A WORLD PREMIERE PLAY BY KEVIN ARTIGUE
by Kevin Artigue
A fearless eight-year old businessman makes his living directing traffic with a soda bottle on the highway connecting Jalalabad to Kabul. Soldiers, accidents, and ghosts are no match for this little fighter with a knack for surviving the toughest challenges. Inspired by a New York Times article about the real-life “Pepsi bottle boys” of Afghanistan, this poetic play introduces an up-and-coming writer of great promise.
Kevin Artigue is a graduate of Public Theater’s prestigious Emerging Writers Group and the first playwright of non-Middle Eastern descent to be produced on the Golden Thread mainstage. He has been developing this play with Golden Thread for three years, including as part of the 2014 National New Play Network’s showcase.
May 6, 2016 - May 29, 2016
1695 18th Street, San Francisco
Written by Kevin Artigue
Directed by Evren Odcikin
Videos by Peter Ruocco. Photos used in video by Mauricio Lima for the New York Times and Zalmai Ahad.
“Poignant, poetic, and chilling… A strong addition to Golden Thread’s repertory of new work about the Middle East.” —San Francisco Examiner
“A superb performance from young Kiran Patel, who carries the entire drama with his exuberance and his deeply felt connection with Traffic.” —Theater Dogs
“A lean, fast-moving narrative well delivered by a strong ensemble.” —San Mateo Daily News
“Golden Thread Productions continues to bring us wonderful new stories and push theatre in a more diverse and inclusive direction.” —VMedia
“The acting is terrific… Director Evren Odcikin adroitly handles the change of pace from reality to fantasy.” —For All Events
“BEST OF 2016: A tale of resilience inspired by the real-life “Pepsi-bottle boys” of Afghanistan” —VMedia
by Torange Yeghiazarian, Artistic Director
by Courtney Flores, Costume Designer
by Walid Azad, Production Assistant
Kevin is a playwright and filmmaker born and raised in Southern California and based in New York City. He’s currently a member of the 2016 Interstate 73 Writers Group, and formerly part of the Public Theater’s 2014-2015 Emerging Writers Group, where he developed his newest play, The Forcings. His plays have been presented and developed with The Public Theater, the National New Play Network (Dangerous Highway), New York Theater Workshop, Theatre of NOTE, the Playwrights Foundation, Great Plains Theatre Conference, Yale Cabaret, Iowa New Play Festival, Golden Thread, and the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis. A graduate of the Iowa Playwrights Workshop, Kevin was awarded a Provost’s Visiting Writer Fellowship at the University of Iowa, where he taught creative writing.
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
Sofia Ahmad is so glad to be a part of this wonderful Highway team; many thanks to Evren, Kevin and Torange! Previously with Golden Thread: Isfahan Blues and Love Missile. Other Bay Area credits include: Alecto in Just Deserts (Those Women Productions); Bianca/Lodovico in Othello (Arabian Shakespeare Festival); Julia in Two Gentlemen of Verona, Luciana in Comedy of Errors, Hero in Much Ado About Nothing (San Francisco Shakespeare Festival); Poppaea/Octavia in Nero, Delilah in The Black Eyed (Magic Theatre); Regan in King Lear, Phebe in As You Like It (Santa Cruz Shakespeare Festival); Cressida in Troilus & Cressida (Pacific Repertory Theater); San Jose Stage; Shotgun Players; Bay Area Playwrights Festival; New Conservatory Theater. She is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and a proud member of AEA and SAG-AFTRA.
Jiya Khanna lives in San Francisco with her mum, dad and older brother. She attends the San Francisco Friends School, where her favorite subjects are math and science.
She is excited and extremely proud to make her professional acting debut with Golden Thread Productions in The Most Dangerous Highway in the World. As the comedian of the family, she has gravitated to the stage from an early age. She has performed at Stanford University as a dancer in a professional dance group as well playing lead vocals and guitar with the San Francisco Rock Project.
Jiya’s other passions include fashion, most notably in sewing her own outfits, as well as photography focused around urban city skylines and alternative perspectives on everyday objects. You can follow her work on Instagram at @cityonthebay.
Terry Lamb is happy to be working again with Torange and Evren and the rest of the Golden Thread team. He performed previously in Golden Thread’s Urge for Going, Language Rooms, Night Over Erzinga, and The Deep Cut. He has also acted with Magic Theatre (Fred’s Diner, The Film Society, Aunt Dan and Lemon, Angel City, and Breaking the Code), Central Works Ensemble (Penelope’s Odyssey and Bird in the Hand), Shotgun Players (Bullrusher), TheatreFirst (Nathan the Wise, A Map of the World, and The Colour of Justice), and Phoenix Theatre (Assorted Domestic Emergencies). Other area theaters he has worked with include Aurora, Marin, New Conservatory, TheatreWorks, San Jose Stage, Pirandello Project, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Geoffrey Chaucer, and San Francisco Mime Troupe. Terry is also a film/video producer and has a series of short films online called Encounters on Earth, which showcase the work of local actors and writers.
Kiran Patel attends San Francisco Friends School, where he has been an avid member of the theatre community. Kiran’s role in his school’s fourth grade production of Hangtown gave birth to his love and passion for acting. While in the fifth grade, Kiran played a lead comedic role in an afterschool production about capitalism called Corn Cobbers, loosely based on Animal Farm. During the past summer, Kiran attended acting camp at the A.C.T. to further refine his skills. This fall, as a seventh grader, Kiran is in two plays: A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Little Women. His versatility is shown through the drastic differences in the demeanors of his characters. Puck is a playful and mischievous elf, while Brooke is a serious and levelheaded tutor.
Louel Señores is excited to be working with Golden Thread Productions for the first time! You may have recently seen him in Civil (Quantum Dragon), Sheherazade’s Last Tales (PCSF), or In Plain Sight (Those Women Productions). Or you may have not seen him less recently when he stage managed The Language Archive and Emilie with Symmetry Theatre or with various shows at previous SF Fringe Festivals (Ceremony, Babies: The Ultimate Birth Control, 52 Letters). When he’s not acting or stage managing, you may have run into him at the Aurora Theatre or The Marsh in Berkeley, where he House Manages, or in a diversity training workshop with Berkeley Interactive Theater, where he serves as company playwright. When Louel is not doing theater, you can often find him equipped with foam weapons, playing Amtgard or Jugger. Or maybe you’ve never seen him before? In that case, you can check out LouelSenores.com.
Davern Wright is thrilled to be working with Golden Thread again. Acting credits include Marin Shakespeare Company, 42nd St. Moon, Ragged Wing Ensemble, Bindlestiff Studio, Douglas Morrison Theatre, Those Women Productions, and many others. Writing credits include Cratchit (Best of Playground SF 2015; December 2014 Playground SF People’s Choice Award), Would You Like the Can, Sir? (January 2015 Playground SF People’s Choice Award), and Something’s Wrong with Peter (2011 Santa Fe Film Festival Official Selection). He is a Playground SF Resident Playwright and winner of their 2015 Emerging Playwright Award. He has an M.F.A. in Film Production from the University of Southern California and a B.A. in Theatre from Williams College. He currently teaches in the Motion Picture and Television department at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.