The Night Diary
The Night Diary

The 2019 Newbery Honor book serves as inspiration for this incredible story. “In the vein of Inside Out and Back Again and The War That Saved My Life comes a poignant, personal, and hopeful tale of India’s partition, and of one girl’s journey to find a new home in a divided country.”
2022-23 season | For ages 8 and up | Buy Tickets


Anjalee Deshpande Hutchinson


Director & Devising Artist

Mukta Phatak



Hutchinson’s theatre work has long been in the area of devising, where the script of a piece originates from a collaborative and improvisational work by a performance ensemble. An initial draft of the script was written by Phatak, an emerging playwright and artist who trained under Hutchinson and the two embarked on a summer workshop where the devising work came into play to shape the piece into what will be seen on the stage.

The Creative Process

"The Night Diary" scene from Workshop

Summer Workshop

In July 2021, actors gathered with the production team to “workshop” the piece. A workshop is a theatrical performance of the play that doesn’t include all the aspects of the final production like costumes, sets, etc. It provides a sense of how a play can come together. Actors participated in the workshop from 12 – 6 PM each day for one week. Guests were invited to an early sharing of the piece at the end of the week which provided an opportunity for feedback for all involved.

Partition Map

What's Next?

After the workshop, the playwright took all the information and work that was done and created a post-workshop draft. This is usually the draft that will become the designer/rehearsal draft. In this instance, we shared this draft with the book author, Veera Hiranandani. Adapting a book to the stage is a complicated process. An adaptation is based on the work of another artist, the book's author. This person has invested a significant amount of time, effort and love into their art. They are trusting that both the playwright and the company will bring it to life with an equal amount of love and respect. It is often challenging for a book author because an adaptation is most often not a direct transference to the stage. Because the medium of theatre is one of a series of actions and the medium of fiction is narrative…the play that is developed often doesn’t look exactly like the original book. The work of the playwright is to capture the spirit and essence of the story…but in dramatic form which often looks and feels different. In this instance, Hiranandani asked us some wonderful questions and gave some feedback which made the play even stronger. Next we shared the new draft of the play with the design team who will begin the design process.