Great Expectations

By Charles Dickens
Adapted by Tanika Gupta
Co-directed by Lavina Jadhwani and Nick Sandys
May 11 – July 2, 2017

Remy Bumppo and Silk Road Rising are pleased to announce that we are joining artistic forces to bring the American premiere of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, adapted by Tanika Gupta, to Chicago. This bold re-imagining, set in 19th century Calcutta during the British Raj, will be co-directed by Lavina Jadhwani and Nick Sandys.


Anand Bhatt – Pip

Raj Bond – Pumblechook / Orator

Lane Anthony Flores – Herbert Pocket / Soldier

Linda Gillum – Miss Havisham

Anish Jethmalani – Joe Gargery

Tommy Malouf – Compeyson / Ensemble

Alka Nayyar – Mrs. Gargery / Molly

Roderick Peeples – Jaggers / Sergeant

Siddhartha Rajan – Wemick / Ensemble

Rasika Ranganathan – Biddy

Netta Walker – Estella

Robert Hardaway – Magwitch


Lavina Jadhwani and Nick Sandys – Co-Directors

Angela M. Adams – Stage Manager

Margaret Baughman – Dramaturg

Yeaji Kim – Scenic Designer

Elsa Hiltner – Costume Designer

Lindsey Lyddan – Lighting Designer

Ronnie Malley – Original Music and Sound Designer

Spencer Batho – Sound Designer and Engineer

Abigail Cain – Properties Designer

Eva Breneman – Dialect Coach

Vahishta Vafadari – Assistant Dialect Coach

“This new version transports Dickens’ narrative with a specificity and theatricality that is truly exciting—and yet 90% of the dialogue comes directly from the novel,” comments Remy Bumppo Producing Artistic Director Nick Sandys.

“Gupta has adapted this classic with absolute valour and aplomb,” agrees Silk Road Rising Artistic Director Jamil Khoury. “This is not an attempt to superimpose or meld cultural contexts. Rather, it’s a telling of the Dickens’ story that brilliantly reimagines and recenters it—all while honoring the genius of the 19th century narrative.”

It’s this skillful blend of a Western literary classic with a fresh Bengali perspective that inspired the companies to pursue Great Expectations as a co-production.

“As Gupta has collaborated so seamlessly with Dickens,” says Sandys, “so we hope Silk Road Rising’s inclusive polyculturalism and experience with South Asian theatrical traditions will combine successfully with Remy Bumppo’s skills with classical language and Western theatrical styles and texts.”

Says Khoury, “Remy Bumppo brings to the table its rich commitment to the Western literary canon, while we bring our rootedness in the artistic voices of Asian and Middle Eastern Diasporas. The two blend beautifully into Gupta’s Great Expectations: a tale not of ‘East meets West,’ but of binaries and barriers being broken down.”