Artists Bios
Language Rooms


Yussef El Guindi (Playwright) 's most recent productions include PILGRIMS MUSA AND SHERI IN THE NEW WORLD at ACT in Seattle, and LANGUAGE ROOMS at the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia. The latter play won the Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award, as well ACT?s New Play Award. Other productions: THE REVIEW, a short internet play performed via Skype with actors in Cairo and San Francisco, produced by Golden Thread Productions. JIHAD JONES AND THE KALASHNIKOV BABES, produced at Golden Thread Productions in San Francisco, at InterAct Theater in Philadelphia, and at Kitchen Dog theater in Dallas, as part of the National New Play Network. It has also been performed at Theater Schmeater in Seattle and Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater in Massachusetts . OUR ENEMIES: LIVELY SCENES OF LOVE AND COMBAT, produced by Silk Road Theatre Project in Chicago, where it was Jeff Nominated, and was among the six finalists for the 2009 American Theater Critics Associations Steinberg/ New Play Award. The American Theater Critics Association gave it the 2009 M. Elizabeth Osborn Award. BACK OF THE THROAT: winner of the 2004 Northwest Playwrights? Competition held by Theater Schmeater. It won L.A. Weekly?s Excellence in Playwriting Award for 2006. It was also nominated for the 2006 American Theater Critics Associations Steinberg/ New Play Award. It was first staged by San Francisco?s Thick Description and Golden Thread Productions; then later presented in various theaters around the country including The Flea Theater in New York. Another play of his, TEN ACROBATS IN AN AMAZING LEAP OF FAITH, staged by Silk Road Theatre Project, won the After Dark Award for Best New Play in Chicago in 2006. His two-related one-acts, ACTS OF DESIRE, were staged by the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles. BACK OF THE THROAT, and the two related one-acts, now titled, SUCH A BEAUTIFUL VOICE IS SAYEDA?S and KARIMA?S CITY, have been published by Dramatists Play Service. The latter one-acts have also been included in The Best American Short Plays: 2004-2005, published by Applause Books. His play, TEN ACROBATS IN AN AMAZING LEAP OF FAITH, is included in Salaam/Peace: An Anthology of Middle-Eastern-American Playwrights, published by TCG in 2009. Yussef holds an MFA from Carnegie-Mellon University and was playwright-in-residence at Duke University.

Evren Odcikin (Director) is a Turkish-American director based in San Francisco and works as the literary artistic associate with Golden Thread Productions, where he is producing the 2012 ReOrient Festival and produces the annual new plays reading series. For the company, he has directed the world premieres of Denmo Ibrahim's ECSTASY | A WATERFABLE and Ignacio Zulueta's 22 MINUTES REMAINING, as well as numerous readings. His other Bay Area directing credits include THE OLDEST PROFESSION, MACHINAL (Three 2009 Bay Area Theatre Critics' Circle Award nominations including best director and best production), and a workshop of Anthem Salgado's BARE KNUCKLE at Brava Theater Center, where he is a company artist; THE PLAY ABOUT THE NAKED GUY for Impact Theatre ("2010 Honorable Mention" from Bay Area Reporter); RHINO for Boxcar Theatre ("Most Inventive Staging of 2010" from SF Weekly, "Best Play of 2010" from SF Bay Times); and BLOOD WEDDING for Shotgun. He has also directed staged readings and workshops for Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Cutting Ball, Magic Theatre, and TheatreFirst. He is one of the 2011 Global Age Project directors for Aurora Theatre.

Mujahid Abdul-Rashid* (Kevin) is pleased to be on board for the first time with Golden Thread, one of many productions to come. Mujahid has played Troy Maxson in Fences for Tabia in San Jose, various roles in the Z Space production of Sonny's Blues which travelled to France. Other credits include: City Preacher and Relativity at the Magic Theater; Queen of the Remote Control at The Sacramento Theater Co; Woody Guthrie's American Song at the Willows Theater; The Amen Corner, Tambourines to Glory, and Seven Guitars at the Lorraine Hansberry Theater. One of Mujahid's favorite memories is playing Mr M in Athol Fugard's My Children, My Africa at the Dean Lesher Theater in Concord.

James Asher* (Ahmed) is an Arab-American actor and writer based in San Francisco and New York. He is a founding member of Nibras, New York's first Arab-American Theater company and author of Sajjil (Record). New York credits include THE LARAMIE PROJECT (Tectonic, Union Square Theater), BRAVE NEW WORLD (Town Hall Theater), SAJJIL(RECORD)(Theater For The New City), DESTINATION AMERICA (Second Stage-studio), and 1000 ABU GHRAIBIAN NIGHTS (NYTW-studio). Regional credits include GROSS INDECENCY (National Tour), PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE (National Tour), THE LARAMIE PROJECT (Berkeley Rep, La Jolla Playhouse), THE FOREIGNER (San Jose Rep), TAPE (The Magic Theater), BACK OF THE THROAT (Thick Description), BELOW THE BELT (Waterstone Theater, L.A), THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR (Shakespeare Santa Cruz), LOVES LABOURS LOST (Idaho Shakespeare Festival). Film and T.V credits include PARENTHOOD (NBC), SPICY CITY (H.B.O), the upcoming feature film US, THE SINGULARITY IS NEAR, NEW YORK'S DIRTY LAUNDRY (Cannes '07), SWEET JANE (Dimension Films), STITCH IN TIME, FALL OF THE AUSTRIAN SUN. James received an MFA from A.C.T.

William Dao (Nasser) is thrilled to be making his Golden Thread debut. He was most recently seen in the Bay Area Playwrights Festival as Jimmy in Clarence Coo's Beautiful Province. Locally he has performed with Asian American Theater Company in Philip Kan Gotanda's #5 Angry Red Drum and Berkeley Repertory Theatre's workshop of Dominic Orlando's Barbary Coast. He is a proud member of KT Comedy (www.ktcomedy.com), a San Francisco based sketch comedy group..

Terry Lamb (Samir) recently performed in Golden Thread's NIGHT OVER ERZINGA and was previously seen in Golden Thread's DEEP CUT. Earlier this year he acted in PENELOPE'S ODYSSEY, produced by Central Works Theater Ensemble. He has also worked with these theaters among others: Shotgun Players, TheatreFIRST, Aurora, Marin, Magic, Stage Left, New Conservatory, Pirandello Project, Berkeley Jewish, San Jose Stage, Geoffrey Chaucer, Black Repertory, TheaterWorks, San Francisco Mime Troupe, and Shakespeare Santa Cruz. Through his company, Videosyncracy, Terry produces videos for nonprofits and business entrepreneurs. He is also the producer of the online video series "Encounters on Earth" (original dramatic pieces showcasing Bay Area actors and writers). Terry has acted in a number of films, and in the recent San Jose 48 Hour Film Festival he was given the Best Actor award for his role in EyeQ Films' Moonlight.



Karen Runk* (Stage Manager) moved to San Francisco with the intention of only staying for a few months. One and a half decades later she's still here! Over the years Runk has had torrid affairs with the Magic Theatre, SF Shakes, Thick Description, Word 4 Word and ACT Conservatory but the love of her life is, and forever will be, working with the SF Mime Troupe. That said, Runk is perfectly content to see other theatre companies on the side and is excited to be working with Golden Thread for the first time!
Recent Productions include Honey Brown Eyes and Tigers Be Still with SF Playhouse. Upcoming projects include Little Brother with Custom Made Theatre Company and Becky Shaw with SF Playhouse. Miyuki has also worked with Crowded Fire, Word for Word, Impact Theatre and Killing My Lobster. Gratitude to both Golden Thread and AATC for the opportunity.

Miyuki Bierlein (Costume Designer)'s recent Productions include Honey Brown Eyes and Tigers Be Still with SF Playhouse. Upcoming projects include Little Brother with Custom Made Theatre Company and Becky Shaw with SF Playhouse. Miyuki has also worked with Crowded Fire, Word for Word, Impact Theatre and Killing My Lobster. Gratitude to both Golden Thread and AATC for the opportunity.

Alan Chang (Sound Design) is thrilled to be working with Golden Thread for the first time, and to return to AATC for its collaboration of Language Room. His designs have been premiered throughout the world that spans across theatre (Little Shop of Horrors, Songs of the Dragon, Billy Elliot, Annie, Cabaret, Cirque do Soleil), film (Canary, Stricken, A Lesson of Love, 21), television and radio broadcast (Starburst, Pillsbury, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Doritos, BMW, Ford, Volkswagen, Paramount, Disney, 95.7 The Wolf, KRON4), and his love for the recording arts has led him to the opportunity of working with some of the most well-respected orchestras (Vienna Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, SF Symphony, CSOLA), classical music organizations and groups (NACUSA, Kronos Quartet, Musica Sacra, Starlite Strings, PrinceSF, Chorus Angelorum), and selected artists (Yo-Yo Ma, Jim Hall).

Valerie M. Niles (Props) is a recent graduate of the University of Delaware's Professional Theatre Training Program, having received her Master of Fine Arts in Technical Production this past May; she graduated in 2008 from the University of the Pacific with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts & also played NCAA Division I Field Hockey for the university. She has worked with esteemed directors & designers such as Eugene Lee, Adrian Hall, Takeshi Kata, and Ethan McSweeney while propping away at the University of Delaware. Her favorite work thus far has been for the world premiere of renowned playwright Theresa Rebeck's O Beautiful. She is thrilled to be back home in the Bay Area to finally begin embarking upon her career as a proppeteer. Valerie previously worked with Golden Thread for Night Over Erzinga and is happy to work with them again on this amazing production.

Darl Andrew Packard (Lighting Designer) is a co-founder of Collage Theater and his show Box City will be presented in residence at The Garage in February. He is also an accomplished Bay Area designer working in lighting, set, sound and video design. His designs have reached audiences as far as Alaska. He is a two time Lighting Artist in Dance recipient and will be working with Dandelion Dance Theater in 2012 as part of that award. His design work has also been seen with Adia Tamar-Whitaker/Ase Dance, Amara Tabor-Smith/Deep Waters, Jesse Hewitt/Strong Behavior, Laura Arrington Dance, FACTSF, Lenora Lee and Killing My Lobster (with whom he is a member) among many others. He has worked extensively with CounterPULSE, Word for Word Performing Arts, The Z Space Studio and Josh Kornbluth. Additionally he has served as an assistant to designer David Szlasa, whom he thanks for his support and guidance. He would also like to thank his loving partner Matisse for being a loving partner.

Mikiko Uesugi* (Scenic Designer) has designed NIGHT OVER ERZINGA and ReOrient 2004 for Golden Thread. Other theater credits include: FAT PIG, SALOME and BETRAYAL for Aurora Theater Company, ANGEL FACE, 4 ADVERBS, EPIPHANIES, IMMORTAL HEART, and THE FALL RIVER AXE MURDERS for Word for Word, AMBITION FACING WEST for Theatre Works, PEER GYNT and THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST & THE BEAUX STRATEGEM for the ACT M.F.A. program, LET MY ENEMY LIVE LONG! for Berkeley Repertory Theater, as well as BODY FAMILIAR, BRONTE and A COMMON VISION for The Magic Theatre. Ms. Uesugi is a recipient of the NEA/TCG Career Development Program for Designers, Dean Goodman Choice Award and The Isadora Duncan Dance Award.


** Member Actors equity Association/United Scenic Artists


Torange Yeghiazarian, Artistic Director / Serge Bakalian, Managing Director
450 Florida Street, San Francisco, CA 94110 / 415.626.4061 / information@goldenthread.org