MIDDLE EASTERN NORTH AFRICAN
THEATRE MAKERS ALLIANCE FALL CONVENING
Virtually Connecting MENA and SWANA Theatre Makers Coast to Coast
November 5-7, 2021
SESSIONS AND PARTICIPANTS
Welcome Happy Hour
Friday, November 5 at 5-7pm PT / 8-10pm ET
Learn about MENA Theatre Makers Alliance and meet other attendees in our community!
MENA Women Playwrights on US Stages
Saturday, November 6 at 9-10:30am PT / 12-1:30pm ET
A conversation with five outstanding and groundbreaking playwrights whose works span genres and styles, and will be produced in the coming season. These brilliant writers will talk about inspiration, collaboration, adaptation, representation, politics, controversy and community—and about their current projects for stage and screen.
Mona Mansour (monamansour.com)
Heather Raffo (heatherraffo.com)
Betty Shamieh (bettyshamieh.com)
Sanaz Toossi (NPX profile)
Moderator: Catherine Coray (NYU profile)
Academia and the Next Generation
Saturday, November 6 at 11am-12:30pm PT / 2-3:30pm ET
This panel, consisting of MENA/SWANA theatre professors and current and former MENA/SWANA theatre students, will explore the current state of MENA/SWANA in the academy.
Hala Baki, Lecturer, California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly profile)
Mehmet Bakir, current DePaul University Theatre Arts student
Rana Esfandiary, Assistant Professor, The University of Kansas (KU profile)
Reza Mirsajadi, Assistant Professor, DePaul University (DePaul profile)
Izzie Nadha, current Tisch School of the Arts at NYU student (izzienadah.com)
Moderator: Michael Malek Najjar, University of Oregon Theatre Arts Associate Professor (UO profile)
Beyond the Proscenium
Saturday, November 6 at 1:30-3pm PT / 4:30-6pm ET
In this panel, innovative and mold-breaking MENA theatre makers talk about creating work beyond the limits of conventional theatre spaces and approaches, from site-specific and immersive, to multidisciplinary and virtual.
Leila Buck (she/her), writer, actor, facilitator and educator (NPX profile)
Caitlin Nasema Cassidy (she/her), Founding Co-Artistic Director of LubDub Theatre Company (caitlinnasemacassidy.com)
Noelle Ghoussaini (she/her), theatre-maker, ritual artist and cultural organizer (noelleghoussaini.com)
Denmo Ibrahim (she/her), actor, playwright, educator, and entrepreneur (denmoibrahim.com)
Maya Zbib (she/her), theatre director, performer, writer; co-artistic director of Zoukak Theatre Company and Zoukak Studio (Zoukak profile)
Sahar Assaf (she/her), Executive Artistic Director, Golden Thread Productions (GTP profile)
Pia Haddad (she/her), creative producer and founder, 3K² Productions (3k2productions.com)
Saturday, November 6 at 5:30-7:30pm PT / 8:30-10:30pm ET
Meet other MENA theatre makers around the country in this session where you get 5 minutes to share a snippet of a work in progress, talk about a project you are working on, or just introduce yourself to the community!
Spots are first come first served. Sign up for a slot here!
Cross Collaboration with Leaders from Other Theatre Communities
Sunday, November 7 at 9-10:30am PT / 12-1:30pm ET
As we advance the field of theatre and performance to reflect more voices from the global majority how can different communities and organizations collaborate and support each other through coalitions of networks and theatre of color?
Panelist information coming soon.
Sunday, November 7 at 11am-12:30pm PT / 2-3:30pm ET
Get to know other artists and make new connections! Opportunities to meet new collaborators in small groups and through one on one “speed dating.”
Queer and MENA: Visible and Proud In-Between
Sunday, November 7 at 1:30-3pm PT / 4:30-6pm ET
Four queer artist-activists of MENA descent discuss their approaches and processes for living and creating in their full, complex truths in the American theatre.
Adam Ashraf Elsayigh (he/him), playwright, dramaturg, and producer (adamaelsayigh.com)
Samy Nour Younes Figaredo (he/they), actor and activist (samyfigaredo.com)
Megan Sandberg-Zakian (she/her), director and author; co-founder, Maia Directors (megansz.com)
Sharifa Yasmin (she/her), director and playwright (sharifayasmin.com)
Moderator: Evren Odcikin (he/him), Associate Artistic Director and Director of Artistic Programming, Oregon Shakespeare Festival (odcikin.com)
Wrap Up Session
Sunday, November 7 at 5:30-7:30pm PT / 8:30-10:30pm ET
A group discussion and reflection on the convening and how we move forward and support our community.
Facilitator: Denmo Ibrahim (she/her), actor, playwright, educator, and entrepreneur (denmoibrahim.com)
This event is sponsored by The Rutherford Initiative, University of Oregon, Golden Thread Productions, Noor Theatre, and Art2Action, Inc.