Eight Short Plays Selected for San Francisco’s ‘ReOrient 2015’ Festival

There are a handful of theatres around the US that focus on Arab and “Arab-themed” drama — Chicago’s Silk Road Rising, NYC’s Noor Theatre, and San Francisco’s Golden Thread Productions. Most stage works written in English, although Golden Thread’s “ReOrient” competition is unusual in that it’s open to playwrights worldwide:

reorient_season-400x175This year’s eight winners were chosen from 75 submissions from 15 countries, although winners came only from the US and the UK. According to a news release:

The winners feature returning ReOrient favorites Yussef El Guindi, Mona Mansour, Tala Manassah, and Silva Semerciyan, as well as emerging Middle Eastern-American playwrights such as Nahal Navidar. Also noteworthy is the inclusion of three UK-based playwrights: Semerciyan, Hassan Abdulrazzak, and Hannah Khalil. ReOrient 2015 will be the US debut for Abdulrazzak and Khalil. Two ReOrient newcomers Emma Goldman-Sherman and Ken Kaissar round out the winners.

The ReOrient 2015 Festival of Short Plays will run next year, Sept. 10 – Oct. 4, at Z Below in San Francisco. But staged readings will be presented this coming Monday, Sept. 29, at 7pm at San Francisco’s Thick House. The presentation is part of the company’s “New Threads” staged reading series, which is free and open to the public.

Both Palestinian playwright Hassan Abdulrazzak and Egyptian Yussef El Guindi are mutliply acclaimed artists; the staged readings should be worth it to hear their works alone.

The winners:

Lost Kingdom by Hassan Abdulrazzak (London, UK)

Picking Up the Scent by Yussef El Guindi (Seattle, WA, USA)

Counting in Shaab by Emma Goldman-Sherman (New York, NY, USA)

Ceasefire by Ken Kaissar (Yardley, PA, USA)

Bitterenders by Hannah Khalil (London, UK)

The House by Tala Manassah and Mona Mansour (New York, NY, USA)

Songs of Our Childhood by Nahal Navidar (Los Angeles, CA, USA)

Turning Tricks by Silva Semerciyan (Bristol, UK)

Honorable mentions:

Egyptian Song by James Christy (Princeton, NJ, USA)

Unveiled by J. Thalia Cunningham (Delmar, NY, USA)

The Legendary Fingers Nowicki by Jesse Freeman (Brooklyn, NY, USA)

Final Request by Tariq Hamami (Bronx, NY, USA)

A Traveller’s Guide to the West Bank Settlements by Mara Lockowandt (London, UK)

In the In-Between by Madison Niederhauser (Houston, TX, USA)