Lavina Jadhwani is a Chicago-based director and adaptor. Her directing credits include work at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Phoenix Theatre (Indianapolis), Remy Bumppo Theatre Company, Silk Road Rising, Teatro Vista, and Rasaka Theatre Company (where she served as Artistic Director for 6 years). Lavina maintains relationships with Lifeline Theatre (Casting Director), Silk Road Rising (Artistic Associate), Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Artistic Engagement Associate), and the National New Play Network (Affiliated Artists Council). She was named Time Out Chicago’s “Best Next Generation Stage Director” in 2013.

Lavina’s 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 (adapted from Kalidasa). Details about Lavina’s writing can be found on the New Play Exchange. As a Casting Director, she has collaborated with Chicago Children’s Theatre, The Hypocrites, Mixed Blood Theatre Company, Lifeline, and more.

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.


“Lavina is a creatively and politically ambitious young artist — a citizen of the world who brings global reach to everything she produces. In terms of her artistry, Lavina’s work is smart, clear, and dramaturgically vibrant. She works beautifully with both actors and designers. Additionally, and this is often rare in a young director, she works well with everyone — the tech staff, the marketing folks, the design advisors. She is an ambassador for the production.”
– Lisa Portes, Head of MFA Directing, The Theatre School at DePaul University

“The daughter of Indian immigrants, Lavina understands instinctively how to ‘translate’ one cultural context to another. She is quite fluent at identifying cultural markers and assimilating cultural signifiers into a vernacular that makes sense to ‘us.’ Her processes are undoubtedly strengthened by the openness with which she engages ‘difference.’ Lavina absorbs knowledge through a critical filter that is conversational and flexible, not ideological and rigid. She adopts an artistic aesthetic as she strives to reconcile ‘foreignness’ with the familiar and the mundane.”
– Jamil Khoury, Founder/Artistic Director, Silk Road Rising

“Lavina’s greatest strength as a director is her unmatched analytical mind. She approaches a play both from the outside—analyzing the rules of each play’s world and understanding its structure—and from the inside, getting to know the people who populate that world. She is a writer’s director with impeccable dramaturgical understanding of how to shape a work in progress.”
– Kristin Idaszak, Playwright

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