ReOrient 2017 Slider

ReOrient 2017 Festival of Short Plays

Seven short plays. One unforgettable evening of theatre.

Think you know the Middle East? Think again. ReOrient 2017 will turn San Francisco into a mecca for innovative, spirited, and thought-provoking theatre from or about the Middle East. Nowhere else will you find plays and artists from Armenia, India, Iraq, Iran, Japan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the U.S. all on one stage.

ReOrient 2017 Line-Up

WAR ON TERROR by E.H. Benedict, directed by Sara Razavi
Air travel is no picnic, especially if your non-English speaking Arab mother is fed up and tired.

A IS FOR ALI by Sevan K. Greene, directed by Sara Razavi
An Arab-American couple must choose a name for their unborn child. How tough can it be?

MANAR by Melis Aker, directed by Erin Gilley, dramaturged by Anna Woodruff
An American mother is convinced she recognizes her missing son in an ISIS video.

MAKE NO MISTAKE by Betty Shamieh, directed by Susannah Martin, dramaturged by Nakissa Etemad
What do Osama Bin Ladin’s young wife and an American president’s mistress have in common?

THE REHEARSAL by Hannah Khalil, directed by Evren Odcikin
Three actors must find a way to rehearse a political play under the watchful eye of the censors.

SHELTER, poetry by Junichi P. Semitsu, stage soundscape adapted by Torange Yeghiazarian and James Ard
An audio love poem from Hiroshima to Beirut to one mixed-race couple’s intertwined destinies.

THANKSGIVING AT KHODABAKHSHIAN’S by Torange Yeghiazarian, directed by Susannah Martin, dramaturged by Nakissa Etemad
A leftie Iranian-American and a Trump supporter find themselves together at a Thanksgiving dinner.

CONTENT ADVISORY: Some plays contain strong language, sexual violence, and disturbing imagery.
RUNNING TIME: 2 hours including one 15-minute intermission

November 17–December 10, 2017
at Potrero Stage (formerly Thick House, 1695 18th Street, San Francisco)
Thursdays–Saturdays at 8pm; Sundays at 3pm
Previews: November 17-19; Opening: Monday, November 20; No performance: Thursday, November 23

Thanks to San Francisco Arts Commission, National Endowment for the Arts, Walter & Elise Haas Fund, The Fleischhacker Foundation, University of San Francisco, The Center for Middle Eastern Studies, UC Berkeley, and Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas for their generous support of ReOrient 2017.

ReOrient 2017 Forum Panels

Centering the Margins
Sat, Nov 25, 4-6pm | Potrero Stage (1695 18th Street, San Francisco)
Centering the Margins: Immigrant Voices and Brown Bodies Claiming the Narrative
For years — some might say centuries — America’s narratives have focused on the experience of white bodies as told through the eyes of the colonizer, framing the place of brown bodies in the process. What happens when we reorient our perspective? How do we shift the reference point away from a white narrative? How do we negotiate differences of experience and perspective within marginalized communities? Whose stories are told on American stages and from what lens? (Presented in association with USF)
Chair and Moderator: Roberto Gutiérrez Varea
Panelists: Eugenie Chan, Edris Cooper-Anifowoshe, Philip Kan Gotanda, Lauren Spencer, Eric Ting, and Torange Yeghiazarian
Free and open to the public | RSVP Now
Dramaturgs ReOrient
Sat, Dec 2, 4-6pm | Potrero Stage (1695 18th Street, San Francisco)
Dramaturgs ReOrient: Contextualizing the Middle East for American Audiences
What is it like to stage a Middle Eastern story in today’s climate? How do dramaturgs provide truthful context, provoke meaningful conversation, help collaborators make choices with integrity, and ensure cultural competency? Can dramaturgy affect the way we perceive and communicate about the Middle East? Does dramaturgy change our perspectives?
Meet Bay Area dramaturgs, directors, and ReOrient artists who take us behind-the-scenes of their processes to share and discuss personal experiences with Middle Eastern playwrights and plays, both inside and beyond the first-time partnership between Golden Thread and LMDA. Master dramaturg and director Jayne Wenger will lead us in a roundtable discussion that helps us forge ahead toward the growth and prosperity of Middle Eastern American theatre. (Presented in association with LMDA)
Chair: Nakissa Etemad | Moderator: Jayne Wenger
Panelists: Maddie Gaw and Vidhu Singh
Free and open to the public | RSVP Now

Production Photos

ReOrient Artists Speak

This video series will introduce some of the 38 artists working on this year’s ReOrient Festival.

ReOrient Festival in the Press

ReOrient 2017 in SF Weekly
Everyone is Welcome to ReOrient Themselves
Jeffrey Edelatpour of SF Weekly reviews ReOrient 2017: “An artful victory against casual prejudice, mistrust, and tragic headlines.”
ReOrient 2017 in The Huffington Post
ReOrienting One’s Thoughts on Immigration
George Heymont of The Huffington Post reviews ReOrient 2017: “A rare accomplishment. . . all seven [plays] were superbly written powerhouse dramas — the kind of work any audience would be thrilled to experience.”
ReOrient 2017 in The Mercury News
ReOrient fest in SF serves up varied views of Middle East
ReOrient 2017 is a critic’s pick for Sam Hurwitt of The Mercury News.
ReOrient on KPFA
Voices of the Middle East and North Africa
Festival Producer Evren Odcikin is interviewed by Malihe Razazan for KPFA program.
San Francisco Chronicle - Holiday Pick
Theater events for the holidays
ReOrient 2017 is a Holiday Pick for San Francisco Chronicle

Golden Thread Productions and LMDA Partnership

LMDA LogoThis year’s ReOrient Festival marks our first collaboration with the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA). The partnership brings together two organizations that value challenging cultural preconceptions through provocative programming and dialogue. Curated by LMDA’s Regional VP of Metro Bay Area Nakissa Etemad, LMDA is providing a team of production dramaturgs to collaborate on the plays in script development and research, and publications dramaturgs to write feature articles that take you behind-the-scenes of ReOrient, which you will be able to read here.

LMDA Article Feature
Are You Ready to ReOrient?
Publications Dramaturg Vidhu Singh takes you behind-the scenes of ReOrient and highlights the importance of Golden Thread in the American theatre.
Sevan K. Greene and Hannah Khalil
Being in the Room: Transatlantic Collaborations in ReOrient 2017
Publications Dramaturg Emily DeDakis interviews Sevan K. Greene and Hannah Khalil to discuss their plays, playwriting careers in the U.K., and past experiences with Golden Thread.
Melis Aker and Anna Woodruff (feature)
Playwright and Dramaturg Tackle Manar a Third Time
ReOrient Dramaturg Anna Woodruff speaks with her longtime collaborator and Playwright Melis Aker about their working relationship, the evolution of Manar, and their experience with Golden Thread.
Bay Area ReOrient Playwrights (feature)
Women’s Voices Naturally Rise to the Top at Golden Thread
Publications Dramaturg Maddie Gaw interviews playwrights Betty Shamieh, E.H. Benedict, and Torange Yeghiazarian to discuss their writing careers as women and in the Bay Area, and experiences with Golden Thread.

ReOrient Artists

Actors: Atosa Babaoff*, Naseem Etemad*, Mohamed Chakmakchi, Stephen Kanaski, Lawrence Radecker*, Jessica Lea Risco, Bella Warda

Playwrights: Melis Aker, E.H. Benedict, Sevan K. Greene, Hannah Khalil, Junichi P. Semitsu, Betty Shamieh, and Torange Yeghiazarian

Directors: Erin Gilley, Susannah Martin, Evren Odcikin, Sara Razavi, and Torange Yeghiazarian

Dramaturgs: Nakissa Etemad, Anna Woodruff, Emily DeDakis, Maddie Gaw, and Vidhu Singh

Design team: James Ard (sound), Kenan Arun (make-up), Cassie Barnes (lights), Kate Boyd (scenic), Beckett Finn (technical director), Erin Gilley (projections), Brooke Jennings (costumes), Grisel Torres (props)

Stage Management: Karen Runk* (stage manager), Benjamin Shiu (assistant stage manager), Apollonia and Keith Arcuragi (production assistants)

*Member, Actors’ Equity

Plan Your Visit

Potrero Stage was formerly known as Thick House, and is located in Potrero Hill, at 1695 18th Street, San Francisco, CA 94107.

Street parking is available nearby. Potrero Stage is also accessible by public transportation. The theatre is just a short bus ride from the 16th Street BART Station and accessible on the following Muni Bus Lines: 10, 19 & 22.

Potrero Stage is wheelchair accessible.

Planning an evening on the town? Check out these local eateries within walking distance of Potrero Stage!

Contact Us

Golden Thread Productions
1695 18th Street, #C101 Annex
San Francisco, CA 94107

Box Office:
Phone: 415.626.4061