Showbiz / 5 Reasons To See Anusree Roy In “Little Pretty and the Exceptional”

5 Reasons To See Anusree Roy In “Little Pretty and the Exceptional”

Showbiz Apr 20, 2017

Anusree Roy returns to Factory Theatre with her newest work, the world premiere of Little Pretty and the Exceptional. Here are five reasons to check out this play.

1. Anusree Roy is an award-winning and celebrated Canadian talent and internationally acclaimed performer and writer. Her list of accolades is extensive include the Dora Mavor Moore Award Outstanding New Play and Outstanding Performance by a Female for Pyaasa (2008), the RBC Emerging Artist Award in Theatre (2009), the Dora Mavor Moore Award Outstanding New Play for Brothel # 9 (2011) and the Governor General’s Award in Theatre for Brothel # 9 (2013). 

She continued her streak with another Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play for Sultans of the Street (2014). Considering her record of success, we can see that the momentum of her new play promises to please audiences and critics.

2. Roy’s latest work confronts the taboo of mental health in the South Asian community. After a personal diagnosis of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), Roy realized how critical it was to have a support system in place and to seek professional support.

After being in treatment for a year and a half, she found inspiration for the main character in Little Pretty and the Exceptional, Simran, who suffers from schizophrenia and is dealing with a personal mental health crisis. By approaching mental health awareness through a creative vehicle, Roy is encouraging conversations within the South Asian community.

Anusree Roy
Anusree Roy in Little Pretty and the Exceptional. Photo Credit:  Flip Publicity


3. The work is directed by award-winning director Brendan Healy. After his role at the helm as artistic director of the Buddies in Badtimes Theatre from 2009 to 2015, Healy established a reputation for productions that were visually rich and thought-provoking. Similar to Roy, he has enjoyed great success, including a Dora Mavor Moore Awards for Best Director. This is the first time that Healy and Roy have collaborated, and Roy describes a mutually fascinating experience where the two icons learned from one another.

4. The play brings to life the Gerrard India Bazaar, the focal point of South Asian culture in Toronto. In fact, Simran and her sister, Jasmeet, help their father prepare to open a new sari shop in Toronto’s Little India neighbourhood. Spectators are treated to the rich textiles and colours of India while gaining an understanding of the unique presence of South Asian culture in Toronto.

Anusree Roy. Photo Credit: Flip Publicity.

5. This was the first time that Anusree Roy was not always in the room during the rehearsals of one of her works, so it’s likely to have a different feel than her past plays. Roy explains that, normally, when her play is in rehearsals, she is used to always being in the room — because either she is performing or taking playwright notes. However, as she is currently working at the Stratford Festival, for much of Little Pretty and the Exceptional rehearsals, she was in Stratford.

Roy claims that this was a challenging experience but that she had to have faith in her team, including Healy, to bring together a play that would not only resonate in Factory Theatre’s 2016–17 Factory season but also look beyond Canadian borders to navigate new identities and redefine the meaning of home, as citizens, residents and visitors.


Anusree Roy
Anusree Roy in Little Pretty and the Exceptional. Photo Credit: Flip Publicity


Little Pretty and the Exceptional runs until April 30 at the Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst Street, Toronto. Visit or call 416-504-9971 for ticket information.


 Main Image Photo Credit: Flip Publicity 


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