World premiere of ‘American Rookie’ at Luna Stage

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Luna Stage will present the world premiere of “American Rookie,” written and performed by Dipti Bramhandkar and directed by Padraic Lillis, from Jan. 11 to 20. Part coming-of-age tale, part social commentary and part comedy, this one-woman show explores what it means to be an immigrant at a time when the country can’t stop talking about it. Performances will be Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 3 p.m. and Mondays at 7 p.m. 

Inspired by Bramhandkar’s experiences growing up in America after moving from Mumbai to rural Upstate New York, “American Rookie” brings to life the joy, humor and pain of the assimilation process — from mimicking ’80s fashion and studying Judy Blume books to constructing a new American persona altogether.

“American Rookie is a show I needed to see when I was a teenager,” Bramhandkar said. “I was grappling with my Indian and immigrant identity on top of the awkward, cringeworthy moments of that time of life. I wanted to talk about big topics like race and belonging but as portrayed in the everyday moments — funny, sad and seemingly ordinary ones — that shape our understanding of each other. My hope is to invite everyone into a conversation about what we have in common at a time when our country feels divided.”

Luna Stage is located at 555 Valley Road in West Orange. To purchase tickets, visit or call OvationTix at 866-811-4111.