Livestreamed on this page Friday 27 August 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).
NO SUMMARY: Emerging SWANA Theatre Companies under the Spotlight
A spotlight on three of emerging SWANA (South West Asian / North African) theatre companies in the United States.
Golden Thread in San Francisco presented three emerging SWANA (South West Asian / North African) theatre companies in the United States: Dunya Productions in Seattle, Peydah Theatre Company in New York City, and Medina Theater Collective in Chicago, whose work is bravely making space for diverse SWANA stories in the U.S. theatre scene. Livestreaming on the commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv Friday 27 August 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).
Andrea Assaf (writer, performer, director and the founding Artistic/Executive Director of Art2Action, Inc.) facilitates this conversation with Nabra Nelson (theatre creator and founding company member of Dunya Productions), Shadi Ghaheri (director, choreographer, writer and founding member of Peydah Theatre Company), and Rohina Malik (playwright and solo performer and Founding Artistic Director of Medina Theater collective) as they tell us about their companies’ missions and visions, the projects they’re working on and what it means to be amplifying the voices of marginalized communities in today’s USA.
Andrea Assaf is a writer, director, performer, and cultural organizer. She is the founding Artistic Director of Art2Action Inc., and Co-Director of the National Institute for Directing & Ensemble Creation. Her original work, Eleven Reflections on September, has been featured at the Carver Community Cultural Center, the National Asian American Theatre Festival at OSF, La MaMa, The Apollo Theatre, The Kennedy Center, and internationally. Awards include: 2021 Silk Road Film Awards Cannes (Director, Best Experimental Feature), 2019 NEFA National Theatre Project, 2019 & 2011 NPN Creation Fund Commission, 2017 Finalist for the Freedom Plow Award for Poetry & Activism, 2010 Princess Grace Award, and more. Andrea has a Master’s degree in Performance Studies and a BFA in Acting, both from NYU. She currently serves on the Board of the Consortium of Asian American Theatres & Artists (CAATA), Alternate ROOTS, and is a founding Steering Committee member of the Middle Eastern/North African Theatre-Makers Alliance (MENATMA).
Rohina Malik is the artistic director of Medina Theater collective. Malik is a critically acclaimed, Award-winning Chicago playwright, actress and solo performance artist. She was born and raised in London, England, of South Asian heritage. Her acclaimed one-woman play UNVEILED has been produced at theaters across the country. Rohina’s plays THE MECCA TALES and YASMINA'S NECKLACE were both nominated for Joseph Jefferson Awards for Best New Play. Malik was selected to receive the 2018 Lee Reynolds Award, given annually to a woman active in any aspect of theatre whose work has helped to illuminate the possibilities for social, cultural, or political change. Malik's plays have been produced at the 16th Street Theater, The Goodman Theater, Victory Gardens Theater, Crossroads Theater, Chicago Dramatists, Next Theater, Brava Theater, Voyage Theater Company, Silk Road Rising, Theater Project Baltimore, Mustard Seed Theater, New Rep in Boston, the Greater Boston Stage Company, Water Tower Theater in Dallas, TX and Premiere Stages in NJ.
Nabra Nelson is a community organizer and theater creator from Egypt, Nubia, and California. As an arts administrator, playwright, director, dramaturg, and teaching artist, she has worked with theaters, universities, and community organizations across the nation to strengthen community and amplify under-heard voices through theater. She is a founding company member of the Seattle-based Arab theater company, Dunya Productions, a founding company member of the Milwaukee-based womxn-of-color performance troupe Heard Space Arts Collective, leads the Nubian Foundation for Preserving a Cultural Heritage, and is the co-host of the podcast Kunafa & Shay (produced by HowlRound Theatre Commons). She is also the Director of Arts Engagement at Seattle Rep.
Shadi Ghaheri is a director, choreographer, and writer from Iran based in New York City. She has directed, Glimpse (Rattlestick) Mother Courage (Hunter College), Fen (Columbia University), Untitled (Rattlestick Theatre), Lucretia (HERE), Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Williams College), Shahr-e-Farang (Spectrum NYC), Death of Yazdgerd, Titus Andronicus (Yale School of Drama). Other Credits, The Slow Sound of Snow, LEAR and Trojan Women (Yale Cabaret).She was the Co-Artistic Director of Yale Summer Cabaret and also the Co-founder of Emruz Festival and co-founder of Peydah Theatre Company. Shadi was a 2016 Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow, the 2018 directing fellow at Rattlestick Playwright Theatre, and the winner of Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Showcase 2019.
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