Queen, the current production of the Astoria Performing Arts Center (APAC), written by Madhuri Shekar, is a story particularly relevant to today’s political climate. Performed at the Boys and Girls Club black box theater, the intimacy of the setting allows the audience to completely immerse themselves in the story of two female graduate students (Ariel Speigel and Sanam Shah played by Rachel Rhodes-Devey and Mahima Saigal) grappling with the concepts of ethics, friendship, romance, and respect. Both characters push personal and professional boundaries throughout the play. When their adviser and mentor encourages unethical behavior in the interest of “the greater good,” both of these independent women hash through the greater implications that eventually leads them both to the same conclusion.
As someone with a great deal of experience in academia, I found the story both relatable and realistic in its approach to scientific research and the pitfalls of long-term data collection and analysis. Upon leaving the show, the general themes and the ending in particular sparked a spirited debate with my show guest. Any play that leaves you talking, thinking and discussing for days afterwards is, in my opinion, one worth pursuing.
Queen runs through February 16
You can buy tickets here
Black Box Theater at the Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens
21-12 30th Rd
Astoria, NY 11102