20 Champions: Mona Mansour

Award-winning playwright Mona Mansour has been a part of the Golden Thread family since 2009. Golden Thread has produced the West Coast premiere of her Urge For Going as well as two short plays she co-authored with Tala Manassah. And Mona is the current Middle East America Award winner, and we’re looking forward to continuing our work on her new commissioned play.

What was your first experience with Golden Thread and when? In 2009, I think it was – a friend had recommended I send Torange my play Urge For Going. Torange and I talked on the phone several months later, and she expressed how much she liked the play, and committed to doing it. I was talking to the artistic director, and she was giving a clear yes. That’s not how it usually goes. Her directness and decisiveness was so refreshing.

Why do you need Golden Thread? Because the stories about the Middle East need to be told, and having theaters with longevity and reputation, like Golden Thread and like Silk Road in Chicago, helps establish these tent poles of our expression. The stories need to be told, and they need to be told well by people who get them.

What was your strangest, oddest, funniest Golden Thread experience? Probably the video interview we did for Urge for Going. It was a sort of fundraising promo. I live in NY, and Torange is in San Francisco of course, and the woman spearheading the filming wanted us both on camera. So it turned out she and Torange could both come to San Diego to film me. The surprise was that my father, Nabih, wanted to be in the film, too. And he stole the show and the moment. He was sort of vaudevillian in his one-liners about Lebanon, his home country.

Describe Golden Thread in 20 words (no cheating). Smart, engaged, humble, open, sure-footed, kind, big-hearted, collaborative, loving, intelligent, necessary.

Read the rest of our “20 Champions for 20 Years” blog series!

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