Golden Thread’s popular staged reading series returns, introducing three vital voices to the Bay Area. We invite you to laugh, cry, and think alongside these beautiful stories from and about the Middle East! Each play is teeming with unexpected humor, surprising characters, and provocative questions about the world we live in today. Join the creative process of making a new play, and discover brilliant gems never before seen in the Bay Area.
FREE and open to the public. Reservations are recommended.
Tuesday, August 1, 2017 at 7pm: RSVP HERE
AS SOON AS IMPOSSIBLE
by Betty Shamieh
directed by Torange Yeghiazarian
“Duh. You only insult people if you want to stay friends with them.”
Widowers Ramsey and Arthur have been vacationing in neighboring trailers at Lake Barryessa for more than three decades. This summer, Ramsey’s precocious teenage granddaughter Layla rocks the delicate balance of the two men’s friendship when she shows up unannounced intent on losing her virginity! Palestinian-American playwright and Bay Area native Betty Shamieh’s As Soon As Impossible is a delicious comedy about growing up and growing old in a time of mistrust.
at Potrero Stage (1695 18th Street, San Francisco)
(This reading is at capacity, but we usually have spaces available due to no shows. We will start a wait list at 6:15pm the night of the performance.)
Betty Shamieh is the author of fifteen plays. Shamieh was awarded a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship in Drama and Performance Art. Her off-Broadway premieres are The Black Eyed (New York Theatre Workshop, Director: Sam Gold) and Roar (The New Group, Director Marion McClinton). Roar is currently being taught at universities throughout the United States. Her European productions in translation include Again and Against (Playhouse Theater, Stockholm), The Black Eyed (Fournos Theatre, Athens), and Territories (a co-production of the Landes Theatre and the 2009 European Union Capital of Culture Festival). The Machine (Director: Marisa Tomei) was produced by Naked Angels at the Duke Theatre. Shamieh was an NEA/TCG playwright-in-residence at the Magic Theatre, where The Black Eyed and Territories had their world premieres, directed by Jessica Heidt. A graduate of Harvard College and the Yale School of Drama, she was selected as a Clifton Visiting Artist at Harvard College and a Playwriting Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies. Shamieh was named a UNESCO Young Artist for Intercultural Dialogue in 2011. Recent productions include The Strangest (The Semitic Root, Director: May Adrales) and Fit for the Queen (Classical Theatre of Harlem). Her works have been translated into seven languages. bettyshamieh.com
Tuesday, August 8, 2016 at 7pm: RSVP HERE
WHEN FARAH CRIES
by Mudar Alhaggi
translated by Nashwa Gowanlock and Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp
directed by Michael Malek Najjar
“Think about the future. I feel something else now. I feel that Syria is mine.”
Farah must choose — between her boyfriend and her father; between her country and her safety; between staying and running away. Set a year after the beginning of the Syrian uprising in Damascus, When Farah Cries introduces up-and-coming Syrian writer Mudar Alhaggi to the Bay Area, and is directed by Michael Malek Najjar, acclaimed editor of Four Arab-American Plays and professor of Theatre at the University of Oregon.
at Potrero Stage (1695 18th Street, San Francisco)
Mudar Alhaggi is a Syrian playwright, dramaturg, director, and cultural activist currently based in Berlin, Germany. His plays include Your Love is Fire, Barsach (a radio play for Deutschland Radio), When Farah Cries, Satin, Whisal or Six Days in the Eyes of the Devil, Bronz, Don Juan, and The Remains of the Soul, and have been performed in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Germany, Switzerland, and the United States. He has established and led numerous writing workshops for Syrian and Palestinian refugees, including Keit Keit Project and Future Stages. In 2014, Alhaggi held an artistic residency at the Schlachthaus Theatre in Bern, Switzerland. He received a B.A. in Dramatic Studies from The High Institute of Dramatic Art in Damascus.
Tuesday, August 15, 2017 at 7pm: RSVP HERE
AT THE PERIPHERY
by Sedef Ecer
translated by J. Simeon
directed by Evren Odcikin
“Don’t go, don’t go, the big city will eat you.”
Farmers Dilcha and Bilo leave their home in the countryside to make a life in the big city. Young lovers Azad and Tamar appeal to superstar Sultane’s hope-filled reality TV show to realize their dream of a life in the West. Gyspy woman Kybelee finds home in a shack she has made with her own hands. Focusing on the rarely told stories of migrants in Istanbul’s urban slums, Turkish-French playwright Sedef Ecer takes a lyrical, funny, and deeply human look at hope and home against all odds.
at Brava Theater Center (2781 24th Street, San Francisco)
Born in Istanbul, Sedef Ecer grew up in the world of movie making, theatre, and television. As an actress, she has appeared in 25 feature films and several plays since she was three years old, and has recently worked under the directions of Amos Gitaï (with Jeanne Moreau), Bruno Freyssinet, Lorenzo Gabriel, Thomas Bellorini, Françoise Merle, Joëlle Cattino. She writes different genres in Turkish and French. As a journalist in Turkey, she has written more than 500 articles or opinion pieces for national newspapers or magazines. She has also written novels and explores new genres with transmedia stories: the publication of her “email correspondence” or “micro-fictions”. But her major work is in the field of theatre. Her plays include À la Périphérie, Les Descendants, First Lady, Samstag in Europa, Am Rand, L’Absente, and Sur le seuil, and have been published by Les Éditions de l’Amandier, Les Éditions l’Espace d’un Instant, Lansman and l’Avant-Scène in France, and have been translated into Polish, Turkish, Armenian, German, Greek, and English. She has been included in the “Dictionnaire universel des Créatrices” (The Universal Dictionary of Women Creators Worldwide) in 2014. sedefecer.com