Playwright Spotlight: Nayna Agrawal

Eggs in the Purple Car(ton), [Quickies 16, June 2015]

Where did the idea for Eggs in the Purple Car(ton) come from?
It’s my personal story…oops…now everyone knows…

What was your favorite moment in working on this piece??
When Professor and renowned playwright Thomas Bradshaw said I was finally taking the risks he’d been wanting me to take for a year.

What projects are you currently working on?
A TV pilot that’s a dramedy set in the Philippines of first world international aid tactics and their cultural incompetence when applied in lands across the ocean.

Finish the sentence- “I love theater that…” risks everything and settles for nothing.

Who is your current artist crush (any discipline)??
Rebecca Gilman.  She is my professor at Northwestern who, despite her numerous accolades, is so unassuming you’d think nothing of meeting her than “that’s a nice gal”.  I aspire to make her proud.

What was the best advice you were given as a theater artist??
My brother told me that if I pursue something I love I’ll make my life easier.  He’s my baby brother so I don’t take him seriously but I’ve kept that card with me to this day and it still makes me cry (but don’t tell him that).

What is the one thing you know as an artist now that you wish you could tell your younger self?
It’s okay.  You don’t have to be an engineer to have worth.

Outside of theater, what are you really into right now?
Studying Mandarin.

What is your favorite and least favorite word?
Favorite: huzzah
Least: Nice

Any other thoughts you’d like to share? (About Live Girls! Theater, Love, Life, Puppies, …really – anything at all?)
I’m honored to have Purple Eggs selected and to be a part of such a thoughtful, driven and mobilizing effort.

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Born in Florida, raised in Virginia and from India, Nayna was an analyst with UBS in Manhattan, a legislative writer in DC and an international aid director in Asia. As a writing intern with HBO, she was selected from over 1200 applicants to serve as one of 22 interns tasked with writing a minisode for “Getting On”. Selected in her first year to participate in the Advanced Sitcom Writing Program at Northwestern University, she pitched the winning idea and the pilot’s production was funded by Julia Louis Dreyfus. Nayna has received the following awards:

Northwestern University, $25,000 Teaching Scholarship
Emmy Foundation: awarded 1 of 4 writing scholarships; received award at 2014 gala
Variety Magazine: named one of 110 top students to watch; April 28, 2015

Nayna has studied five language, visited 22 countries and worked in six industries. She received her BS in Economics and English at the University of Virginia and her MFA  at Northwestern University.  She suffers from Asian Girl Guilt Syndrome, Law&Order rerun marathon binges (from which she has developed restless leg syndrome) and misspelling “syndrome”.