When Rod Bowen and Deepa Purohit co-founded the Rising Circle Theater Collective in March 2000, they were responding to the lack of stories and roles on stage that represented the multi-cultural and cross-cultural communities in New York City. They and many of their colleagues who are artists of color agreed that there were few opportunities to create their own meaningful projects, to tell stories that reflect their own nuanced and complex experiences and to lead the creative vision of an organization. Rising Circle was started to create, workshop, and perform original work that engaged artists of color from all disciplines in a collective process of creating art for theater.

In just eight years, Rising Circle Theater Collective has grown into a community of artists of color, members, affiliated artists and friends, who participate in all areas of theatrical production, from the early stages of development to the production of readings and shows involvement in the organization's administrative growth and planning. The community of our audience represents people from all racial/ethnic/economic backgrounds that attend performances and benefits, make donations, and also participate in the artistic process by sharing their stories with us through interviews.