A National New Play Network Premiere
by Yussef El Guindi
A theatre actor of Middle Eastern descent considers the leap to film stardom when his agent secures a role for him in a film by Hollywood’s most respected director. Should he pass up the chance of a lifetime because the part is that of a machine gun-strapping terrorist?
June 5, 2008 - June 29, 2008
1695 18th Street, San Francisco
Written by Yussef El Guindi
Directed by Mark Routhier
Featuring Jessica Kitchens, Kamal Maryati, David Sinaiko, Cat Thompson*, Mark Rafael Truitt*
Co-presented by the Arab Cultural Center, the Arab Film Festival and La Pena Cultural Center.
This is the first production in a Rolling National Premiere as part of the National New Play Network’s Continued Life Project, next productions to follow by InterAct Theatre Company in Dallas and Kitchen Dog Theatre Company in Philadelphia.
Rob Hurwitt reviews Jihad Jones and the Kalashnikov Babes in the San Francisco Chronicle!
An exclusive interview with playwright Yussef El Guindi on KPFA’s Cover to Cover
An interview with director Mark Routhier and actors David Sinaiko and Kamal Marayati on KPFA’s Morning Show (includes radio performance!)
Yussef El Guindi
Yussef El Guindi
Yussef El Guindi’s most recent production,Back of the Throat, first staged by San Francisco’s Thick Description and Golden Thread Productions, won the 2004 Northwest Playwright’s Competition and LA Weekly’s award for Best New Play. It was also nominated for the 2006 American Theater Critics Association’s Steinberg/New Play Award, and was voted Best New Play of 2005 by the Seattle Times.The Monologist Suffers Her Monologue was first presented as a staged reading by Nibras and the New York Theatre Workshop as part of their Aswat: Voices of Palestine series. Two of Yussef’s plays are receiving a world premiere this season: Jihad Jones and the Kalashnikov Babes with Golden Thread Productions in San Francisco and Our Enemies: Lively Scenes of Love and Combat at the Silk Roads Theatre Project in Chicago.
This is Jessica Kitchens’ first project with Golden Thread Productions. Since her arrival to the Bay Area almost three years ago, Jessica has appeared in Monkey Room (Magic Theatre), Blood Wedding, Love is a Dream House in Lorin, Ragnarok, Cabaret (Shotgun Players), Monster in the Dark (foolsFURY),The Greek Play (Elastic Future), Romeo & Juliet and Richard III (Woman’s Will). Jessica hails from UC Davis, from which she holds dual degrees in Theatre Arts and Political Theory.
Kamal Marayati recently appeared in Homebody/Kabul at the Mark Taper Forum and BAM.He has appeared in television, film and plays around the country. He has co-starred in several television series, including the ABC series Desperate Housewives, Alias and Daybreak, NBC’s Law and Order and Law and Order SVU. His film credits include After the Sunset, The War Within, and Power Hungry. He has also acted in the ensemble piece, The Color of Justice at Second Stage Theatre and played the part of Salieri in Amadeus (Circle in the Square, Downtown). Among his other stage credits are 27 Wagons Full of Cotton (78th Street Theatre Lab), Suburbia (Triad Theatre), The Taming of the Shrew (Benbow Shakespeare Festival) and I Hate Hamlet (Palo Alto Players). Kamal Marayati holds a MFA from the Actors Studio Drama School.
Mark Rafael Truitt
Mark Rafael Truitt
Mark Rafael Truitt has been a professional actor for the past 25 years. He is also a writer and a teacher. His Bay Area appearances include Ted Kaczinski Killed People with Bombs, Schrodinger’s Girlfriend, Joe Goode’s Body Familiar for the Magic Theatre*, The Best of Playgrounds 9 & 11*, ReOrient Festival, and the Bay Area Playwrights' Festival. He has also appeared regionally at Yale Repertory, American Stage, Wisdom Bridge and Northlight Theatre, among others. Film and Television credits include Titanic, Star Trek Voyager, The Practice, Babylon5 and Wings. His book, “Telling Stories: A Grand Unified Theory of Acting Techniques” has just been published by Smith and Krauss.
Mark Routhier is the Director of Artistic Development at the Magic Theatre and serves on the Executive Committee of the National New Play Network (NNPN). He received his MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU. He has directed several Bay Area and regional plays, including The Monkey Room (Magic Theatre), The Bone Man of Banares, 70 Scenes of Halloween (Encore Theatre), Cartoon (Impact Theatre), OPUS (Orlando Theatre), someguy, Drunken Grownups, Iphigenia and Other Daughters (Mettle Theatre), Cowboy Mouth (MGTC), and Exit the King (Am. Citz. Theatre). His workshop credits include Carly Mensch’s All Hail Hurricane Gordo (University Playwright’s Workshop, Marin Theatre Company), Eisa Davis' Bulrusher (SF Stage and Film), Marisa Wegrzyn’s Hickorydickory and Rajiv Joseph’s Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (Magic Theatre). He also directed readings of Rich Mitchell’s Brecht in L.A. His dramaturgy credits include Lucy Thurber’s Monstrosity (Encore Theatre), Mike Geither’s Stars Fell All Night (BAPF), Tim Lord’s The Secret History of Caleb Caan (University Playwright’s Workshop, Stanford). His short play, Spotter, premiered in Best of Playground and Leaving premiered in S.O.S. II at Alter Theatre.
David Sinaiko was a founding member of Chicago’s acclaimed New Crime Productions. He has performed on stage and in film in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Boston. Locally, David has appeared in Cutting Ball’s As You Like It, Chain Reactions, Avant Gardarama, Macbeth, Woyzeck, The Taming of the Shrew and Endgame, and C.A.F.E.’s one man production of David Sedaris' The Santaland Diaries, among others. Additional credits include Spencer/Colton’s Ahab’s Wife; New Crime’s *Heart of the Dog, Accidental Death of an Anarchist,*and Methusalem; The Goodman Theatre’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. Films include:The Grifters and Bob Roberts, among others. Directing Credits include: New Crime’s award winning production of Jean Genet’s The Balcony, Paula Vogel’s Desdamona… a play about a handkerchief at the Boston Center for the Arts and the New England premiere of Wendy MacLeod’s The Water Children. David and his wife, writer/director Annie Elias will collaborate this summer on Annie’s adaptation of Italo Calvino’s The Baron in the Trees.
This is Cat Thompson’s first appearance with Golden Thread Productions. Most recently, she appeared as Mother, Sister Mary, Molly and others in Edna O’Brien’s Tir na nOg at the Magic Theatre. Other credits include Henry IV parts I & II, King Lear, Alice in Wonderland (Marin Shakespeare Company); Reckless (SF Playhouse); Holes (The Orpheum Theatre); The Fugitive Kind, Misalliance (Center Repertory Theatre); Visions of Kerouac (Marin Theatre Company); Beirut (Pacific Repertory Theatre); The Merchant of Venice, Taming of the Shrew (Carmel Shakespeare Festival); Comedy of Errors (San Francisco Shakespeare Festival); Dreamstealers, Midnight Brainwash Revival (fool’sFURY); On the Road; Coppola’s workshop production, Othello (Bannam Place Theatre); Macbeth, Tartuffe (Sonoma Shakespeare Festival); As You Like It, Macbeth, The Tempest (California Shakespeare Festival); Comedy of Errors (San Francisco Shakespeare Festival), and is a company member of PlayGround. In September, she can be seen as Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing at Marin Shakespeare.