ReOrient 2002—A Festival of Short Plays about the Middle East

Golden Thread Productions presents its fourth annual festival of short plays written by playwrights from, or exploring themes concerning, the Middle East (August 8–25, New Langton Arts, 1246 Folsom St., San Francisco). 


The eight plays selected will be presented in two alternating series. Women and War highlight the themes of this year’s selections.


August 8–25, 2002

Thursday–Sunday, 8:00 pm


New Langton Arts

1246 Folsom St. (between 8th & 9th St.), San Francisco


General Admission $15, Discounts Available.

Tickets available at, TixBooth, and the theatre box office.


Info/ reservations: 510.986.9194


The Company

Boni B. Alvarez *, Rob Anderson, Sarine Balian, Ali Dadgar,
Shaudy Danaye-Elmi, Valerie de Jose, Darlene Dhillon, Todd Ehmann,
 Mark Farrell *, Morgan Fitchte, Hal Gelb, Cindy Goldfield *, Keyumars Hakim,
 Jeanette Harrison, Arlene Denise Hood, Mark Mezadourian Hughes,
Barbara Jaspersen, Jay Lasnik, Pamela Marsh, Maziar Motahari, Meerim Olsen,
 Svetlana Pedan, Ric Prindle *, Bella Ramazan-Nia, Claudia Rosa *,
Michael Santo, Torange Yeghiazarian, Maria Zamroud


* Appearing courtesy of Actors Equity Association



Golden Thread Productions is a dynamic San Francisco Bay Area ensemble dedicated to the production of theatre works that explore the Middle Eastern culture and identity as represented throughout the globe.


The Plays


Series 1, Thursdays & Saturdays

à        Sewing in Syria by Elizabeth Marquis, performed by Pamela Marsh.

An emphatic portrayal of a spinster, a woman caught between cultures.

à        Such A Beautiful Voice Is Sayeda’s by Yussef El Guindi, directed by Hal Gelb.

The courage to sing, the freedom to live.

à        Waves by Torange Yeghiazarian, directed by Mark Mezadourian Hughes.

Two Iranian women ex-revolutionaries dance a tango of betrayal and deception.

Series 2, Fridays & Sundays

à        A Friendly Face by Laura McPherson, directed by Mark Mezadourian Hughes.

An Iraqi soldier practices…smiling...

à        Dual-Use by Victoria Stewart, directed by Torange Yeghiazarian.

Stents and ambulances: tools of destruction, or life-savers?

à        From the Courtyard by Catherine Fletcher, directed by Arlene Denise Hood.

Take a tour of Morocco with Hassan, a modern storyteller.

à        A Tunnel in Palestine by Don Monaco, directed by Arlene Denise Hood.

The Hasmonian tunnel becomes the setting for an American couple’s face-off.

à        Tamam by Betty Shamieh, directed by Torange Yeghiazarian

She is Palestinian. Her name is Tamam. It means enough.



Company Bios

Yussef El-Guindi, although 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.


Catherine Fletcher is a playwright living in Brooklyn, NY.  In addition to From the Courtyard, her work includes the full-length plays Bridge, currently in development with the Powerhouse Theatre in Santa Monica, and The Promise of Paradise: A California Fable.  In her previous incarnation, Catherine served on the organizing committee of the Los Angeles based Edge of the World Theater Festival and as the Managing Director of the Ghost Road Company.  Under her leadership as Managing Director, Ghost Road produced Carrots For Hare and collaborated with Burglars of Hamm on Resa Fantastiskt Mystisk and with Theatre of N.O.T.E. on The Clytemnestra  Project (Clyt At Home), an LA Weekly Award nominees. She initiated a Cultural Affairs funded series of salons which strive to bring together diverse artistic communities in Los Angeles with an aim towards sharing and collaboration. Other projects have included the films Thaw (Los Angeles
 Film Festival, San Francisco Indie Fest) and Fever Pitch (Nashville Independent Film Festival, Milan Film Festival) as well as directing for the theater.


Hal Gelb Among the plays director/writer Hal Gelb has staged are Knuckle (David Hare), Betrayal (Pinter), The Road to Mecca (Fugard), Six Degrees of Separation (Guare), Three Cuckolds (Commedia), The Maids (Genet) and Ed Bullins’s Salaam, Huey Newton, Salaam for Bullins’s BMT Theatre. He began his association with Golden Thread Productions with Ghazi Rabihavi’s Voices staged at ReOrient 2000. Hal’s direction of Deep Cut by Karim Alrawi in June, 2001 was described by critics as ‘Brilliant’ and ‘Flawless.’  His media work has been seen on PBS, KTVU, TV20, KQED, at the World Conference on the Environment (Brussels) and the Museum of Modern Art (NYC). As a writer, Hal was one of a group responsible for the R.G.Davis/ Samuel French version of Dario Fo’s We Won’t Pay! We Won’t Pay! and is the West Coast theatre critic for The Nation.


Arlene Denise Hood is a Bay Area director and actress and teaches theatre arts at Moreau Catholic High School. Her drama students have received numerous awards and recognition for their outstanding work. She and her students, in conjunction with Faultzone Theatre Company, have performed several times at the Edinburgh, Scotland, Fringe Festival, where her production of Recent Disappearances received a four-star rating. In 1998, she performed in Faultzone's The Bacchae at the Festival of Amathus in Cyprus. Ms. Hood and her drama program have been featured in the California Educational Theatre Association's newsletter. Recently, along with her fellow arts instructors, she was awarded The California Alliance for Arts Education's Creative Ticket School of Excellence Award for outstanding achievement in arts education. Arlene received her theatre arts degree from California State University, Hayward, where she is also a guest lecturer and director. Directing credits include Moon Over Buffalo, Sylvia (Hayward Little Theatre), Khamasseen (North American premiere), Prelude to a Kiss (Act Now!), Min El Alb Lilalb, Akemwi (Golden Thread Productions); Kiss Me Kate (CSUH), Something's Afoot (Lamplighters), The Visit, Anouilh's Antigone, Macbeth, Man of La Mancha, Our Country's Good, The Real Inspector Hound, and 1776.

Mark Mezadourian Hughes has directed productions of Reckless, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, A Bright Room Called Day, Strange Loop, The Proposal, Sexual Perversity in Chicago, Bullshot Crummond, George Washington Slept Here, and This Property is Condemned. He spent several seasons as part of the stage management team at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Mark received a BFA in Theatre Arts from Southern Oregon University. He has studied with Sanford Meisner, Elinor Renfield and Susan Aston. In March, Mark will direct Hillbarn Theatre's production of Mister Roberts.


Laura McPherson is a drummer and cartoonist from Los Angeles, California. She graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University in May of 2000, receiving the Alan Downer thesis prize for The Marks of Men (formerly The Unmaking Mark). Upon graduation, Ms. McPherson worked for the university's Academic Services computing division in the area of web design and development on a team that built Macromedia Flash modules for the online Arabic Poetry Project. Awarded a highly competitive Iowa Arts Fellowship to attend the Playwright's Workshop at the University of Iowa, she currently lives and works in Iowa City.

Don Monaco has had his Little Red Wagon Painted Blue produced off-off Broadway and in Memphis, Tennessee. He was invited to the Tony Award Winning Utah Shakespearean Festival where his work was present in development and in readings. His Fly in a Circle has won awards and has been produced in Dubuque, Iowa. To the Orangerie, a short play has been produced in New York at several Off-Broadway theatres. It is the second in a series of a single family's experience of the Holocaust. A Tunnel in Palestine is the final chapter in that sequence which begins in Berlin, travels to Vienna, Paris, New York, ending in Jerusalem. Don is the director of a reading series at the Rockland Center of the Arts in New York. He is a member of the Elmwood Playhouse and the Dramatists Guild. He lives in Nyack, New York, with his wife Uli.


Betty Shamieh is a Palestinian-American theatre artist. She received a New Dramatists Van Lier Fellowship. She performed Tamam at the Imagine: Iraq reading, American Museum of Natural History, City Museum of New York, and the Annual Bread and Roses Performance Event. Her performance work Chocolate in Heat - Growing Up Arab in America premiered at the 2001 New York International Fringe Festival and had a sold-out and critically acclaimed run at Theater for the New City in February 2002. Her plays have been produced at the Yale School of Drama, Exiles Theatre in Ireland, and Adams Pool Theatre. Her writing has been published in This Week ON STAGE, Mizna, and The 1993 Poetry for the People Anthology. She was awarded an Institute of Politics Artistic Grant and a Radcliffe Fellowship to Jerusalem. She holds a BA from Harvard College, an MFA in Playwriting from the Yale School of Drama, and is a professor of screenwriting at Marymount Manhattan College.

Torange Yeghiazarian writes, acts and directs for the theatre and is the founder and artistic director of Golden Thread Productions, an ensemble dedicated to the production of theatrical works that explore the Middle Eastern Culture and identity as represented throughout the globe. Born in Iran, Torange received her Masters degree in Theatre Arts from San Francisco State University.


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