Silk Road Rising (Founding Artistic Director Jamil Khoury and Founding Executive Director Malik Gillani) and Momentary Theatre (Co-Curators Matthew T. Messina and Jacob C. Shuler) are proud to announce the World Premiere of My Dear Hussein, written by Nahal Navidar, and directed by Tlaloc Rivas. The production will run March 17 to April 19, 2020 at Silk Road Rising located at 77 W. Washington St., Lower Level, Chicago, IL, 60602. The Press Opening is Sunday, March 22 at 4:00pm.
A child, a toy dog, and a ruthless dictator walk into a war zone and fanciful imagination breaks free. This surrealistic tale of a four-year-old Iranian girl unfolds amidst the carnage of the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s. The lines between playful fantasy and brutal warfare are gradually blurred as ugly realities become harder to mask.
The creative team for My Dear Hussein includes Nahal Navidar (Playwright), Tlaloc Rivas (Director), Corey Pond (Associate Producer), Andy Lynn (Production Manager and Scenic Designer), Kristin Mazzocca* (Stage Manager), Samia Malik (Assistant Scenic Designer), Allyson Leisure (Costume Designer), Sam van Loon (Lighting Designer), Wanees Zarour (Composer and Sound Designer), Aidan McBreen (Properties Designer), Jacob C. Shuler (Dramaturg), Kat Pleviak (Puppetry Designer), Marie Tredway (Assistant Director), and Amanda Grissom (Assistant Stage Manager).
The cast includes Shadee Vossoughi as Parvaneh, Rom Barkhordar* as Baba/Saddam Hussein, Ninos Baba as Hussein, and Joan Nahid as Maman/News Reporter. Understudies include Marielle Issa, Josh Razavi, and Emma Sheikh.
* Denotes member of Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers.
About the Playwright
Nahal Navidar (Playwright) is an Iranian-born dramatist raised in upstate New York. Her plays are motivated by the exploration of social issues while employing magical elements to embody the expanse of human emotions. Nahal’s plays have been developed at Momentary Theatre, Boston Court, Silk Road Rising, Ensemble Studio Theatre LA, The Vagrancy Writer’s Group, Rogue Machine Dramaturge’s Table, Coeurage Theatre CoLab Play Development, Pasadena Playhouse, Playwright’s Arena, Troy Foundry Theatre, Voices of the Marianas, The Last Frontier Theatre Conference, Golden Thread Productions, Company of Angels New Play Series, The Kennedy Center, and The University at Albany. Nahal is a member of the Dramatist's Guild of America and holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from the University of Southern California.
About the Director
Tlaloc Rivas (Director) is a self-identified Chicano who is an award-winning writer and theatre director. He is also the co-founder of the Latinx Theatre Commons, which works side by side with HowlRound to revolutionize American theater and to highlight and promote the contributions and presence of Latinx in theatre. Central to Rivas' work is the Latinx experience, but also exploring the American experience through the lens' of underrepresented voices. Rivas focuses on writing and directing plays that significantly explore Latinx identity and history. Additionally, Rivas has also translated and adapted plays from the Spanish language and directed Spanish-language and bilingual plays such as Mariela in the Desert by Karen Zacarias and classical works such as Peribáñez y el Comendador de Ocaña.
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