The Collective

Each member of the Collective plays an integral role by contributing their perspective to the creative vision of all projects. The Collective is comprised of artists who self-identify as people of color. It is also a diverse group of artists who multi-task in more than one theater discipline, for example, actors who write, writers who direct, dancers who act, etc. and all the artists are involved with aspects of production. The Collective is the creative and business force behind all the artistic projects for the group. To date Rising Circle has produced two original plays, Pulling the Lever (2004) and American Family Project (2007), two showcase evenings and several performance based fundraisers created and performed by members of the company.

Deepa Purohit, Co-Founder/Artistic Director
Currently co-writing Grace with Sanjit De Silva. Writing: American Family Project (Rising Circle-NY), Exiled (NY), LotusMart, Ohio, Pulling the Lever (Rising Circle-NY); published in New York Theatre Experience's Plays and Playwrights 2006, winner of NY Innovative Theater Award for Best Ensemble. 2006 recipient of the New York Coalition of Professional Women in the Arts & Media's very first "Collaboration Award," to recognize the achievement of women working with women within the performing arts community. TV: The Sopranos, Law & Order: CI, Six Degrees, The Education of Max Bickford, One Life to Live. Stage: In the Heart of America, Barriers, Vagina Monologues, For Colored Girls.... Film: The War Within, Theen, Another Journey, The Lottery. She is a former middle school teacher and has a Masters in Public Health from Columbia University.

Sanjit De Silva, Associate Artistic Director
Sanjit's Stage Credits Include: Masked (DR2, Dir. Ami Dayan), Macbeth (NYSF/Public Theatre, Dir. Moises Kaufman), Measure for Measure (NYSF/Public Theatre, Dir. Mary Zimmerman), Midsummer Night's Dream (Hartford Stage, Dir. Lisa Peterson), Slipped Disc (HERE), In The Heart of America (Studio Tisch), Indian Ink (Quantum Theatre). Film Credits include: The Hungry Ghosts (Writer/Dir. Michael Imperioli), August (w/Josh Hartnett), Arranged, American Desi, TV Credits include: The Unusuals, I'm Paige Wilson (Pilot for CW, Dir. Rod Lurie), Law&Order;, Law&Order;:TBJ, Law&Order;:SVU, Law&Order;:CI, Six Degrees, Jonny Zero. He has done numerous staged readings, among his favorites are Morbidity&Mortality; at the Public Theatre (Dir. Ethan McSweeney, Starring Juliana Marguilies), The Roman Actor at Classic Stage Company (Dir. John Dias, Starring Ruben Santiago-Hudson).
Writing credits include: Irish Eyes, Pulling the Lever (recently published in Plays&Playwrights; 2006), American Family Project. He received his MFA from NYU's prestigious Graduate Acting Program led by the acclaimed Zelda Fichandler and where he studied acting under Master Teacher Ron Van Lieu. Sanjit has his BA from Washington University in St. Louis where he was a double major in Biology and Performing Arts.

Catherine Jhung, Collective Member
Catherine is an actress, dancer, teacher and Rising Circle member since 2003. Most recently she directed Nancy Kim's solo piece How to Find Your Inner Asian as part of Rising Circle's Laboratory 2008-2009. She also originated roles in the plays American Family Project and Pulling The Lever (Outstanding Ensemble, Innovative Theatre Awards, 2005). Catherine recently played the Old Woman in Opera Colorado's production of John Adams' Nixon In China and has appeared on television on ABC's One Life To Live and All My Children. Other New York theater includes Opera Frankfurt's Macbeth, Lincoln Center Festival; The Shanghai Gesture, Peccadillo Theatre Company; Barriers, Desipina Productions. Catherine also appeared as a featured dancer and royal wife on the First National Tour of the Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of The King and I and at the Westchester Broadway Theatre, Elmsford, NY. Modern dance credits include Bill Young and Dancers, New York City; Silesian Dance Theatre, Bitom, Poland; and the New Dance Ensemble, Minneapolis, where she had the pleasure of performing in the works of many notable choreographers, including Bill T. Jones, Bebe Miller, Douglas Dunn and Ralph Lemon.

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Catherine graduated from Sarah Lawrence College and completed the conservatory program at The Actors Center in New York City. Catherine is a teaching artist for American Ballet Theatre and lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and son.

Nancy Kim, Collective Member
Collective Member since 2004. Nancy is the writer and solo performer for her latest work, How to Find Your Inner Asian first mounted at ManhattanTheatreSource as a part of Rising Circle's Laboratory 2008-2009. Nancy also performed in Rising Circle's original production American Family Project. She was also a co-Associate Producer for Pulling the Lever. She has worked with various theatre companies throughout New York City as well as assisted in producing numerous documentary and non-fiction programs for television. Nancy was invited to join's Review Squad in 2007 and 2008. She enjoys studying and performing comedy improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade. Nancy is developing her second solo performance piece slated for production in December 2008 (Rising Circle).