Born in India, Zaraawar Mistry is an actor, writer, director, teacher and producer, and a co-owner of Dreamland Arts, a family-owned performing arts business in St. Paul, Minnesota. From 2006-2023, Dreamland Arts had a 40-seat theater in the Hamline Midway neighborhood of St. Paul, where Zaraawar created and performed in several one man plays, and mentored over a dozen actors, musicians and puppeteers in developing and producing their solo works.
Zaraawar was a co-founder of the Center for Independent Artists and an Associate Artistic Director at Theater Mu. As an actor he has performed at the Guthrie, the Children’s Theater Company and Mixed Blood Theater. He has collaborated as an actor, writer and director with Ragamala Dance.
- Star Tribune features Zaraawar Mistry in article on artists from India in Minnesota.
- Minnesota Public Radio profile of Zaraawar Mistry by Marianne Combs
Zaraawar’s first one man play, Sohrab and Rustum, premiered at the Center for Independent Artists in 2002. His next solo play, Indian Cowboy, was presented at Mixed Blood Theater in January 2006, and was published in Asian American Plays for a New Generation. Both these plays were presented at Asia Society in New York City and at Stages Repertory Theatre in Houston. His next solo work, The Other Mr. Gandhi, premiered at Dreamland Arts in February 2012 and opened Illusion Theater’s 25th Fresh Ink series in July 2012. In 2014, Zaraawar received an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board to develop a new one man show, Dr. Deep, which premiered at Dreamland Arts in 2015. Zaraawar regularly performs a storytelling program, Children’s Stories from India at schools and libraries in the Twin Cities, across Minnesota, and occasionally in other states around the U.S.
Zaraawar has an M.F.A. in Theatre from UC, San Diego and a B.A. from Bennington College in Vermont. He has received numerous grants in support of his work, from the Jerome Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Playwright’s Center among others. He has taught theater classes in the Twin Cities, and has been the Interim Program Director for the City Arts program at H.E.C.U.A. He was also an Adjunct Professor at Hamline University in 2007, and was a Mentoring Artist for the COMPAS ArtsWork program from 2010-2014. Zaraawar is a theater consultant and works as the Program Specialist for Springboard for the Arts.