In a media release, the Vancouver Fringe Theatre Society has announced the appointment of Rohit Chokhani as its new executive director.
Chokhani, who was among more than fifty applicants from across North America, takes over following the departure of Laura Efron, who left the role at the end of 2019.
Chokhani is the founder of Diwali in BC, Project SAT (South Asian Theatre), and the co-creator of the Monsoon Festival of Performing Arts. A multi-Jessie Award-winner, most recently, he was the recipient of the Vancouver NOW Representation and Inclusion Award in 2018.
Ironically enough, while Chokhani has worked with several local theatre organizations since arriving in 2010, his Vancouver theatre career first began at the Fringe.
“When I first immigrated to this country, my first opportunity and success in the performing arts came through the Vancouver Fringe Festival,” says Chokhani in the release. “Little did I know that a few years later, I would have the honour of leading one of my favourite festivals.”
Chokhani’s history with the Vancouver Fringe Festival included serving as production manager for the award-winning Siddhartha: A Journey Home, a site-specific production at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden in 2011. He would go onto be part of two Public Market Pick of the Fringe Award-winning shows as co-producer for the 2015 production of Mrs. Singh & Me and director for Bombay Black in 2017.
Acknowledging the challenges facing the arts and other communities during the current COVID-19 pandemic, Chokhani is looking forward to taking on the new role. “We are resilient, currently online, and will soon be back making Theatre for Everyone in physical spaces,” he says.