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A Festival of Short Plays about the Middle East

ReOrient 2002

Women & War - Eight Plays Presented in Two Alternating Series.

ReOrient 2002

Golden Thread Productions presents its fourth annual festival of short plays written by playwrights from, or exploring themes concerning, the Middle East.

August 8, 2002 - August 25, 2002

New Langton Arts

1246 Folsom St. (between 8th & 9th St.), San Francisco

Directed by Hal Gelb, Arlene Hood, Mark Mezadourian Hughes, Torange Yeghiazarian

Featuring Boni B. Alvarez *, Sarine Balian, Ali Dadgar, Shaudy Danaye-Elmi, Valerie de Jose, Darlene Dhillon, Mark Farrell *, Cindy Goldfield *, Jeanette Harrison, Barbara Jaspersen, Maziar Motahari, Ric Prindle *, Bella Ramazan-Nia, Claudia Rosa *

Design Team: Jay Lasnik (scenic), Rob Anderson (lighting), Michael Santo (sound), Termeh Yeghiazarian (original painted panels)

What an incredible time to be Middle Eastern in the US. There are no easy answers, no sure way of determining the facts. Yet, the questions keep coming and they often sound like accusations. Some of the plays in this year’s extraordinary selection are attempts at asking the right questions, or maybe just different questions than the mainstream media is asking. Sometimes the difficultues we face take on such unfathomable magnitude that solutions seem hopelessly oiut of reach. Under these circumstances, it is easy to forget that we all share the same simple requirements for a fulfilling life: a home, the right to self expression, dignity, love, and forgiveness.

REORIENT 2002 LINE-UP

Sewing in Syria

by Elizabeth Marquis, performed by Pamela Marsh.

An emphatic portrayal of a spinster, a woman caught between cultures.

Such A Beautiful Voice Is Sayeda’s

by Yussef El Guindi, directed by Hal Gelb

The courage to sing, the freedom to live.

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.

Waves

by Torange Yeghiazarian, directed by Mark Mezadourian Hughes.

Two Iranian women ex-revolutionaries dance a tango of betrayal and deception.

Torange Yeghiazarian (Founding Artistic Director; Playwright, Thanks- giving; Adapter, Shelter) founded Golden Thread in 1996, where she has directed Our Enemies: Lively Scenes of Love and Combat and Scenic Routes by Yussef El Guindi, The Myth of Creation by Sadegh Hedayat, Tamam by Betty Shamieh, Stuck by Amir Al-Azraki and Voice Room by Reza Soroor, amongst others. She is also a playwright, whose plays include Isfahan Blues (Gerbode-Hewlett Playwright Commission Award), 444 Days, The Fifth String: Ziryab’s Passage to Cordoba (ICCNC commission), and Call Me Mehdi (published in the TCG anthology “Salaam. Peace: An Anthology of Middle Eastern-American Drama”). Her articles have been published in The Drama Review, American Theatre Magazine, and

Theatre Bay Area Magazine. Born in Iran and of Armenian heritage, she holds a Master’s degree in Theatre Arts from SFSU. She is one of the TCG Legacy Leaders of Color. She has received honors from the Cairo International Theatre Festival, the Symposium on Equity in the Entertainment Industry, and Theatre Bay Area.

A Friendly Face

by Laura McPherson, directed by Mark Mezadourian Hughes.

An Iraqi soldier practices… smiling…

Laura McPherson is a drummer and cartoonist from Los Angeles, California. She graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University in May of 2000, receiving the Alan Downer thesis prize for The Marks of Men (formerly The Unmaking Mark). Upon graduation, Ms. McPherson worked for the university’s Academic Services computing division in the area of web design and development on a team that built Macromedia Flash modules for the online Arabic Poetry Project. Awarded a highly competitive Iowa Arts Fellowship to attend the Playwright’s Workshop at the University of Iowa, she currently lives and works in Iowa City.

Dual-Use

by Victoria Stewart, directed by Torange Yeghiazarian

Stents and ambulances: tools of destruction, or life-savers?

From the Courtyard

by Catherine Fletcher, directed by Arlene Denise Hood.

Take a tour of Morocco with Hassan, a modern storyteller.

Catherine Fletcher is a playwright living in Brooklyn, NY.  In addition to From the Courtyard, her work includes the full-length plays Bridge, currently in development with the Powerhouse Theatre in Santa Monica, and The Promise of Paradise: A California Fable.  In her previous incarnation, Catherine served on the organizing committee of the Los Angeles based Edge of the World Theater Festival and as the Managing Director of the Ghost Road Company.  Under her leadership as Managing Director, Ghost Road produced Carrots For Hare and collaborated with Burglars of Hamm on Resa Fantastiskt Mystisk and with Theatre of N.O.T.E. on The Clytemnestra  Project (Clyt At Home), an LA Weekly Award nominees. She initiated a Cultural Affairs funded series of salons which strive to bring together diverse artistic communities in Los Angeles with an aim towards sharing and collaboration. Other projects have included the films Thaw (Los Angeles Film Festival, San Francisco Indie Fest) and Fever Pitch (Nashville Independent Film Festival, Milan Film Festival) as well as directing for the theater.

A Tunnel in Palestine

by Don Monaco, directed by Arlene Denise Hood

The Hasmonian tunnel becomes the setting for an American couple’s face-off.

Don Monaco has had his Little Red Wagon Painted Blue produced off-off Broadway and in Memphis, Tennessee. He was invited to the Tony Award Winning Utah Shakespearean Festival where his work was present in development and in readings. His Fly in a Circle has won awards and has been produced in Dubuque, Iowa. To the Orangerie, a short play has been produced in New York at several Off-Broadway theatres. It is the second in a series of a single family’s experience of the Holocaust. A Tunnel in Palestine is the final chapter in that sequence which begins in Berlin, travels to Vienna, Paris, New York, ending in Jerusalem. Don is the director of a reading series at the Rockland Center of the Arts in New York. He is a member of the Elmwood Playhouse and the Dramatists Guild. He lives in Nyack, New York, with his wife Uli.

Tamam

by Betty Shamieh, directed by Torange Yeghiazarian

She is Palestinian. Her name is Tamam. It means enough.

Betty Shamieh (Playwright, Make No Mistake) is the author of fifteen plays. Credits include The Strangest (The Semitic Root), Fit for the Queen (Classical Theatre of Harlem), The Black Eyed (New York Theatre Workshop, Magic Theatre), Territories (Magic Theatre), and Roar (The New Group). She was a Clifton Visiting Artist at Harvard College, a Playwriting Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute, a UNESCO Young Artist for Intercultural Dialogue, and a Guggenheim Fellow in Drama and Performance Art. M.F.A., Yale School of Drama. bettyshamieh.com.

Cast & Crew

Yussef El Guindi

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Catherine Fletcher

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Hal Gelb

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Arlene Denise Hood

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Mark Mezadourian Hughes

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Laura McPherson

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Betty Shamieh

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Torange Yeghiazarian

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