Priyanka Shetty’s one-woman ‘The Elephant in the Room’ comes to The Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage

Unapologetically Indian show explores culture, race, and identity.

Called by critics “incisive,” “timely,” and “brave,” Priyanka Shetty’s one-woman show The Elephant in the Room performs Saturday, November 23, 2019, at 6 pm on the Millennium Stage at The Kennedy Center.

Priyanka Shetty in ‘The Elephant in the Room.’

Unapologetically Indian, The Elephant in the Room is a tumultuous ride through seemingly unbridgable cultures, love and loss, issues of race, and the desperation of not belonging anywhere. The play navigates playwright Shetty’s transition from her deeply embedded roots in India to finding context and common ground in America.

The Elephant in the Room had its world premiere in March 2019 with Evolution Theatre and CATCO in Columbus, Ohio, under the direction of Joe Bishara, associate producing director at CATCO. The play is currently on a multi-city tour that kickstarted at Yale University and will play at venues across the country.

Playwright and actor Shetty recently graduated with an MFA in Acting from the University of Virginia and currently serves as a faculty member at the UVA Department of Drama. Priyanka is the author of two original plays—The Elephant in the Room and #Charlottesville, a play constructed verbatim from interviews with the residents of Charlottesville who speak about the city in light of the white supremacist rallies and events of August 11 and 12, 2017.

Of the upcoming performance, Shetty says, “The play has been evolving with every performance and the new version we’ll be presenting at The Kennedy Center has undergone significant changes. I hope the underlying message will resonate with the audience on a deeper level.” This performance is directed by Theresa M. Davis, associate professor of performance at the University of Virginia Department of Drama.

The event will be live-streamed and available for viewing on YouTube.

Millennium Stage, now celebrating its 23rd season, is a manifestation of the Kennedy Center’s mission and vision to welcome all to celebrate our collective cultural heritage in the most inclusive, accessible way possible. Millennium Stage is the only place in the United States to offer a free performance every day of the year that is streamed live on the internet.

The performance is free. No tickets required. For more information visit


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