West Coast Premiere
by Yussef El Guindi
Lana’s family is intrigued by her new man, Naguib. Her mother wants to make sure he is “trustworthy” and her brother is hoping for Lawrence of Arabia. Lana and Naguib get ahead of the stereotypes when they joke about planting a bomb in a café only to find themselves caught in a web of deception and mistrust when their alleged plan is actually played out.
November 9, 2002 - November 23, 2002
EXIT Stage Left
256 Eddy St. (at Taylor), San Francisco
Written by Yussef El Guindi
Directed by Torange Yeghiazarian
Featuring Janak Ramachandran, Maria Mastroyannis-Zalt, Ruby Unger*, Zachary Link
Design Team: Keyumars Hakim (scenic), Rob Anderson (lighting), Yvette Jackson (sound), Donna Khorsheed (costumes), Farzad Mohr (video), Termeh Yeghiazarian (city skyline), Loren Fenaille (masks)
Written in 1992, Scenic Routes explores the craggy terrain of cultural misunderstandings and misperceptions between an American woman, Lana, and an Egyptian man, Naguib. Beginning almost whimsically as a pick-up in a bar, the relationship soon gets mired in well intentioned but often clumsy attempts to bridge what are perceived as cultural divides. The initial and natural awkwardness of any two intimates getting to know each other soon gets blown up and erroneously labeled as cultural differences between two foreigners.
The Immigrant Theatre Project presented a staged reading of Scenic Routes in 2000 as part of the American Dreams: Plays About NY & the Immigrant Experience at the Tenement Theatre. Celia Braxton directed.
Yussef El-Guindi, primarily a playwright, has also been active as a poet, actor and filmmaker. His adaptation of Chekhov’s A Marriage Proposal, staged by the Arab Theatrical Arts Guild in Dearborn MI, was nominated for several PAGE awards including Outstanding Achievement in Original Play or Adaptation. His last poem, Crossing Borders, was published on placards and placed on buses as part of Seattle’s Poetry and Art on Buses. His short film, Love Stalks, won an award for best short narrative film at the Seattle Underground Film Festival and was aired on KTEH. A native of Egypt, Yussef holds an MFA in Playwriting from Carnegie-Mellon University and was playwright in-residence at Duke University.