ReOrient 2019: National Convening of MENA Theatre Artists

Building on years of community organizing, the convening, hosted by Golden Thread, will launch a national coalition of Middle Eastern, North African and Muslim theatre artists.

Golden Thread is part of a 14-member steering committee that has been working to increase MENA visibility, amplify our voices, and deepen the impact of our work. This gathering is made up of work sessions as well as public panels, roundtables, and coalition-building opportunities in conjunction with Golden Thread’s ReOrient Festival.

Come be part of our conversation on leading and fostering Middle Eastern and North African narratives on the American stage!

All events are open to the public unless otherwise specified as a MENA-only work session. Snacks and refreshments will be provided throughout the convening. Admission is free; advanced registration is strongly encouraged.

Please note that we define “Middle East” and “Middle Eastern” broadly and inclusively, and embrace the multiplicity of ethnic and religious identities that span Southwest Asia, North Africa, Central Asia, the Caucasus, parts of Mediterranean Europe, and our Diaspora communities. We understand our respective backgrounds in terms of rich pluralism and interconnectedness. We also define “America” and “American” in the broadest possible ways to include the continents of North and South America. Furthermore, at this time in history, it’s important that we include American Muslims, of all cultural, ethnic, and racial backgrounds, as members of our Middle Eastern American communities.

For hotel discounts during the convening, click here.



• 9:30-10 am – Complimentary light breakfast and refreshments.

• 10 am-11:30 am – More of Our Plays on US Stages. Organized and facilitated by Torange Yeghiazarian, Golden Thread Productions, and Kate Moore Heaney, Noor Theater. (MENA-only work session)*

• 11:30 am-12:30 pm – Lunch break

• 12:30-2 pm – Artistic and Administrative Mentorship in the MENA Community. Organized by Catherine Coray, The Lark/NYU Tisch, facilitated by Roberta Levitow, Theatre Without Borders. (livestream on Howlround)

• 2:30-4 pm – Public Opening & Overview of Our Efforts to Build a MENA Theatre Artists National Coalition. Torange Yeghiazarian and the MENA Theatre Artists Steering Committee. (livestream on Howlround)

• 4:30-6 pm – MENA in the Academy: How Can Academics and Practitioners Partner to Increase MENA Productions and Publications in Academia? Organized by Malek Michael Najjar, University of Oregon, and Catherine Coray, The Lark/NYU Tisch. Facilitated by Roberto Varea, University of San Francisco. (livestream on Howlround)

• 6 -7:30 pm – Dinner on your own

• 8 pm – ReOrient Festival performance & post-show conversation with artists

• After 10 pm - Relax at the Annex with groovy sounds and complimentary hors d’oeuvres.


• 9:30-10 am – Complimentary light breakfast and refreshments.

• 10-11:30 am – Naming & Defining Our Coalition. Organized by Jamil Khoury, Silk Road Rising. Facilitated by Khoury and Andrea Assaf, Art2Action. (MENA-only work session)*

• 12-1:30 pm – Coalition-building & Networks. Organized and facilitated by Andrea Assaf, Art2Action. (livestream on Howlround)

This panel includes additional speakers:

· Joan Osato – Consortium of Asian American Theatres & Artists (CAATA)

· Armando Huipe – Latinx Theatre Commons (LTC)

· Edris Cooper – Black Theatre Association (BTA) Focus Group of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE)

• 1:30-3 pm – Lunch on your own

• 3-5 pm – ReOrient Festival performance & post-show conversation with artists.

• 5:30-8 pm – Closing reception at the Annex with light refreshments and appetizers.

*MENA-only work sessions are closed to the public.

To register, click here.

MENA Coalition Steering Committee Members:

Shoresh Alaudini, Andrea Assaf (Art2Action, Inc.), Leila Buck, Deborah Ben-Eliezer, Catherine Coray (NYU/The Lark), Tracy Francis, Yussef El Guindi, Kathryn Haddad, Pia Haddad, Taous Khazem, Kate Moore Heaney (Noor Theater), Denmo Ibrahim, Jamil Khoury (Silk Road Rising), Michael Malek Najjar (University of Oregon), Evren Odcikin, Nora El Samahy, Torange Yeghiazarian (Golden Thread Productions)

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