From American Theatre Magazine:
Arabs and Muslims Onstage: Can We Unpack Our Baggage?
American theatres still have a habit of seeing Middle Eastern characters as embodying controversy rather than humanity.
BY YUSSEF EL GUINDI
When it comes to countering the implicit, and sometimes explicit, prejudices that the larger society exhibits toward Arabs and Muslims, American theatres are not particularly ahead of the curve. While some theatres have bravely and commendably gone out of their way to address the deluge of negativity the mainstream culture exhibits towards most things Middle Eastern, those theatres are rare.
This is disappointing. One expects theatre to rise above the crassness that swirls through the currents of mainstream culture. You would hope that theatres espouse values that more commercial fare might shy away from. You want theatre, especially nonprofit theatre, to champion values that might interfere with the bottom line. Not that we want theatre to lose touch with a wide audience, lest it become perceived as being even more elitist than it already is. Crassness, after all, can be fun.
Theatre has some of its roots firmly planted in the mud—in the foibles and weirdness of human nature. “Rising above” mainstream culture doesn’t mean theatre should eschew any of the broad, popular memes currently in circulation in it. By all means artists should feel free infuse their work with whatever is most fashionably current—in style, aesthetics, popular thought, songs, etc. But theatre should also have a critical eye; it should offer up critiques, contextualize, and provide some kind of critical framework through which to view the culture and politics of the day. Because most theatres are nonprofits, they should be more daring in terms of the subject matter they choose, staging stories and perspectives that might be hard to find elsewhere.
This is the ideal. And given this ideal, expressed by many theatre mission statements, I wonder why there aren’t more plays by and about people who come from the Middle East. Never has any one area of the world had more impact on the U.S. than the Middle East. Repeatedly. Every year for as long as most of us can remember.
"10 Acrobats In An Amazing Leap of Faith" by Yussef El Guindi at Silk Road Rising in Chicago.
Yussef El Guindi’s most recent productions include "Threesome" at Portland Center Stage, ACT, and at 59E59 (winner of a Portland Drammy for Best Original Script); "The Ramayana" (co-adaptor with Stephanie Timm) at ACT; and "Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World" (winner of the Steinberg/ American Theater Critics Association’s New Play Award in 2012; Gregory Award 2011; Seattle Times’ “Footlight Award” for Best World Premiere Play, 2011) also at ACT, and at Center Repertory Company (Walnut Creek, CA) 2013; and "Language Rooms" (Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award, as well as ACT’s New Play Award), co-produced by Golden Thread Productions and Asian American Theater Company in San Francisco; at the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia (premiere), and at the Los Angeles Theater Center. Other productions: "Jihad Jones and The Kalashnikov Babes", produced at Golden Thread Productions in San Francisco, at InterAct Theater in Philadelphia, and at Kitchen Dog theater in Dallas, as part of the National New Play Network. It has also been performed at Theater Schmeater in Seattle, Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater in Massachusetts, and at Cyrano’s Theatre Company in Anchorage. His play "Our Enemies: Lively Scenes of Love and Combat" was produced by Silk Road Theater Project and won the M. Elizabeth Osborn award. His plays, "Back of the Throat" (winner of L.A. Weekly’s Excellence in Playwriting Award for 2006), as well as "Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World", "Jihad Jones and The Kalashnikov Babes", "Such a Beautiful Voice is Sayeda’s and Karima’s City", have been published by Dramatists Play Service. The latter one-acts have also been included in "The Best American Short Plays: 2004-2005", published by Applause Books. "Ten Acrobats in an Amazing Leap of Faith" (winner of Chicago’s “After Dark/John W. Schmid Award” for Best New Play in 2006) is included in "Salaam/ Peace: An Anthology of Middle-Eastern American Playwrights", published by TCG, 2009. "Our Enemies: Lively Scenes of Love and Combat" is included in the anthology "Four Arab American Plays" published by McFarland Books. "Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World" was included in the September, 2012 issue of American Theatre Magazine. And "Language Rooms" was published in Rain City Projects’ anthology "Manifesto Series Volume 3". Yussef is the recipient of the 2010 Middle East America Distinguished Playwright Award, and Seattle’s 2015 Stranger’s Genius Award. He holds an MFA from Carnegie-Mellon University and was playwright-in-residence at Duke University. His new play, "The Talented Ones" received its world premiere at the Artists Repertory Theater in Portland, Oregon, in its 2016/17 season.
From The Oregonian/OregonLive
"The Talented Ones," a sharp, instantly engaging, alternately earnest and sardonic comedy by playwright Yussef El Guindi that's getting its world premiere at Artists Repertory Theatre, takes a deep dive into its real setting: the intersection between immigration and the American Dream."
Read The Talented Ones By Yussef El Guindi
As part of
Season Eleven 2018: Heroes
16th Street Theater Presents
The Hero’s Wife by Aline Lathrop
Directed by Ann Filmer
The difference between night and day becomes dangerous for this hero’s wife
July 12 – August 18, 2018
Cameron doesn’t remember what he does at night, and Karyssa doesn’t tell him. He's just retired from the Navy SEALs, and most of his life has been classified. What's left, he mostly doesn't want to talk about. His young bride thinks his night terrors may her way in. During the day, they negotiate dinner plans, career ambitions, and video games. At night, he is both more available and more dangerous. The story moves forward in time, flipping back and forth between short daytime and shorter nighttime scenes, as Karyssa tries to connect with Cameron through nostalgic skype sex and secretly learned Arabic sleep talk. In the end, she will risk both of their lives to reach him.
ARTEMISIA FALL FESTIVAL 2017
Parts of Speech
Oct 4th at 7:30 pm
Janet Burroway won the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award in Writing by the Florida Humanities Council and is a novelist, essayist and playwright. Her plays
Sweepstakes, Division of Property, and Media With Child (Reva Shiner award, Bloomington Playwrights Project, 1996; Sideshow, 2009) have been performed in New York, London, San Francisco, Hollywood, and Chicago.
Parts of Speech won the 1015 Brink! Development prize of Renaissance Theatreworks, Milwaukee; and Boomerang won Sideshow Theatre Company's Freshness award in 2015. Her memoir Losing Tim appeared in 2014, and a play loosely based on that memoir, Headshots, is in development at Chicago Dramatists and Pulse Ensemble Theatre in New York. She is Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor Emerita at the Florida State University, and a Network Playwright at Chicago Dramatists.
The Directors Company, in association with ShadowCatcher Entertainment
A new play by Dan McCormick
Directed by Joseph Discher
What happens when a world-renowned musician leaves his beloved instrument in the back seat of a New York City cab?
When Bobby, Terry, and Gio—two hapless brothers and a world-weary tailor—find a 1710 Stradivarius violin worth four million dollars in the back of a New York City taxi, it looks like the opportunity to change their fortunes may have landed in their laps. A shot at their dreams, however will mean some quick decisions testing loyalty and family ties with irrevocable consequences.
Broken Fences by Steven Simoncic
"In a neighborhood on Chicago's deep West Side, the momentum of gentrification has taken hold and things have begun to change forever. As property taxes rise and demographics shift, Hoody and D struggle to keep the only home they have ever known. But when April and Czar -- a white couple intent on starting a family -- buy their first home and move in next door, the very definition of home is called into question. With unflinching honesty and unapologetic humor, Broken Fences examines identity and invisibility, community and security, hope and hostility in a modern American urban village that is at once foreign, and the place these characters call home."
"Broken Fences made me acutely uncomfortable–and that’s the highest recommendation I could possibly give a production grappling with this difficult subject. It’s much truer to life than Act II of Bruce Norris’ acclaimed Clybourne Park, which purports to address the same issue, and much more even-handed. What Broken Fences manages to portray is the usually hidden face of institutional racism: a system in which no amount of good will can compensate for the economic fact that my gain is your loss.Broken Fences is the “conversation about race” people are always claiming to want. Once you see it, you’ll know why the discussion never takes place: getting new ideas is always painful, and people rarely volunteer for discomfort." Kelly Kleiman, Dueling Critics
Published by Original Works Publishing
Carol K Mack is an award-winning playwright whose plays have been produced in theaters throughout the U.S.A. and abroad in Scotland, London and Japan. Her one acts are included in four editions of Best American Short Plays.
WITHOUT A TRACE & Other Plays
A Collection of four award-winning plays
By Carol K. Mack
Once in a very great while, a new play comes along that is genuinely new...
"Seeing such a play we have the sense of suddenly looking over new terrain; a new part of the map of our psyche falls into place. THE ACCIDENT by Carol K Mack is such a play. I came away believing that Mack is a major new playwright and that her play is one of the best new things that has been produced in Boston in quite a while. The comparisons here are to Pinter and Beckett. This is a challenging, fascinating, elliptical play, stunning a convincing in its power."
-By Jon L Lehman, The Patriot Ledger, Boston...
Buy The Book
One out of every 54 homes in America received a foreclosure notice in 2008. Award winning playwright and author of Love in the Time of Foreclosure, Stephanie Alison Walker, takes us on a deeply personal journey through recent history as she shines a light on three out of the millions of stories of loss. A young couple faces eviction from the dream house they stretched to buy, an elderly widow falls prey to a reverse mortgage scheme, and a minister of the prosperity gospel must face the flock she’s led astray. American Home takes an unflinching look at the impossible choices people make when faced with losing everything and, ultimately, celebrates the powerful resilience of community and the human spirit.
Before she wrote American Home, Stephanie Alison Walker wrote Love in the Time of Foreclosure....
"Foreclosure was in the news. Stories like, “Man Bulldozes House in Foreclosure,” and “Woman Takes Own Life Before Auction of Home,”and “Husband and Wife Set Fire to House in Foreclosure, Killing Selves and Dog.” First of all, no one sees this as their future when they buy a home. No. You see gatherings and traditions, holidays and parties, babies and neighbors, cozy nights and a safe space. Safe space. Safe. You don’t buy a house anticipating failure. You don’t foresee the cloud of shame hovering, surrounding your safe space…choking you while you try to just breathe..."
And from that came...American Home
"Eight years later here is what I’m hoping– that this play gives voice to those people who lost everything or who are currently in danger of losing everything. I hope it serves as a reminder– you are not alone. We have no idea what each other is really going through. The shame around financial hardship is so thick– it keeps it hidden. We’re really good at hiding that shame. We don’t really know what each other is experiencing. So, be kind and be there for each other. Be kind. Be there."
Stephanie Alsion Walker
August 26 - September 24
Little Candle Productions
BY JAMI BRANDLI
Now playing at the Depot Theatre, 142 Addison Road, Marrickville
through August 12th
"Technicolor Life by Jami Brandli rolls on like a steam train at The Depot Theatre in Marrickville. A quirky, poignant tale of adjusting to circumstances beyond one's control, this play is engaging and refreshing....Technicolor Life is a bold and vibrant play." - Emma Caldwell, Weekend NOTES
"In her commitment to giving voice to female protagonists, playwright Jami Brandli makes no apologies for writing complicated, big, sometimes messy and often times funny, plays about women... Far from being messy, Technicolor Life is very cleverly crafted...(The) play covers aspects of love, ambition, war, rape, post traumatic stress, voluntary euthanasia, divorce, remarriage – and the need to stay strong and independent. And it does so without preaching or moralising!" - Carol Wimmer, Stage Whispers
"The award winning US play TECHNICOLOR LIFE by Jami Brandli, is now having its Australian premiere as part of The Depot Theatre’s 2017 Season...The unravelling of intergenerational female relationships are brilliantly explored. The right to die movement, friendly fire, women in the military on the front line in Iraq, hiding sexual assault on military women." - Lynn Belvedere, Sydney Arts Guide
"Technicolor Life is an example of modern theatre at its best; a refusal of a sanitizing aesthetic; complex narrative strands stumbling their way through a comparative structure; repurposing history for the right to create a definition of the present. It refuses the moral imposition of “meaning” and allows for a bawdy truth to encroach upon a mannered real. It is, in short, the theatre we have to have." - Lisa Thatcher
"Jami Brandli's play TECHNICOLOR LIFE brings women's stories to the forefront in an emotional rollercoaster of dramatic comedy...Covering issues of PTSD, rape and assault, infidelity, cancer and simply trying to navigate adolescence, TECHNICOLOR LIFE draws on the humour that invariably surrounds tragedy to provide a balanced and entertaining work." - Jade Kops, BroadwayWorld, Sydney
The Road Theatre's Summer Playwrights Festival 8 includes Elevator Girl by Donna Hoke and Quiver by Jenni Lamb
Elevator Girl by Donna Hoke
Elevator Girl was never meant to be more than an urban legend, a sexual revenge fantasy cum comic character created by Vanessa and her graphic illustrator boyfriend.
Quiver by Jenni Lamb
Quiver explores our relationship to our surroundings and habitat, and our deep need to connect with nature. It also delves into the way we experience the end of relationships, childhood, and life itself.
Teatro MILAN presents....
Happy by Robert Caisley
Alfred is happy about his life. He's happy with his job. He's happy with his marriage. He's even happily raising his special needs daughter. However, when his best friend invites him to meet the latest woman in his life, things spin out of control.
Detroit Repertory presents the Michigan premiere of...
By Steven Simoncic
May 31 - July 1, 2018
Thursdays & Fridays | 8:30 P.M.
Saturdays | 3 P.M. & 8:30 P.M.
Sundays | 2 P.M. & 7:30 P.M.
Andrea Stolowitz’s plays have been developed and presented nationally and internationally. The LA Times calls her work “heartbreaking” and the Orange County Register characterizes her approach as a “brave refusal to sugarcoat issues and tough decisions.” Andrea’s latest play, Berlin Diary, was presented at English Theatre Berlin/International Performing Arts Center in October 2016 and Portland’s Coho Theater in April 2017. The Portland Mercury writes "If the news cycle has you feeling numb right now, it’s possible Stolowitz’s story will jolt you awake…When an old man seated next to me burst into tears in the play’s final moments, he seemed to be speaking for all of us." Andrea works as a collaborating writer with the award-winning devised theater company, Hand2Mouth Theatre (www.H2M.org). Her current collaboration, Pep Talk, is touring nationally. The San Francisco Chronicle says “The genius of Pep Talk is that it is at once a collective unburdening…while also being very funny and self-aware.” She is currently at work on their latest collaboration, Psychic Utopia. Andrea is the Lacroute Playwright-in-Residence at Artists Repertory Theatre where she has just received a new play commission. An MFA playwriting alumna of UC-San Diego, Andrea has served on the faculties at Willamette University, The University of Portland, Duke University and UC-San Diego.
Andrea Stolowitz received a commission from Artists Rep's Table|Room|Stage to develop her new play Refugee Radio. Andrea is also the Lacroute Playwright-in-Residence at Artists Rep until 2019. In 2017, Andrea was named one of Playwrights' Center Core Writers, a program that will extend to 2020.
Andrea Stolowitz is one of New Dramatists 8 Playwriting Residents
Berlin Diary by Andrea Stolowitz
Finalist for the 2017 Oregon Book Award
In 1936 Dr. Max Cohnreich escapes Berlin, Germany and arrives in NYC settling there with his immediate family. In 1939 he writes about his experiences in a diary written for his as yet unborn grandchildren. In 2013 his great-granddaughter finds the diary at the archives at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. In 2015 she travels to Berlin to find clues about the life he describes and the people she never knew. The parallel lives of the characters create a narrative about the search for home and family which operates at the border of reality and memory and the intersection of national history and private lives. A story about remembering and forgetting.
Robert A. Freedman Dramatic Agency, Inc.
Representing writers since 1928.