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Livestreamed on this page on Friday 30 July 2021 at 11 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 1 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 2 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

United States
Friday 30 July 2021

NO SUMMARY: A Celebration of MENA Playwrights!

The Digital Guide to Theatre of the Middle East Is Here

Produced With
Friday 30 July 2021

Golden Thread Productions presented NO SUMMARY: A Celebration of MENA Playwrights! livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 30 July 2021 at 11 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 1 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 2 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

Golden Thread is honored to collaborate with The Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies at Stanford University and the Roshan Institute for Persian Studies at the University of Maryland to host the launch of the first and only searchable database in the field of MENA Theatre: The Digital Guide to Theatre of the Middle East: 21st Century Volume (DGTOME) created by dramaturg and researcher Marjan Moosavi. Marjan will present the DGTOME and speak about this transnational collaboration of experts and artists that led to the emergence of this pioneering archival project. The presentation will be followed by a roundtable discussion about the intersection of digital humanities research and MENA theatre and how DGTOME debunks the scarcity narrative of MENA playwrights and MENA stories. Panelists include arts professor Catherine Coray, playwright Adam El Sayegh, and stage director Pirronne Yousefzadeh, and our executive artistic director, Sahar Assaf, will moderate.

About the DGTOME

The Digital Guide to Theatre of the Middle East: 21st Century Volume (DGTOME) provides essential information on the most significant plays/performances written and performed in the Middle Eastern and North African theatres and the theatres of their diasporas since 2000. The goal is to recognize and display the breadth and diversity of theatrical visions, creations, and collaborations of the MENA theatre artists to the members of the world academic and theatre community in an accessible and sustained form. As the first and only searchable database in the field of MENA theatre, DGTOME benefits from a transnational group of artists and scholars and hopes to contribute to the growth of digital humanities research in and about theatre in the MENA region.


Marjan Moosavi is, by turns, a lecturer, researcher, digital curator, and dramaturg presently based in Washington DC, by way of Canada and Iran. Her work, whether academic or artistic, examines the dynamics of theatre-making in Middle Eastern countries, particularly Iran, and its intersection with gender, history, and politics. She is the Roshan Lecturer of Persian Studies and Performing Arts at the University of Maryland and a member of the Roshan Initiative in Persian Digital Humanities, where she pursues her transnational projects in digital humanities including working as the principal investigator on the First Digital Guide to Theater of the Middle East and as the curator of the First Digital Photo Exhibition on the Middle Eastern Theatre. Marjan’s scholarly articles and interviews are published in The Drama Review (TDR), New Theatre Quarterly, Modern Drama, and Asian Theatre Journal. She is also a longstanding regional managing editor for TheTheatreTimes.com.

Catherine Coray has taught at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts since 1991 and has taught and collaborated with artists in Austria, Belarus, Chile, Cuba, Egypt and Lebanon. As an actor, she worked regionally and off-Broadway with directors such as Anne Bogart and Andre Gregory. She is the Director of the Lark Middle East-US Playwright Exchange; she curated and co-produced Arab Voices: here/there/then/now (Abu Dhabi, 2016), Arab Voices: Stories of Palestine (Beirut, 2018), and Arab Voices: Three New Dramatic Texts from Beirut and Berlin, (NYU Abu Dhabi Institute, NYC,2019). Catherine serves on the advisory boards of several institutions, including The Georgetown Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics and the Communications Arts Division of Lebanese American University, and she is on the artistic advisory council of Playwrights Horizons.

Adam A. Elsayigh is an Egyptian playwright, dramaturg, and producer. Through his producing and creative practices, Adam interrogates issues of immigration, colonialism and the experience of queerness in the Middle East. Some of Adam's plays include Memorial, Jamestown/Williamsburg, and Drowning in Cairo. Adam is a co-founder of The Criminal Queerness Festival and a fellow at the Laboratory for Global Performance & Politics in Georgetown University. Adam's work has been seen at IRT Theater, Dixon Place, Golden Thread Productions, and The NYU Abu Dhabi Arts Center. He holds a BA in Theater with an emphasis in Playwriting and Dramaturgy from NYU Abu Dhabi and is currently a PhD student in Theater and Dramaturgy at CUNY's Graduate Center.

Pirronne Yousefzadeh is a director, writer, educator, and the associate artistic director and director of engagement at Geva Theatre Center. She has a passion for new work that centers and uplifts the stories of global majority communities and has developed and directed work extensively regionally and in New York City. Some of her recent credits include the world premiere of Kid Prince & Pablo by Brian Quijada (Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts), The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe (Actors Theatre of Louisville), Queen by Madhuri Shekar (Geva Theatre Center), and The Royale by Marco Ramirez (Kitchen Theatre/Geva). She is currently developing new works with writers including Sanaz Toossi, Jessica Huang, Ramiz Monsef, Nikki Massoud, and Vichet Chum. Pirronne is a Usual Suspect at NYTW, New Georges affiliated artist, and a member of EST, No More 10 Out of 12s, and Wingspace. She is an alumna of the 2050 Fellowship at NYTW, Sagal Fellowship at Williamstown, SDC Denham Fellowship, Lincoln Center Directors Lab, Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, New Georges Jam, and Drama League Directors Project. She was a finalist for the 2020 Zelda Fichandler Award from SDC and is a proud member of the union. Pirronne is a co-founder of Maia Directors, a consulting group for artists and organizations who wish to engage with the stories from the Middle East, South Asia, and North Africa. Alongside Kimberly Senior, Pirronne co-chaired an SDC committee creating a set of anti-racist best practices for directors. Upcoming projects include Vietgone by Qui Nguyen (Geva Theatre Center), Mother Russia by Lauren Yee (Playmakers Repertory Company), and the world premiere of It's Christmas, Carol! by Mark Bedard, Brent Hinkley, and John Tufts (Oregon Shakespeare Festival). M.F.A., Columbia University.

About HowlRound TV
HowlRound TV is a global, commons-based peer produced, open access livestreaming and video archive project stewarded by the nonprofit HowlRound. HowlRound TV is a free and shared resource for live conversations and performances relevant to the world's performing arts and cultural fields. Its mission is to break geographic isolation, promote resource sharing, and to develop our knowledge commons collectively. Participate in a community of peer organizations revolutionizing the flow of information, knowledge, and access in our field by becoming a producer and co-producing with us. Learn more by going to our participate page. For any other queries, email [email protected], or call Vijay Mathew at +1 917.686.3185 Signal/WhatsApp. View the video archive of past events.

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