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Marina J. Bergenstock

Marina J. Bergenstock is a first year PhD student in Stanford’s Theatre and Performance Studies Department. She is a director, dramaturg, and educator. She received her MFA in Directing at the University of Iowa. Marina’s research interests include hyphenated and diasporic identities and the performance of them in the Arab world and in the United States, and theatre as a catalyst for political, structural, and social reform.

A woman with a blue headscarf, red shirt, and jeans sits next to a man in a brown vest, gray shirt, and tan pants on stacks of books. The man is holding a book open and both people appear to be speaking. They are in front of other piles of books with half of a chalkboard visible in the background.
Afghan Art and Advocacy
Podcast

Afghan Art and Advocacy

With Yousof Sultani

20 September 2021

On this special episode of Kunafa and Shay, Marina and Nabra are joined by actor and activist Yousof Sultani, who discusses his experiences in the theatre field as an Afghan American artist and the advocacy and community organizing he does for the people of Afghanistan.

On a colorful background the headshots of a woman with short hair, a woman with curly hair, and a man with short hair are all seen.
The MENA Theatre Movement Today
Podcast

The MENA Theatre Movement Today

With Lameece Issaq, Torange Yeghiazarian, and Jamil Khoury

2 June 2021

In this final episode of Kunafa and Shay, Marina and Nabra are focusing on MENA theatre in the United States with playwrights Lameece Issaq, Torange Yeghiazarian, and Jamil Khoury.

A family sits around a table in a production photo from Food and Fadwa.
Culinary Diplomacy
Podcast

Culinary Diplomacy

26 May 2021

Join Marina and Nabra on this week's episode of Kunafa and Shay as they discuss Middle Eastern and North African cuisine in theatre and their lives.

A woman dressed in white kneeling on the floor and cutting off the peel of an orange. She sits in front of one sunflower.
Forum Theatre in Palestine
Podcast

Forum Theatre in Palestine

With Iman Aoun and Edward Muallem

19 May 2021

On this week’s episode of Kunafa and Shay, join Marina and Nabra as they discuss Forum Theatre in Palestine with Palestinian actors and founders of ASHTAR Theatre Edward Muallem and Iman Aoun.

A woman in a black hijab and tan trenchcoat burns a piece of paper cut out in a wavy design.
Complicating Notions of Womanhood
Podcast

Complicating Notions of Womanhood

12 May 2021

On this week's episode of Kunafa and Shay, Marina and Nabra discuss Western ideals of women, specifically Arab women, and two adaptations of Western plays by Arab women. The hosts also explore the authentic Arabic feminist themes in the plays Jogging: Theatre in Progress and Noura.

A view looking down at the street where there is a circle of bystanders watching a street performance happen in the middle of the circle.
Egyptian Street Theatre
Podcast

Egyptian Street Theatre

with Mohab Saber

5 May 2021

On this episode of Kunafa and Shay, Marina and Nabra discuss Egyptian street theatre with Egyptian curator and coordinator Mohab Saber.

The performers of Eleven Reflections on September, including Andrea Assaf.
Drama on Video
Podcast

Drama on Video

With Andrea Assaf

28 April 2021

On this week’s episode of Kunafa and Shay, join Marina and Nabra as they discuss MENA drama on video, touching a wide range of plays. Marina and Nabra also interview Andrea Assaf about her works, DRONE and Eleven Reflections on September.

5 actors stand upstage looking at one actor who stands closer to the camera, downstage. They hold scripts and look very somber.
The Power of Verbatim Theatre
Podcast

The Power of Verbatim Theatre

With Jen Marlowe

21 April 2021

On this week’s episode of Kunafa and Shay, join Marina and Nabra as they interview Jen Marlowe about her company Donkeysaddle Productions, where Jen conducted interviews for fifteen years to create the verbatim piece There is a Field, a play about Asel Asleh, a seventeen-year-old Palestinian citizen of Israel killed by police in October 2000. Donkeysaddle used this piece to connect communities in the way it was subsequently performed and then documented. Listen to find out how this piece came to be.

9 male actors are sitting and standing in a stage space facing both toward and away from the camera, at the audience.
Drama Therapy: The Work of Zeina Daccache
Podcast

Drama Therapy: The Work of Zeina Daccache

14 April 2021

On this week's episode of Kunafa and Shay, join Marina and Nabra as they discuss Zeina Daccache's work using drama therapy in Lebanon to empower inmates in the carceral system.

A collage of stereotypical Middle Eastern figures
Representation 101: Trends of Contemporary MENA Theatre in the US
Podcast

Representation 101: Trends of Contemporary MENA Theatre in the US

7 April 2021

Join Nabra and Marina as they discuss how MENA theatre in the United States was affected by 9/11, analyze post-9/11 trends in MENA theatre from their own perspectives, and also examine popular MENA plays of the twenty-first century. Setting the stage for future episodes, this discussion illuminates how theatre has contributed to representation of Arabs in popular media and highlights the playwrights who have fought against the stereotypes that were made mainstream by the widespread racism and xenophobia following 9/11, which continue to this day.

two people kneel in front of ornate architecture, petting a black and white cat
Meet the Hosts
Podcast

Meet the Hosts

Kunafa and Shay: Episode 1

31 March 2021

In this first episode of Kunafa and Shay, meet our hosts Nabra Nelson and Marina J. Bergenstock!

Kunafa and Shay
two people kneel in front of ornate architecture, petting a black and white cat
Series

Kunafa and Shay

Season one of Kunafa and Shay will focus on MENA theatre post-9/11 to today—highlighting contemporary MENA plays and playwrights, spotlighting international community-engaged work in the Arab world, and pondering the present and future of MENA theatre in the United States.