The Most Dangerous Highway in the World
a world premiere play by Kevin Artigue
directed by Evren Odcikin
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.
MAY 6-29, 2016 at Thick House in San Francisco
Thursdays–Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 3pm
Ticket Pricing: Previews $10 | General Admission $34 | Student/Senior $24
Videos by Peter Ruocco. Photos used in video by Mauricio Lima for the New York Times and Zalmai Ahad.
“Poignant, poetic, and chilling… A strong addition to Golden Thread’s repertory of new work about the Middle East.” —San Francisco Examiner
“A superb performance from young Kiran Patel, who carries the entire drama with his exuberance and his deeply felt connection with Traffic.” —Theater Dogs
“A lean, fast-moving narrative well delivered by a strong ensemble.” —San Mateo Daily News
“Golden Thread Productions continues to bring us wonderful new stories and push theatre in a more diverse and inclusive direction.” —VMedia
“The acting is terrific… Director Evren Odcikin adroitly handles the change of pace from reality to fantasy.” —For All Events
“BEST OF 2016: A tale of resilience inspired by the real-life “Pepsi-bottle boys” of Afghanistan” —VMedia
Kevin is a playwright and filmmaker born and raised in Southern California and based in New York City. He’s currently a member of the 2016 Interstate 73 Writers Group, and formerly part of the Public Theater’s 2014-2015 Emerging Writers Group, where he developed his newest play, The Forcings. His plays have been presented and developed with The Public Theater, the National New Play Network (Dangerous Highway), New York Theater Workshop, Theatre of NOTE, the Playwrights Foundation, Great Plains Theatre Conference, Yale Cabaret, Iowa New Play Festival, Golden Thread, and the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis. A graduate of the Iowa Playwrights Workshop, Kevin was awarded a Provost’s Visiting Writer Fellowship at the University of Iowa, where he taught creative writing.
Evren Odcikin (Director of Marketing and New Plays) is a Turkish-American director based in San Francisco and the Director New Plays & Marketing for Golden Thread Productions since 2015 where he has been an artistic associate since 2005. For Golden Thread, he directed the premieres of Yussef El Guindi’s LANGUAGE ROOMS, in San Francisco and Los Angeles Theater Center (critic’s pick for LOS ANGELES TIMES), Mona Mansour’s URGE FOR GOING, Denmo Ibrahim’s ECSTASY | A WATERFABLE, as well as short plays by El Guindi, E.H. Benedict, Ken Kaissar, Ignacio Zulueta as part of ReOrient Festivals. For the company, he leads all new play development activities, including the annual new play reading series New Threads, assists in season selection, and helps produce the mainstage season including the biennial ReOrient Festival. His other credits include the world premiere of Christopher Chen’s MUTT: LET’S ALL TALK ABOUT RACE at Impact Theatre and Ferocious Lotus (“Top New Play of 2014”, Theater Dogs); the world premiere of Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s 410[GONE] (Production Notebook feature in AMERICAN THEATRE MAGAZINE) and the West Coast premiere of Jonas Hassen Khemiri’s INVASION! for Crowded Fire; his adaptation of Plautus’s THE BRAGGART SOLDIER, OR MAJOR BLOWHARD for Custom Made Theatre Company (Theatre Bay Area Awards Recommended Production, four Bay Area Theatre Critics’ Circle (BATCC) nominations including best director); THE OLDEST PROFESSION (two BATCC nominations) and MACHINAL (three BATCC Award nominations including best director and best production) for Brava Theater Center. A graduate of Princeton University, Evren was awarded the 2015 National Director’s Fellowship by O’Neill Theater Center, National New Plays Network, the Kennedy Center, and SDCF; the 2013 TITAN Award for Directors by Theatre Bay Area; and selected as an Emerging Theatre Leader by TCG for their American Express Leadership Bootcamp. odcikin.com
Sofia Ahmad is so glad to be a part of this wonderful Highway team; many thanks to Evren, Kevin and Torange! Previously with Golden Thread: Isfahan Blues and Love Missile. Other Bay Area credits include: Alecto in Just Deserts (Those Women Productions); Bianca/Lodovico in Othello (Arabian Shakespeare Festival); Julia in Two Gentlemen of Verona, Luciana in Comedy of Errors, Hero in Much Ado About Nothing (San Francisco Shakespeare Festival); Poppaea/Octavia in Nero, Delilah in The Black Eyed (Magic Theatre); Regan in King Lear, Phebe in As You Like It (Santa Cruz Shakespeare Festival); Cressida in Troilus & Cressida (Pacific Repertory Theater); San Jose Stage; Shotgun Players; Bay Area Playwrights Festival; New Conservatory Theater. She is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and a proud member of AEA and SAG-AFTRA.
Jiya Khanna lives in San Francisco with her mum, dad and older brother. She attends the San Francisco Friends School, where her favorite subjects are math and science.
She is excited and extremely proud to make her professional acting debut with Golden Thread Productions in The Most Dangerous Highway in the World. As the comedian of the family, she has gravitated to the stage from an early age. She has performed at Stanford University as a dancer in a professional dance group as well playing lead vocals and guitar with the San Francisco Rock Project.
Jiya’s other passions include fashion, most notably in sewing her own outfits, as well as photography focused around urban city skylines and alternative perspectives on everyday objects. You can follow her work on Instagram at @cityonthebay.
Terry Lamb is happy to be working again with Torange and Evren and the rest of the Golden Thread team. He performed previously in Golden Thread’s Urge for Going, Language Rooms, Night Over Erzinga, and The Deep Cut. He has also acted with Magic Theatre (Fred’s Diner, The Film Society, Aunt Dan and Lemon, Angel City, and Breaking the Code), Central Works Ensemble (Penelope’s Odyssey and Bird in the Hand), Shotgun Players (Bullrusher), TheatreFirst (Nathan the Wise, A Map of the World, and The Colour of Justice), and Phoenix Theatre (Assorted Domestic Emergencies). Other area theaters he has worked with include Aurora, Marin, New Conservatory, TheatreWorks, San Jose Stage, Pirandello Project, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Geoffrey Chaucer, and San Francisco Mime Troupe. Terry is also a film/video producer and has a series of short films online called Encounters on Earth, which showcase the work of local actors and writers.
Kiran Patel attends San Francisco Friends School, where he has been an avid member of the theatre community. Kiran’s role in his school’s fourth grade production of Hangtown gave birth to his love and passion for acting. While in the fifth grade, Kiran played a lead comedic role in an afterschool production about capitalism called Corn Cobbers, loosely based on Animal Farm. During the past summer, Kiran attended acting camp at the A.C.T. to further refine his skills. This fall, as a seventh grader, Kiran is in two plays: A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Little Women. His versatility is shown through the drastic differences in the demeanors of his characters. Puck is a playful and mischievous elf, while Brooke is a serious and levelheaded tutor.
Louel Señores is excited to be working with Golden Thread Productions for the first time! You may have recently seen him in Civil (Quantum Dragon), Sheherazade’s Last Tales (PCSF), or In Plain Sight (Those Women Productions). Or you may have not seen him less recently when he stage managed The Language Archive and Emilie with Symmetry Theatre or with various shows at previous SF Fringe Festivals (Ceremony, Babies: The Ultimate Birth Control, 52 Letters). When he’s not acting or stage managing, you may have run into him at the Aurora Theatre or The Marsh in Berkeley, where he House Manages, or in a diversity training workshop with Berkeley Interactive Theater, where he serves as company playwright. When Louel is not doing theater, you can often find him equipped with foam weapons, playing Amtgard or Jugger. Or maybe you’ve never seen him before? In that case, you can check out LouelSenores.com
Davern Wright is thrilled to be working with Golden Thread again. Acting credits include Marin Shakespeare Company, 42nd St. Moon, Ragged Wing Ensemble, Bindlestiff Studio, Douglas Morrison Theatre, Those Women Productions, and many others. Writing credits include Cratchit (Best of Playground SF 2015; December 2014 Playground SF People’s Choice Award), Would You Like the Can, Sir? (January 2015 Playground SF People’s Choice Award), and Something’s Wrong with Peter (2011 Santa Fe Film Festival Official Selection). He is a Playground SF Resident Playwright and winner of their 2015 Emerging Playwright Award. He has an M.F.A. in Film Production from the University of Southern California and a B.A. in Theatre from Williams College. He currently teaches in the Motion Picture and Television department at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.
James Ard is a local San Francisco designer, sound artist, and composer, whose works have been heard in small theaters, smaller theaters, on pirate radio, and once at a barn in Marin. As of late, James has been making noise for theatre performances around the Bay Area. Recent theatre sound design work includes The Kid Thing and Sagittarius Ponderosa at the New Conservatory Theater Center, the ReOrient short play festival with Golden Thread Productions, We Are Proud To Present A Presentation with Just Theater, and The Clean House with the Ross Valley Players. James’ work can be heard regularly as a component of Shotgun Players’ Champagne Reading Series, and he is currently working on an ongoing project in which he secretly records the residents of Los Angeles.
Kenan Arun is a makeup artist for stage and FX makeup since 2008. Having recently moved to San Francisco, he joined Golden Thread Productions with Isfahan Blues. His other credits include: The Maids by Jean Genet (Stage on the Run, One-ActFestival, Heidelberg/Germany, 2011), Women’s Best by Ilayda Basaran (Lemur Sanat, Ankara/Turkey, 2011), Woman in Mind by Alan Ayckbourn (Stage on the Run, Ankara/Turkey, 2011), Angels in America by Tony Kushner, (Stage on the Run, Ankara/Turkey, 2012), The Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber (Turkish – American Association, Ankara/Turkey, 2012), Rendezvous by Rob Cantor (Music Video, Los Angeles, 2014), Muse 90401 by Fadik Sevin Atasoy (Los Angeles, 2015), ReOrient Festival and Forum by Golden Thread Productions (San Francisco, 2015), The Colored Museum by George C. Wolfe (The African-American Shakespeare Company, San Francisco, 2016)
Kenan is currently working on his master’s thesis on stage makeup and characterization. kenanarunmakeup.com
Kate Boyd designs scenery and lighting in the Bay Area. She recently designed lights for Bare Flag’s Demetrius Unbound, sets for Aurora’s Mud Blue Sky and Rapture Blister Burn as well as both sets and lights for Golden Thread’s Isfahan Blues. Other productions include Merola Opera, Urge for Going, Palomino at Aurora Theater, Cosi Fan Tutti and Dialogue of the Carmelites for SF Conservatory of Music, Company C Ballet, Marriage of Figaro at Center Rep, K of D and Long Christmas Ride Home at Magic Theatre, Jacques Brel and Splittin’ the Raft at Marin Theater; Nickle and Dimed for Theaterworks and BRAVA! Kate is Chair of Performing Arts at Lick-WiIlmerding High School and teaches stagecraft and design. She was a recipient of the Gerbode Design Fellowship.
Michael Truman Cavanaugh
Originally from Idaho, Michael Cavanaugh has been working around the Bay Area for the last 5 years. Michael is a professional clown and Equity stage manager. He received his Honors BFA in Stage Management from the University of Utah before receiving his Masters in Puppet Arts from the University of Connecticut. Following grad school he attended Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre where he freed his inner clown. Michael has taught, performed, directed, and managed around the Bay ever since. He is a Resident Artist with the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, an Emerging Artist with California Shakespeare Theatre, and this summer will be the stage manager for Marin Shakespeare Company.
(assistant stage manager)
Since graduating from San Francisco State University in 2014, Naseem Etemad has worked alongside The Aluminous Collective as Production Manager of their 2014 production of The Last Days of Judas Iscariot and Golden Thread Productions, performing in their 2014 New Threads Reading Series and holding varying responsibilities such as Production Manager for 2014’s The Fifth String, as well as her first performance with the company as Yuliana in the short play Turning Tricks which premiered in the 2015 ReOrient Festival in which she also held the position of Assistant Stage Manager. Her last theatrical endeavor took place at Bindlestiff studio where she portrayed Pakeeza in Eric Bogosian’s Suburbia with the talent filled company Breach Once More.
Courtney Flores is a Bay Area Costume Designer. This is her first production with Golden Thread Productions. Recent productions include: Babylon is Burning with Campo Santo at Z Space, Life Is A Dream and Superheroes at Cutting Ball Theatre, By The Way Meet Vera Stark and Skin of Our Teeth at Douglas Morrison Theatre, Spiritrials with Youth Speaks at Z Space, Taming of the Shrew at San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Daylighting at Shotgun Players, and Chasing Mesherle at Intersection For The Arts.
Courtney received her BA in Theatre Arts at California State University Hayward and received her Masters of Fine Arts at San Francisco State University. Courtney is also a member of Campo Santo and Bay Area Latino Theatre Artists Network.
Humaira Ghilzai brings cultural literacy to film and theatre productions for authentic portrayal of Afghan people, their customs and language for an enriched audience experience. She has worked on the following productions: Stage: A Thousand Splendid Suns, The Kite Runner, Blood and Gifts, Love in Afghanistan, The Prepared Table: A Feast of Foods and Stories from Iraq, Afghanistan and the F.O.B., Slow Falling Birds, Zealot, Boy Play, Heartland. Film: Merry Friggin Christmas and Whiskey Tango Fox Trot.
Marie Shell previously stage managed the West Coast premiere of Mona Mansour’s Urge For Going for Golden Thread, and has also stage managed many shows in their New Threads Staged Reading Series, including The Most Dangerous Highway In The World. Other stage management credits include the world premiere of The Fourth Messenger for 100 Shades of Green; two seasons with Marin Shakespeare Company; and shows with The Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, San Jose Stage Company, and Pacific Alliance Stage Company. Marie also stage managed for eight months on the long-running commercial hit, Shear Madness. Via her own company, Marie has produced and managed events for corporate and private clients and also has over a decade of experience in the film industry, in both production and public relations/marketing. Marie received an M.F.A. in Classical Acting from The Shakespeare Theatre Company (in conjunction with George Washington University) in Washington, D.C.
Lizabeth Stanley is thrilled to be working on her third Golden Thread production after ISFAHAN BLUES and the 2015 ReOrient Festival. Her other recent credits include THE UNFORTUNATES and MONSTRESS at A.C.T, THE COMEDY OF ERRORS and YEAR OF THE ROOSTER at Impact Theatre and GEM OF THE OCEAN and THE OLDEST BOY at Marin Theatre Company. Her upcoming shows include CHESTER BAILEY at A.C.T. and A HOUSE TOUR OF THE INFAMOUS PORTER FAMILY MANSION WITH TOUR GUIDE WESTON LUDLOW LONDONDERRY at ZSpace. Lizabeth has a B.A. in Theatre Arts from The Ohio State University.
(acting coach for young actors)
Valerie Weak is an actor and teaching artist who previously coached youth actors for Golden Thread’s Night over Erzinga and appeared in multiple roles, including Jill in Learn to Be Latina, for ReOrient 2005. More recent credits include Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet for San Francisco Shakespeare Festival’s Free Shakespeare in the Park and Dinah in The Quality of Life for Monday Afternoon Productions. She teaches throughout the region for ACT’s Young Conservatory, California Shakespeare Theater and Word for Word’s Youth Arts.
Walid Azad (production assistant), Cassie Barnes (lighting designer), Dave Garner (technical director), Carla Pantoja (fight choreographer)
*Member Actors’ Equity