Indian Ink on American books — 09.09.10

Jacob Rajan (Laureate) and his Indian Ink Theatre Company are now on the books of one of the USA's most influential performing artists agents - David Lieberman.

Source:  - TOM CARDY - The Dominion Post

"One of the most influential performing artists agents in the United States has snapped up Wellington actor Jacob Rajan and his Indian Ink Theatre Company for the potentially lucrative American market next year.

Agent David Lieberman, a legend in performing arts and festival circles, represents only eight to 10 acts at one time. Acts include Hollywood actor Tim Robbins' Actors' Gang theatre company, popular new music ensemble Kronos Quartet and the Merce Cunningham Dance Company.

It is the first time since Lieberman founded his company Artists' Representatives 25 years ago that he has signed a New Zealand act.

Rajan, best known for the long-running hit play Krishnan's Dairy, said Lieberman had the potential to expose Indian Ink to a vast new audience. Rajan co-founded the company with Justin Lewis. Rajan said it was too early to compare the opportunity to that of Wellington duo Flight of the Conchords.

"I'm not in it for celebrity. I'm in it to get the work to the people and for them to enjoy it as a live theatre experience."

Lieberman signed Rajan and Lewis after seeing an excerpt from their new play, The Guru of Chai, in February at the Australian Performing Arts Market in Adelaide. The agent later asked to see "the Guru guys" and was introduced to Lewis, who at first did not know it was Lieberman.

Creative New Zealand, which took Rajan and Lewis to Adelaide, said the signing was a huge coup.

"As far as I know it's the first New Zealand company to sign up with a major agent in terms of performance theatre. [Dance company] Black Grace and the New Zealand String Quartet have American agents and, of course the Conchords, but this is a really, big thing. This is a list to die for. They are alongside these great artists. It's like `OK, they are as good as the Kronos Quartet. They are alongside Tim Robbins', " Creative NZ international manager Carla van Zon said.

Rajan said it was likely they would perform The Guru of Chai in the US in the second half of next year.

The play opens at Downstage Theatre in Wellington on September 15 and will also be staged in Australia and Singapore."