November 17, 2018 - December 16, 2018
While trying to navigate the currents of the Pacific, an Arab-American woman and her nephew, who has enlisted in the military, dive into the murky waters of family, identity, and politics. Adventurous and playful, We Swim takes the form of a literal conversation on stage, and expands into a nuanced dialogue about what it means to be American, Arab, and Arab-American at our current moment in time. Lebanese-American writer Mona Mansour returns to Golden Thread for her fourth production — her most ambitious and personal to date.
The play offers its audience an opportunity to examine America’s relationship with its military, as well as its growing Middle Eastern immigrant population. It blurs the lines between “us” and “them,” and presents a provocative exploration of the tragic and indelible ripples of war.
April 19, 2018 - May 6, 2018
A Palestinian actor learns there’s more to English girls than pure sex appeal. A Pakistani-born terror suspect figures out what’s wrong with his first novel. A British youth suspects all is not what it seems with his object of desire. A New Yorker asks his girlfriend for a sexual favor at the worst possible time. Love, Bombs & Apples is the comic tale of four men, each from different parts of the globe, all experiencing a moment of revelation.
March 8, 2018 - January 10, 2020
This year’s program showcases the work of leading Middle Eastern women artists that are working to expose and eradicate toxic masculinity at home, at work, and on the national stage. Featuring a presentation by Yemeni-American visual artist Yasmine Diaz about her collage series, One Way or Another; a dramatic reading by Atosa Melody Babaoff of the short story “White Torture” by Iranian author Farnoosh Moshiri; a performance by Lebanese-American singer Naima Shalhoub featuring music from her album Live in San Francisco County Jail; and an excerpt from the documentary film The Judge by Erika Cohn and Sara Maamouri about the Arab world’s first woman Sharia judge. After the presentations, Founding Artistic Director Torange Yeghiazarian will facilitate a conversation with the participating artists and the audience.
March 1, 2018 - March 30, 2018
Called “extraordinary” by the San Francisco Chronicle, Oh My Sweet Land returns to Bay Area home and community kitchens after a sold-out pilot run in October 2017. The tour-de-force solo show, based on interviews with Syrian refugees in Jordan, takes an unflinching and personal look at the Syrian refugee crisis, and the brutal war that led up to it. In the play, a woman of mixed Syrian-German parentage recalls her encounter with Ashraf, a Syrian man in Paris, all the while preparing kibbeh, a Syrian delicacy. When he disappears, she goes on an arduous journey in search of him that leads to stirring conversations with some of the two-million Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan. One part detective story, one part a woman’s reckoning with her heritage, Oh My Sweet Land offers an intimate and nuanced perspective on the conflict in Syria and highlights the resilience of the Syrian people.
November 20, 2016 - May 29, 2016
Struggling writer Gamal hates the way his fellow Arab-Americans represent their culture on American media. It’s easy enough to take out his frustration on literature superstar Mohsen and local mosque leader, Sheikh Alfani. But when his own girlfriend and novelist Noor gets an offer from a major publisher backed with a national media campaign, how will Gamal manage his frustration?
Award-winning Egyptian-American playwright Yussef El Guindi holds the honor of being the most produced writer at Golden Thread. El Guindi has won the Steinberg/American Theater Critics Association’s New Play Award in 2012, and was the recipient of the 2010 Middle East America Distinguished Playwright Award. His previous premieres with the company include Language Rooms, Jihad Jones and the Kalashnikov Babes, Back of the Throat, Scenic Routes, and many shorts in ReOrient Festivals. Golden Thread performed El Guindi’s Karima’s City at the Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theatre in 2004.
May 6, 2016 - May 29, 2016
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.