Ishika Muchhal: Press Kit
Ishika Muchhal (she/her) is an Indian American, LA-based actor, singer, dancer, writer and director.
She is pursuing her BFA in Acting at CalArts ('23), a Lillian Disney Scholar. A California Arts Council "Individual Artist Fellow" and an International Honor Thespian, she has over 70 plays, musicals, films, voiceovers, ads, & competitions to her name, both in English and Hindi.
Theatrical highlights include Edinburgh Festival Fringe (2019), King Lear at A Noise Within (2017), and the world premiere of "The Fig and the Wasp" at CalArts Walt Disney Modular Theater (2021).
A bold advocate for representation, Ishika hosts an interview series called A QISSAA with Ishika: Quintessential and Inspiring Stories of South Asian Artists. This project is the focus of her California Arts Council "Individual Artist Fellow" grant.
Ishika fell in love with the performing arts at age three, training in multiple styles of acting since age 9, singing since 12, and dancing since 5 (performing her 2-hour solo Bharatanatyam dance recital, or Arangetram, in 2018). She strives to use the arts to intersectionally address social issues.
Beyond performance, Ishika is an avid writer, with published, award-winning poetry, creative writing and journalism. She is heavily involved in community and organizational advocacy, leadership, campaigning & volunteering. She has worked with Rotary, National Women's Political Caucus, American Cancer Society, UNICEF, Our Community LA, Foothill Unity Center, and more.
Ishika loves watching movies & TV, listening to music, taking photos, designing, traveling, organizing, & making puns!
Ishika is incredibly hard-working, creative, and takes her training seriously. She has the talent to play a wide range of character types, i.e. dramatic, heightened, comedic, naturalistic/contemporary. [In her sonnet], Ishika did an excellent job of physical and vocal transformation. It was a powerful performance. [In Angels in America], Ishika dove right in and bravely confronted the emotional intensity of the scene. She brought passion & sincerity. ~ Chi-Wang Yang
I saw The Fig and the Wasp last night and was absolutely FLOORED by you. You showed grace, strength, power, emotion, range, everything that a leading woman can be. You are a force of nature. Congratulations and I pray that you are proud of the mic you just dropped. You are what the Arts needs in this world. Never ever stop." ~ B. K. Dawson
"[Ishika] and her partner created a wonderfully nuanced filmed version of their scene from Measure for Measure. She found intensity in stillness and restraint in the first section of the scene, allowing her to expand more fully and surprisingly at climactic later moments. Her final monologue as Angelo was ... spontaneous, dynamic, emotionally transparent AND full of physical detail." ~ Lars Jan
" The effort to dismantle gender roles in Indian culture is effectively portrayed in Muchhal’s performance." ~ Jaelyn Decena, The Cougar Chronicle
"Designer, Juliana Romero and Movement Artist, Sky Spiegel have created this piece in collaboration with the three performers Yunni Lin, Ishika Muchhal and Mady Thornquest. These students bring experience in a wide range of dance forms and performance to create a coherent style of movement that represents their explorations into the abstract concepts of Estés. ... it makes for a delightful visual experience." ~ Richard Beck, Broadway Baby
"Ishika has a lot to offer. She is patient and a giving scene partner. Along with her emotional intelligence, she engaged imagination to use intuitive impulses and create specific images.” ~ Mirjana Jokovic
"She was remarkable in her final. Graceful, expansive, pure, peaceful, finding a rawness at her edges. I think her work in both [The] Fig [and the Wasp] and what I saw in class, touched a new trust in Ishika. I saw her own the moment to moment, filling it deeply and to its edges to inform the next moments." ~ Anthony Nikolchev
"I was deeply impressed with Ishika's artistry and the mastery of her craft. I wish I could have captured the positive energy in the auditorium that evening. What a gift she is to the world!" ~ Steve Baker, Monrovia City Historian & Treasurer
"You are more than an actor. You are an artist and creator. I see you think about theater and your work like a live painting. I'm excited to see where this work takes you." ~ Kalean Ung
“Ishika, you have an especially expressive, beautiful face! We can see how much you love your craft and performing. You have an excellent connection to the storytelling and you understand your character. It was a delight to watch and hear you!” ~ Spotlight Review, Music Center
"Ishika materialized for herself a distinctly radical approach—the ability to intertwine text, rhythm, gesture, movement, footwork, expression, and props while drawing from her classical training in Bharatanatyam. Ishika is alert to learnable moments, allowing herself to recognize new pathways that lead to different world views. Ishika chooses to actively realize her aspiration, flourishing into a thorough young artist with a unique voice of her own. [She is] a young woman of exceptional talent and creativity with a commitment to shaping more just communities-- It’s truly a rare and powerful combination. I believe Ishika has gone above and beyond in her efforts to understand the world around her and artistically respond to it." ~ Dr. Elizabeth Kurien, Bharatanatyam teacher