West Coast Premiere Co-produced with the Asian American Theatre Company
by Yussef El Guindi
Ahmed is a shining example of the American Dream, working as a translator in a Homeland Security detainment facility. His friend Nasser, the only other Muslim on the compound, soon brings him some bad news—that his loyalties are being called into question. As office politics take a turn for the absurd all around him, Ahmed realizes that much more than just his job hangs in the balance.
November 10, 2011 - December 4, 2011
1695 18th St. San Francisco
Written by Yussef El Guindi
Directed by Evren Odcikin
Featuring Mujahid Abdul-Rashid*, James Asher, Willian Dao, Terry Lamb*
Design Team: Miyuki Bierlein (costumes), Valerie M. Niles (props), Dar Andrew Packard (lighting), Mikiko Uesugi (scenic)
Yussef El Guindi (Back of the Throat and Jihad Jones and the Kalashnikov Babes) returns to Golden Thread with this unexpected juxtaposition of a comical political thriller and an American immigrant family story. El Guindi, who has long been a Golden Thread favorite, has recently received national accolades, including the 2011 Middle East America Award and the 2012 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award.
Language Rooms was originally developed at ACT Theatre, Seattle, WA and Playwrights Foundation In the Rough series, San Francisco, CA. Further developed by New York Stage and Film Company and the Powerhouse Theater in a reading at Vassar on June 29, 2009. The world premiere of Language Rooms was produced by The Wilma Theater. Golden Thread will remount this production at the Los Angeles Theater Center in 2012.
James Asher is an Arab-American actor and writer based in San Francisco and New York. He is a founding member of Nibras, New York’s first Arab-American Theater company and author of Sajjil (Record). New York credits include THE LARAMIE PROJECT (Tectonic, Union Square Theater), BRAVE NEW WORLD (Town Hall Theater), SAJJIL(RECORD)(Theater For The New City), DESTINATION AMERICA (Second Stage-studio), and 1000 ABU GHRAIBIAN NIGHTS (NYTW-studio). Regional credits include GROSS INDECENCY (National Tour), PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE (National Tour), THE LARAMIE PROJECT (Berkeley Rep, La Jolla Playhouse), THE FOREIGNER (San Jose Rep), TAPE (The Magic Theater), BACK OF THE THROAT (Thick Description), BELOW THE BELT (Waterstone Theater, L.A), THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR (Shakespeare Santa Cruz), LOVES LABOURS LOST (Idaho Shakespeare Festival). Film and T.V credits include PARENTHOOD (NBC), SPICY CITY (H.B.O), the upcoming feature film US, THE SINGULARITY IS NEAR, NEW YORK’S DIRTY LAUNDRY (Cannes ’07), SWEET JANE (Dimension Films), STITCH IN TIME, FALL OF THE AUSTRIAN SUN. James received an MFA from A.C.T.
Mujahid Abdul-Rashid* is pleased to be on board for the first time with Golden Thread, one of many productions to come. Mujahid has played Troy Maxson in Fences for Tabia in San Jose, various roles in the Z Space production of Sonny’s Blues which travelled to France. Other credits include: City Preacher and Relativity at the Magic Theater; Queen of the Remote Control at The Sacramento Theater Co; Woody Guthrie’s American Song at the Willows Theater; The Amen Corner, Tambourines to Glory, and Seven Guitars at the Lorraine Hansberry Theater. One of Mujahid’s favorite memories is playing Mr M in Athol Fugard’s My Children, My Africa at the Dean Lesher Theater in Concord.
William Dao is thrilled to be making his Golden Thread debut. He was most recently seen in the Bay Area Playwrights Festival as Jimmy in Clarence Coo’s Beautiful Province. Locally he has performed with Asian American Theater Company in Philip Kan Gotanda’s #5 Angry Red Drum and Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s workshop of Dominic Orlando’s Barbary Coast. He is a proud member of KT Comedy (www.ktcomedy.com), a San Francisco based sketch comedy group.
Terry Lamb* recently performed in Golden Thread’s NIGHT OVER ERZINGA and was previously seen in Golden Thread’s DEEP CUT. Earlier this year he acted in PENELOPE’S ODYSSEY, produced by Central Works Theater Ensemble. He has also worked with these theaters among others: Shotgun Players, TheatreFIRST, Aurora, Marin, Magic, Stage Left, New Conservatory, Pirandello Project, Berkeley Jewish, San Jose Stage, Geoffrey Chaucer, Black Repertory, TheaterWorks, San Francisco Mime Troupe, and Shakespeare Santa Cruz. Through his company, Videosyncracy, Terry produces videos for nonprofits and business entrepreneurs. He is also the producer of the online video series “Encounters on Earth” (original dramatic pieces showcasing Bay Area actors and writers). Terry has acted in a number of films, and in the recent San Jose 48 Hour Film Festival he was given the Best Actor award for his role in EyeQ Films’ Moonlight.
Production Team: Karen Runk*, Aaron Niles, Lannie Gower, Wan-Yin Tang
Yussef El Guindi
Yussef El Guindi
Yussef El-Guindi’s most recent productions include The Ramayana (co-adaptor) at ACT; and Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World(winner of the Steinberg/American Theater Critics Association’s New Play Award in 2012; Gregory Award in 2011) also at ACT, and at Center Repertory Company (Walnut Creek, CA) 2013; andLanguage Rooms(Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award), co-produced by Golden Thread Productions and the Asian American Theater Company in San Francisco; at the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia (premiere), and at the Los Angeles Theater Center. His play Our Enemies: Lively Scenes of Love and Combat was produced by Silk Road Theater Project and won the M. Elizabeth Osborn award. It’s included in the anthology Four Arab American Plays, published by McFarland Books. His plays Back of the Throat, as well as Such a Beautiful Voice is Sayeda’s and Karima’s City Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New Word was published in the September, 2012 issue of American Theatre Magazine, and will soon be published by Dramatists Play Service, along with his play, Jihad Jones and The Kalashnikov Babes.
Evren Odcikin (Director of Marketing and New Plays) is a Turkish-American director based in San Francisco and the Director New Plays & Marketing for Golden Thread Productions since 2015 where he has been an artistic associate since 2005. For Golden Thread, he directed the premieres of Yussef El Guindi’s LANGUAGE ROOMS, in San Francisco and Los Angeles Theater Center (critic’s pick for LOS ANGELES TIMES), Mona Mansour’s URGE FOR GOING, Denmo Ibrahim’s ECSTASY | A WATERFABLE, as well as short plays by El Guindi, E.H. Benedict, Ken Kaissar, Ignacio Zulueta as part of ReOrient Festivals. For the company, he leads all new play development activities, including the annual new play reading series New Threads, assists in season selection, and helps produce the mainstage season including the biennial ReOrient Festival. His other credits include the world premiere of Christopher Chen’s MUTT: LET’S ALL TALK ABOUT RACE at Impact Theatre and Ferocious Lotus (“Top New Play of 2014”, Theater Dogs); the world premiere of Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s 410[GONE] (Production Notebook feature in AMERICAN THEATRE MAGAZINE) and the West Coast premiere of Jonas Hassen Khemiri’s INVASION! for Crowded Fire; his adaptation of Plautus’s THE BRAGGART SOLDIER, OR MAJOR BLOWHARD for Custom Made Theatre Company (Theatre Bay Area Awards Recommended Production, four Bay Area Theatre Critics’ Circle (BATCC) nominations including best director); THE OLDEST PROFESSION (two BATCC nominations) and MACHINAL (three BATCC Award nominations including best director and best production) for Brava Theater Center. A graduate of Princeton University, Evren was awarded the 2015 National Director’s Fellowship by O’Neill Theater Center, National New Plays Network, the Kennedy Center, and SDCF; the 2013 TITAN Award for Directors by Theatre Bay Area; and selected as an Emerging Theatre Leader by TCG for their American Express Leadership Bootcamp. odcikin.com
Watch a short video clip from the production: