada Reads and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize; and Dahanu Road, which was nominated for the Man Asian Literary Prize. His play Bombay Black won the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play, and his anthology The Bombay Plays: The Matka King & Bombay Black was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award.   He lives in Vancouver.


Rohit Chokhani – Director / Producer  / Co-Set and Co-Costume Designer

Rohit Chokhani is a Jessie Richardson Theatre Award-winning arts curator, director and cultural leader. Currently, he is the Artistic Director for Diwali in B.C. Rohit was awarded the prestigious Vancouver Now Representation and Inclusion Award in 2018 and was also the recipient of the Jessie Richardson Theatre Award in the Large Theatre Category for Significant Artistic Achievement in 2017. He co-created the Monsoon Festival of Performing Arts and is an Artistic Associate at Bard on the Beach. Prior to that he was a Producer in Residence at the National Arts Centre – English Theatre, General Manager for Touchstone Theatre and Urban Ink Productions. He launched a sector development initiative called Project SAT (South Asian Theatre) to create a network for developing, touring, producing and presenting national and international South Asian themed projects in Canada. Rohit grew up in Bombay (Mumbai), home to Bollywood, the centre of the Indian subcontinent’s vibrant performing arts industry. He is highly passionate about making performing arts equitable and sustainable and is delighted to be directing Bombay Black one more time. |


Nimet Kanji – Padma

Nimet was born in Nairobi, Kenya and began acting on stage with the local theatre company. She emigrated to Vancouver, Canada in 1989 where she continued to work on stage. She began her career in film and TV in 2001 and has had the pleasure of working with Edward James Olmos (Battlestar Galactica), Kevin Sorbo (Paradox), John Cusack (Martian Child) and Sitara Hewitt (Little Mosque on the Prairie) amongst other notable names.  Her theatre credits include ‘Sultans of the Street’ (Carousel Theatre), ‘9 Parts of Desire’ (The Maggie Tree), ‘Bombay Black’ (2017 Vancouver Fringe) and ‘Victim Impact’ (Theatre Conspiracy).  She is excited to be reprising her role of Padma in Bombay Black once again. She is represented by Lucas Talent.


Arshdeep Purba – Apsara

Arshdeep is a multi-talented artist from Calgary, AB. She grew up learning/teaching Traditional Indian Dance (Bhangra/Bollywood) and started modeling at the age of 15. She aspired to work on more meaningful things in her life so she decided to take Acting for Film and Television at Vancouver Film School. She worked on a short film; Help Wanted (directed by Jacquile Kambo), that brought awareness of harsh gang life in Surrey. And later went to India to work on a feature film called Laajo, which brought attention to prostitution in India. Vancouver Guldasta is her first theater performance as a professional actor! A couple of interesting things about Arshdeep is that she has a black belt in MMA, and has traveled to more than 6 countries. Arshdeep is proud to work on stories that spark people’s hearts and brains, unite people of all cultures, and bring voice to silent stories that are left unheard


Munish Sharma  – Kamal

Munish is very grateful to be back as Kamal for Bombay Black.  My heartfelt thank you to the crew and cast.  Next up for Munish will be The Matchmaker for the Arts Club on the Stanley stage.  He is also working his first open person dance show for more information check out Previous Credits Victim Impact, (Theatre Conspiracy) Misery (Arts Club) The Ridiculous Darkness (Alley Theatre)


Tanya Schwaerzle (Stage Manager – Rehearsals and Coquitlam, Co-Set and Co-Costume Desginer)

Tanya is thrilled to be stage managing Bombay Black Assistant stage management credits; Mom’s the Word 3 (Arts Club) and Circle Game (Firehall). Selected apprentice stage management credits include; Winters Tale and Much Ado About Nothing (Bard on the Beach), Mamma Mia!, TopDog/UnderDog, Bittergirl, Christmas Story, Bullet Catch, Blue Box (Arts Club Theatre), Chelsea Hotel, Miss Shakespeare, J.Caesar (Escape Artists, Firehall), How to Survive An Apocalypse (Touchstone Theatre). Tanya has her BFA, from the University of Alberta. Love and thanks to Brian, her family and friends for their everlasting support, Captain and Gordie.


Emma Hammond (Stage Manager – Nanaimo and Vancouver)

Emma is a Vancouver based stage manager who splits her time between Opera, Theatre, and Musicals. Some recent credits include Circle Game, Social Studies, Chelsea Hotel (Firehall), Rock Legends, Les Miserables (Chemainus Theatre). Opera credits include La Boheme, Simon Boccanegra, Midsummer Night’s Dream (Pacific Opera), Merry Widow, Turandot, Dead Man Walking and Requiem for a Lost Girl (Vancouver Opera). Thanks to her family for their support, and to Justin for the love and laughter.


Chengyan Boon (Lighting Designer)

Chengyan is a Vancouver-based lighting designer. Since graduating from the UBC Theatre Production and Design program in 2015, he has designed for independent and educational theatre all over town. Recent credits of note: Kim’s Convenience (Pacific Theatre – sound designer), We Will Rock You (Notre Dame Regional Secondary), Suitcase Stories (Pacific Theatre), Incident at Vichy (Theatre in the Raw), Comedy of Errors (Trinity Western), Smart People(Mitch and Murray Productions), Viva (Aenigma Theatre) and Bombay Black (Raghupriya Society). Design portfolio at


Rup Sidhu (Sound Designer)

Rup Sidhu is an interdisciplinary artist, musician, producer and composer. Specializing in vocal percussion and live looping, his sound blends the rhythms of poetry and spoken word with a dynamic range of cultural hybridity. Inspired by folk and classical forms of music from around the world, his musical expressions range from groove oriented hip hop beats, to contemporary fusions of classical ragas; scores for the National Film Board of Canada and experimental compositions for dance and theatre productions. In addition to working over the past eight years as a guest curator with Indian Summer Festival and the City of Vancouver, Rup has facilitated and taught musical programs in universities, public schools, youth prisons, and communities throughout Canada, USA, UK, and India. Rup has produced fourteen albums with emerging artists, including American Pie, Shane Koyzan’s debut release. Current collaborative projects include: Aluma Sound, Ruby Singh and the Future Ancestors, and Jhalaak. Rup’s solo live looping show, RupLoops, has toured over 500 locations across Canada.


Gunjan Kundhal (Dancing Coach)

Gunjan Kundhal is a dancer at heart and an aspiring actress. Inspired by her mentor she began her acting journey in film and television. She carried on learning different styles and now she will be part of her first theatre production. She is an artist with diversity in her talent. Currently, pursuing Acting, Ballet, Contemporary, martial arts and yoga. She finds serenity in movement. She believes in guidance by mentors and strives to be one. Always curious and forever grateful


Shanae Sodhi (Associate Producer)

Shanae is excited to be reaching back into his roots to work with the Diwali in BC festival. As one of the establishing members of Studio 58’s Student Diversity Committee, Shanae spearheaded it’s work to give voice and strength to marginalized groups within the theatre community, while empowering students with the tools and knowledge to engage the conversations of diversity around them. This experience helped him discover his love for producing work that helps the stories of marginalized voices find a prominent place in Canadian society. Since graduating from Studio 58, Shanae has had the opportunity to work as a production intern with Green Thumb, assistant director, and currently also has the honour of working with DiverseTheatreBC as an Ambassador.


Ayush Kathuria (Production Associate)

Ayush Kathuria is currently a student at UBC Vancouver majoring in Psychology. His past experience is mostly related to writing a couple of street plays in Delhi on Premchand’s short stories from Rangbhoomi. His work seeks to provide modern adaptation to age old folk tales, revisiting past historical figures through a different perspective and shedding new light on old tales.


Ashley Rose (Production Associate)

Ashley is a writer, performer and social justice advocate in Vancouver. She is currently writing a play titled “Unblessed”. Ashley is inspired by the cast & crew of Diwali in BC and excited that such a wonderful team of artists and productions came together this year to celebrate Diwali.


Alana Hawley Purvis (Voice Coach)

Alana is an actor, vocal coach, and voice/acting teacher who has worked throughout North and Central America. She is a graduate of the American Academy for Classical Acting (MFA), the University of Alberta Acting Program (BFA), York University Teacher’s Certificate Program for Artists, and The Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre Training. She is the recipient of the 2013 Royal Conservatory of Music’s National Gold Medal for Speech Arts and Drama ARCT Performance and the 2014 National Gold Medal for ARCT Teachers. She has performed with various theatre companies including: The Stratford Festival, Canadian Stage, Citadel Theatre, and Theatre Calgary. Alana currently teaches voice at the University of Alberta and Douglas College.