PLAY IN THE GARDEN: A Perfect Ganesh by Terrence McNally - Guild Hall
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A Perfect Ganesh by Terrence McNally

Photo by Al Pereira

Event Category:
Friday, June 25
8PM - 10PM
$50 per person
158 Main Street
East Hampton, NY 11937 United States
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Following current New York State guidelines, Guild Hall will no longer require six feet of social distancing in the John Drew Backyard Theater (with the exception of our KidFEST shows). Guests ages 5 and up attending any show besides a KidFEST performance must show proof of full vaccination or recent negative COVID-19 test results. Scroll down for full details.

Directed by Amanda Kate Joshi
Featuring Shalin Agarwal, Irene Glezos, Lué McWilliams, and Jake Swain

Guild Hall celebrates our 90th anniversary season with a look back at the work of the luminous artist members of our Academy of the Arts. Playwright Terrence McNally was a great friend of the John Drew Theater as well as a Lifetime Achievement Honoree in 1993, the same year his heartfelt and spiritual play A Perfect Ganesh opened to acclaim at the Manhattan Theatre Club, and later went on to be nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. Amanda Kate Joshi returns to the Drew to direct this special one-night reading as a highlight of our PLAY IN THE GARDEN series of staged readings.

In A Perfect Ganesh, two middle-aged American women travel to India hoping to heal from their personal tragedies and find inner peace.  After experiencing true culture shock upon arrival, the women are joined by the Hindu god Ganesha.  This god of wisdom accompanies them, assuming many different guises along the way.  As the women struggle to overcome their traumas, Ganesh provides wisdom, humor, and safety, which allows them a glimpse into another world, and a deeper look into themselves.  A Perfect Ganesh draws on the tragic and the comic, showing us that while one can look for solace outside oneself, it is ultimately within oneself where it is found.  

Run time: Approx 2 hours

Originally produced by the Manhattan Theatre Club on June 27, 1993.
A PERFECT GANESH is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York.


Following current New York State guidelines, Guild Hall will no longer require six feet of social distancing in the John Drew Backyard Theater (with the exception of our KidFEST shows). Guests ages 5 and up attending any show besides a KidFEST performance must show proof of full vaccination or recent negative COVID-19 test results. Face coverings are now optional for fully vaccinated guests and children under the age of 2 for all shows with the exception of KidFEST performances, when masks are required for all patrons over the age of 2 regardless of vaccination status. 

In order to attend non-KidFEST programs in the John Drew Backyard Theater, guests will be responsible for displaying proof of one of the following on arrival:

  • Full vaccination, meaning both doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine received at least 14 days prior to the day of the program
  • A negative test result from a COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the day of the program
  • A negative test result from a COVID-19 Antigen test taken within six (6) hours of the program’s scheduled start time
  • Current New York State Excelsior Pass with proof of vaccine or negative testing/Antigen results. Click HERE to download the free app for seamless entry.

Note: Social distancing will continue to be required indoors, for outdoor KidFEST performances, and on the rest of the grounds. Guests will not need to show proof of vaccination or negative test results in these spaces, and will be required to wear masks regardless of vaccination status. Please stay home if you don’t feel well, have exhibited symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 10 days, have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 10 days, or been in contact with someone with COVID-19 in the past 10 days.

As of 5/18/2021

  • Shalin Agarwal

    Shalin Agarwal Theatre Credits Include: Rafta, Rafta (Old Globe Theatre), The Invisible Hand(Milwaukee Repertory Theatre), The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (Mixed Blood Theatre & InterAct Theatre Company), There or Here (Hypothetical Theatre Company, NYC), Antony & Cleopatra (Hudson Shakespeare Company).  TV/ Film: 30 Rock, Silicon Valley, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Jane the Virgin, Good Trouble, The Rookie, Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, Splitting Up Together, For the People, The Obituary of Tunde Johnson (Toronto International Film Festival).  Shalin is based in Los Angeles.

  • Lué McWilliams

    Lué McWilliams is a member of Emerging Artist Theatre Company and has originated many roles in their productions, most recently as Doris Day in a musical adaptation of her life. Some other NYC credits Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway: Lie of the MindPatch of BlueGlory Hallelujah, Samuel French One-Act Play Festivals and the sold-out extended Fringe Show And Sophie Comes Too. Regionally, Lué toured her one woman show and has done numerous plays with Hudson River Classics, CAT Company, VT Repertory Theatre, Lyric Theatre and the Open Stage Company. She has been seen in various TV roles and Feature Films: See IMDB. One feature film Lué co-stars in: Naked As They Came was named a gay “essential” film to watch.  Lué has started to create/produce/ direct her own shorts. One called #JustMove, was shown in festivals around the world and was a semi-finalist in the NYC Katra Film Festival, now on her YouTube channel. Lué is excited to be back on the boards after the year-long “moratorium” and thanks and congratulates the entire team of Guild Hall as it celebrates its 90th Season!  AEA/SAG-AFTRA

  • Jake Swain

    Jake Swain: Broadway: Mean Girls (Tyler Kimble, u/s Aaron Samuels). Regional: Oklahoma! (Will Parker) & Bye Bye Birdie (Harvey Johnson) at Goodspeed Opera House. National Tour: Elf the Musical. BFA in Acting, BYU. TV: Hysterical Women. Film: Cosmos Sisters, Zombied, Now Again, Nosebleeds.www.jake- IG: @jacobmonte

  • Amanda Kate Joshi

    Amanda Kate Joshi is a NYC-based director, producer, and stage manager, who is thrilled to be directing again at Guild Hall after her 2019 staged readings of The Violin-Maker by Stephen Dickman and Kingdom of the Spirits by JZ Holden.  Additional directing selections include: Sell Me: I Am From North Korea by Sora Baek (Jersey City Theatre Center); Inch by Inch by Rachel Graf Evans (Theatre for a New City at Producers' Club); Craig McNulty’s Welcome Home Steve (Players Club); Wilde’s Importance of Being Earnest (14th Street Y); Michelle Markowitz’s Hookups & Hang-ups (Abingdon Theatre); Jay Hanagan’s Softly Sara Falls (Lookinglass Theatre).  Previous Guild Hall productions as Associate Director to Tony Walton: Noel Coward’s Tonight at 8:30, Sir Peter Shaffer’s Equus and The Gift of the Gorgon.  She was also his Associate on Stephen Sondheim’s Evening Primrose (John Jay Theatre).  As Associate to Don Stephenson:  Frank Loesser's Guys & Dolls, The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell of the Crowd; The Will Rogers Follies (all Goodspeed Musicals); The Producers (Paper Mill Playhouse); Cabaret (Manhattan School of Music).  Amanda has spent the last 15 years working on new and developing plays, as a director and an independent producer.  She sat on the Lark Play Development Company's Literary Wing, has been a reader for the Princess Grace Award in Playwrighting, and spent two years as the Colony Coordinator at for the Johnny Mercer Writers’ Colony at Goodspeed, which develops 30+ new musicals annually.  In 2005 she founded Wizard Oil Productions and was their Artistic Director until 2010, before spending two years as the General Manager of Abingdon Theatre Company.  She has additionally partnered with New Georges as a Line Producer, producing close to 20 productions for the three companies.  New Georges' A Beautiful Day in November on the Banks of the Greatest of the Great Lakes won an OBIE in 2015, and Wizard Oil's Empire of the Tree was nominated for an Innovative Theatre Award in 2010.  Amanda has been an evaluator for the SDC Observership Program, as well as nominated for both a National Directors Fellowship and an SDC Mike Ockrent Directing Fellowship. 

  • Terrence McNally

    Terrence McNally was awarded the Dramatists Guild Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. He is the winner of Tony Awards for his plays LOVE! VALOUR! COMPASSION! and MASTER CLASS and his books for the musicals RAGTIME and KISS OF THE SPIDERWOMAN. In 2010 the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts presented TERRENCE McNALLY’S NIGHTS AT THE OPERA, a three-play festival of his work. His other plays include FRANKIE AND JOHNNY IN THE CLAIR DE LUNE; LIPS TOGETHER, TEETH APART; CORPUS CHRISTI; A PERFECT GANESH; THE RITZ; IT’S ONLY A PLAY; SOME MEN; GOLDEN AGE; DEUCE; THE LISBON TRAVIATA; BAD HABITS; THE STENDHAL SYNDOME; DEDICATION OR THE STUFF OF DREAMS; NEXT; UNUSUAL ACTS OF DEVOTION; SWEET EROS; WITNESS; WHERE HAS TOMMY FLOWERS GONE? and his first play... AND THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT. He has written the books for the musicals THE FULL MONTY, A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE, THE VISIT and THE RINK. He won an Emmy Award for Best Drama with his teleplay ANDRE’S MOTHER. He wrote the screenplays for FRANKIE AND JOHNNY, LOVE! VALOUR! COMPASSION! and THE RITZ. He wrote the libretto for the opera DEAD MAN WALKING with music by Jake Heggie. Among his many awards are a Citation from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best New Play, four Drama Desk Awards, three Hull-Warriner Best Play Awards from the Dramatists Guild, two Obies, two Lortel Awards and two Guggenheim Fellowships. Mr. McNally was a member of the Dramatists Guild since 1965 and served as its Vice-President from 1985 to 2001.

Event Sponsors

Theater Programming supported in part by the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Barbara Slifka, The Schaffner Family Foundation, Straus Family Foundation, Brown Harris Stevens, Michael Balmuth, Blythe Danner, Lang Insurance, and funding from The Ellen and James S. Marcus Endowment for Musical Programming and The Melville Straus Family Endowment 
John Drew Backyard Theater
Special thanks to Marty and Michele Cohen, Ben Krupinski Builder, Hollander Design, and Groundworks Landscaping 
Play in the Garden Print Media Partner: James Lane Post
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