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Betty Shamieh at The Classical Theatre of Harlem

Portrait of Betty Shamieh smiling at the camera.

Playwright

Betty Shamieh is an Arab American writer and the Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence at the Classical Theatre of Harlem. Her play MALVOLIO, an irreverent comedy and sequel to TWELFTH NIGHT, was a New York Times Critics Pick and premiered as part of the Classical Theatre of Harlem’s Uptown Shakespeare in the Park series at the Richard Rodgers Amphitheatre (July 2023). Her other productions include THE BLACK EYED (New York Theatre Workshop), FIT FOR A QUEEN (Classical Theatre of Harlem), THE MACHINE (Naked Angels), THE STRANGEST (The Semitic Root), TERRITORIES (Magic Theatre & the EU Capital of Culture Festival), and ROAR (The New Group). Shamieh wrote and co-starred in her play of monologues, CHOCOLATE IN HEAT, in two extended off-off-Broadway runs and over twenty university theatres. A graduate of Harvard College and the Yale School of Drama, Shamieh was named a UNESCO Young Artist for Intercultural Dialogue and Radcliffe Playwriting Fellow. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for Drama in 2016. Recently, she received an Advancing Culture Change grant from Noor Theatre with support from Pop Culture Collab to adapt ROAR into a tv pilot and was a Denning Visiting Artist at Stanford. Her works have been translated into seven languages. Shamieh’s debut novel NOT PROMISING ANYTHING will be published by Avid Reader Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, in 2025. Follow her on Facebook, Tiktok, Twitter or Instagram @bettyshamieh.  www.bettyshamieh.com

Logo for The Classical Theatre of Harlem.

Theatre

Mission:
To nurture a Harlem-based professional theatre company dedicated to reimagining the classics and developing new works.
To create comprehensive access for theatre artists, audiences and administrators from diverse backgrounds.
To reflect a diversity of ideas, invite transformative conversation, and inspire social change.
To create employment, economic and educational opportunities in Harlem and beyond.

More from the Residency

event poster for COMEDY, CRUELTY, & THE CONCEPT OF REVENGE with portraits of Betty Shamieh and Allen Gilmore.
Comedy, Cruelty, and the Concept of Revenge
Video

Comedy, Cruelty, and the Concept of Revenge

Writer Betty Shamieh and Actor Allen Gilmore Discuss Their Interpretations of Malvolio as a Writer and an Actor

Wednesday 19 October 2022
United States

The Classical Theatre of Harlem presented the conversation Comedy, Cruelty, and the Concept of Revenge, livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Wednesday 19 October 2022 at 4 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 6 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 7 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

A Fireside Chat with playwright Betty Shamieh
Video

A Fireside Chat with playwright Betty Shamieh

Presented by San Francisco Playhouse

Thursday 27 August 2020
San Francisco, California

San Francisco Playhouse presented a Fireside Chat with playwright Betty Shamieh (The Black Eyed, Roar) livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 27 August 2020 at 7 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 9 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 10 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4).

Betty Shamieh.
SEGAL TALKS: Betty Shamieh
Video

SEGAL TALKS: Betty Shamieh

An update on the situation for theatre artists in the United States

Thursday 23 July 2020
United States

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center presented SEGAL TALKS: Betty Shamieh and Ty Jones livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 23 July 2020 at 9 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 11 a.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 12 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 17:00 BST (London, UTC +1) / 18:00 CEST (Berlin, UTC +2).

Kunafa and Shay Teaser Image.
Representation Behind the Scenes
Podcast

Representation Behind the Scenes

With Betty Shamieh & Tracy Francis

6 April 2022

Last season we talked about on-stage representation in contemporary theatre. But what does representation look like behind the scenes and why is it important? How does the process change when there are MENA creative team members, production staff, directors, and playwrights involved from the inception of a project to its closing night? What role does this representation play in new work development? We will discuss all of this and more with playwright Betty Shamieh and artistic director of Boom Arts Tracy Francis as they share their past experiences, insight, and ideas for the future.

A woman facing her back to three men and another woman.
The Mother of All Emotions
Essay

The Mother of All Emotions

7 December 2021

Playwright, author, screenwriter, and actor Betty Shamieh discusses her experience navigating the complexities of new motherhood as a woman in the theatre industry.

three actors onstage
We’ve Seen White American Theatre
Essay

We’ve Seen White American Theatre

How Can We BIPOC Now See Ourselves?

2 July 2020

Betty Shamieh offers a response to the “We See You, White American Theater” open letter as a non-Black American of color.

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