Theatre503 and Helen Milne Productions present

The Art of Gaman

Written by Dipika Guha
Directed by Ailin Conant
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£12 Conc. / £17 Adult Adv. / £10 Wed. Matinees / ‘Pay What You Can’ Sat. Matinees

5 x £5 tickets (SOLD OUT)

RUNNING TIME / NOTICES: 90mins (no interval). Production includes Theatrical Haze.

POST-SHOW DISCUSSION: Oct 24, Evening. Belonging and the Immigrant Experience

With The Art of Gaman’s director Ailin Conant and cast member Mark Takeshi Ota, as well as guest panelists; actor Tuyen Do (The Great Wave) and Dr Amina Yaqin (Researcher and Senior Lecturer at SOAS).

Gaman 我慢 – ‘patience’, ‘perseverance’, ‘tolerance’, ‘self-denial’

Tomomi, a young Japanese woman stands at the bow of a ship staring out across the water to her new American life in the years prior to the Hiroshima bombing. There are stars in her eyes and a crackling radio pulled to her chest as she drifts towards a country, and a future, that resists her arrival.

The Art of Gaman is an aching exploration of displacement and loss of cultural identity when you find yourself in a country that considers you an enemy. When forgetting your past is shameful, but remembering brings even greater pain, Tomomi must harness the strength to find beauty in the struggle and carve out a new life for herself and be true to who she really is.

The Art of Gaman was one of six plays shortlisted for the American Playwriting Foundation’s prestigious Relentless Award.

This production has been made possible by the generous support of The Daiwa FoundationUnity Theatre Trust and the Arts Council England.

Developed at the Lark Play Development Centre through the Shakespeare’s Sister Playwriting Fellowship and the Ground Floor at Berkeley Repertory Theatre.



Join us for a post-show discussion to dig deeper into some of the key themes of play. Panelists include Director Ailin Conant, plus specially invited guests, and we will explore the issues of belonging and the immigrant experience addressed in the play.


Ailin Conant – Director, The Art of Gaman

Dr Amina Yaqin – Senior Lecturer in Urdu and Postcolonial Studies, SOAS

Tuyen Do – Actor (The Great Wave, National Theatre) and Writer (Summer Rolls, Park Theatre – forthcoming)

Mark Ota – Actor, The Art of Gaman cast member

Dipika Guha

Dipika is an award winning playwright raised in India, England and Russia. Her plays include Yoga Play (South Coast Rep, Upcoming: Gateway Theatre Vancouver, Moxie Theatre and SF Playhouse), The Art of Gaman (Upcoming: Theatre503 London, The Kilroys List, Relentless Award semifinalist), Unreliable (Upcoming: Kansas City Rep) and contributions to You Across From Me (Humana, Actors Theatre of Louisville). Recent works includes Azaan, a play for an orchestra at Oregon Symphony, Elizabeth for the McCarter Theatre’s Princeton and Slavery Project and In Braunau, a commission for Playwrights Horizons Theatre School. Current commissions include South Coast Rep, Manhattan Theatre Club/Sloan, Barrington Stage Company, American Conservatory Theater/Z Space and Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Play On! project (The Merry Wives of Windsor). Dipika received her M.F.A. from Yale School of Drama and is a current Hodder Fellow at Princeton University. For television she’s written for American Gods on Starz, Paradise Lost at AMC and is currently writing for Sneaky Pete on Amazon.

A very special thanks to: Duncan Milne, Jesse Jou, Norman Meranus, Callum Scott, Sally Brown, Sanjay Guha, Donatello Vocca, Sheila Sinclair, Ikuyo Conant, Emma Li, John Akamatsu and Sharon Irwin, Tim Whitcombe and Malla Morris, Susan Milne, Yuriri Naka, Matthew Akamatsu, Michael J Place, Shyamali Andersen, Paroma Guha, Craig Nom Chong.


Artistic Team
Dipika Guha
Ailin Conant
Assistant Director
Laura Clifford
Set Designer
Helen Coyston
Sound Designer
Ross Flight
Lighting & Projection Design
Simeon Miller
Costume Designer
Urara Sakurai
Costume Assistant
Eriko Terao
Costume Company
Atelier Hinode Inc.
Production Manager
Richard Irvine
Stage Manager
Rose Hockaday
Helen Milne
You-Ri Yamanaka
Tomomi/High School Girl/Cousin
Tomoko Komura
Old Man/Shun/Doctor
Mark Takeshi Ota
Jerry/Accountant/Angler/Fish Husband
Philip Desmeules
Alice Dillon
Posted on 9 October 2018

“The Art of Gaman is immensely ambitious in its scope and…provides a platform for a story that is often ignored & marginalised”

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"an under-stated work of art" A Younger Theatre
Posted on 9 October 2018

Dipika Guha’s script carefully builds its own self-contained mode of expression, weaving together a rich individualistic texture of Japanese-American vocabulary.

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Playwright Dipika Guha talks about the UK Debut Of Her Award Nominated Show
Posted on 2 October 2018

"I wrote this play before the last American election when there was rising Islamaphobia in the United States and in much of Europe. I wanted to recall other moments in time when immigrants become targets on the grounds of their ethnicity alone."

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Audience Reviews
Captivating from start to finish. Enjoyed every minute
Audience Member
a very thought provoking production
Audience Member
I thought the acting and directing were SUPERB....writing was BRILLIANT, subtle and very moving
Audience Member

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