Announcing this year's 48 Hour Forum!

This year's festival will take place from May 21-23 at The Lark. We're excited to welcome playwrights Amina Henry (Ducklings, The Animals), Sevan K. Greene (This Time), Michele Lowe (Sundance Institute Theatre Lab Artist-in-Residence), and Melisa Tien (Yellow Card Red Card), and directors Ralph Peña (Artistic Director of Ma-Yi Theater Company) and Ed Sylvanus Iskandar (The Mysteries, These Seven Sicknesses). 

What is 48 Hour Forum?

Noor's annual forty-eight hour play festival where a diverse roster of artists are invited to spin our most talked about Middle Eastern-themed news events into humorous, incisive "theatrical op-eds." Taking place each May, five playwrights, five directors, and a company of actors gather over 48 hours in a race to create theater as fast as a news cycle. An audience favorite!

"All the plays addressed thorny issues of violence and despair with surprising degrees of lightness and humor—a reminder that theatre about even the darkest topic doesn’t have to be heavy-spirited or preachy." - American Theatre Magazine


"Bold, fearless, and provocative, these five plays are nothing short of remarkable, and prove that theatre can indeed be timely, relevant, urgent, and uncompromisingly critical."  - Muftah Magazine


48 Hour Forum: The Process

Over two days, playwrights, directors and actors from diverse backgrounds assemble to create a short play inspired by a news event. Check out a bit of their process.

Babel, by Leila Buck

Pediatrician, by Laith Nakli

Sleepover, by Kara Lee Corthron

Politics in Bed, by David Zellnik

Spring 2017

3rd Annual

48 Hour Forum

May 15 - 16, 2017

Playwrights Ghazi Albuwili, Mashuq Mushtaq Deen, Marcus Gardley, Edessa Tailo & Winter Miller; Directors Kareem Fahmey, Raelle Myrick Hodges, Johanna McKeon, Mei Ann Teo & Jose Zayas; Actors Ali Andre Ali, Erin Anderson, Hend Ayoub, Rajesh Bose, Nathaniel Claridad, Darian Dauchan, Clea DeCrane, Lynette Freeman, Sarah Nina Hayon, Lanna Joffrey, KeiLyn Jones, Michele Rafic, Eileen Rivera, Norman Schneider, Kirya Traber & Sturgis Warner

Lighting Design Joe Thompson
Sound Design Emily Auciello
Production Manager Thomas Dooley
Production Stage Manager Lyndsey Turtletaub
Assistant Stage Manager Alyssa Howard


By Edessa Tailo
Directed by Kareem Fahmy

With Ali Andre Ali, Rajesh Bose & Lynette Freeman
Headline: "Cellphones in Hand, Saudi Women Challenge Notions of Male Control" New York Times, April 21, 2017


By Ghazi Albuwili
Directed by Raelle Myrick Hodges

With Clea DeCrane & Darian Dauchan
Headline: "Chemical Attack Kills 22 Members of Single Family in Syria" AP, April 5, 2015

When hunger is the best sauce

By Marcus Gardley
Directed by Jose Zayas

With Sarah Nina Hayon, KeiLyn Jones, Jon Norman Schneider & Kirya Traber
Headline: "Palestinian Prisoners Launch Mass Hunger Strike" Al Jazeera, April 17, 2015

Les Justins Trudeaus

By Winter Miller
Directed by Mei Ann Teo

With Erin Anderson, Hend Ayoub, Michele Rafic & Sturgis Warner
Headline: "The Six Syrian Refugee Families Who Named Their Babies After Justin Trudeau" Huffington Post, May 11, 2017

Of RUin: A song for younus

By Mashuq Mushtaq Deen
Directed by Johanna McKeon

With Nathaniel Claridad, Lanna Joffrey & Eileen Rivera
Headline: "Violinist of Mosul Returns to Play Amid Ruins of His City" The Telegraph, April 20, 2017

Spring 2016

2nd Annual

48 Hour Forum

May 16 - 17, 2016

Playwrights Clare Barron, Leila Buck, Kara Lee Corthron, Laith Nakli & David Zellnik; Directors   Carlos Armesto, Nelson Eusebio, Sanaz Ghajarrajimi, Orly Noa Rabinyan, Pirronne Yousefzadeh; Actors Francis Benhamou, Drae Campbell, Aysan Celik, Erin Cherry, Mike Crane, Amr El-Bayoumi, RJ Foster, Nino Marzuqa, Eric T. Miller, Bobby Moreno, Sade Namei, Lynne Marie Rosenberg, Imran Sheihk, David Shih, Haddi Tabbal & Eden Zane

Lighting Design Joe Thompson
Sound Design Emily Auciello
Associate Producer Kate Moore Heaney
Production Manager Thomas Dooley
Production Stage Manager Brenden Cullen
Assistant Stage Manager Alyssa Howard


By Kara Lee Corthron
Directed By Sanaz Ghajarrajimi

With Sade Namei, Haddi Tabbal, David Shih and Eric T. Miller
Headline: "Chechen Girls Troll ISIS with Fake Bride Scam" The Daily Beast, July 29, 2015

Politics in bed

By David Zellnik
Directed By Pirronne Yousefzadeh

With Francis Benhamou, Nino Marzuqa and Mike Crane
Headline: "Israel Releases 12-Year-Old Palestinian Girl From Jail" Al Jazeera, April 24, 2016


By Leila Buck
Directed By Orly Noa Rabinyan

With Erin Cherry, Bobby Moreno and Lynne Marie Rosenberg
Headline: "College Student is Removed From Flight After Speaking Arabic on Plane" New York Times, April 17, 2016


By Laith Nakli
Directed By Carlos Armesto

With RJ Foster, Eden Zane and Imran Sheihk
Headline: "Airstrike on Aleppo Hospital Kills Last Pediatrician in Syria's Largest City" Los Angeles Times, April 28, 2016

Trump Dreams

By Clare Barron
Directed ByNelson Eusebio

With Aysan Celik, Drae Campbell and Amr El-Bayoumi
Headline: "Would Donald Trump Let the Muslim Mayor of London Visit the United States?" The Nation, May 6, 2016

Spring 2015

1st Annual

48 Hour Forum

May 15, 2015

Playwrights Keith Josef Adkins, Ismail Khalidi, Mona Mansour, John Walch & Pia Wilson; Directors Peter Ganim, Shana Gold, Noelle Ghoussaini, Victor Malana Maog & Erin Mee; Actors Michael Braun, LaCrisha Brown, Leila Buck, Caitlin Cassidy, Demosthenes Chrysan, Gamze Ceylan, Bridgit Antoinette Evans, Ramsey Faragallah, Aaaron Costa Ganis, Connie Hall, Russell G. Jones, Nadine Malouf, Lori Parquet, Jesse Perez, Christina Pumariega & Steven Rattazzi

Lighting Design Joe Thompson
Production Manager Thomas Dooley
Production Stage Manager Lindsey Turtletaub
Assistant Stage Manager Alyssa Howard

Spring 2015


By Keith Josef Adkins
Directed By Noelle Ghoussaini

With LaChrisha Brown, Leila Buck, and Lori Parque
Headline: "UN Calls on Western Nations to Shelter Syrian Refugees" New York Times, April 15, 2015


By John Walch
Directed By Peter Ganim

With Ramsey Faragallah, Connie Hall, and Russell G. Jones
Headline: "Her Majesty's Jihadists: More British Muslims have Joined Islamic Militant Groups than Serve in the Country's Armed Forces" New York Times Magazine, April 14, 2015


By Ismail Khalidi
Directed By Victor Malana Maog

With Caitlin Cassidy, Gamze Ceylan, and Demosthenes Chrysan
Headline: "On Nabka Day, Pope Francis Gives Palestinians Symbolic Victory" Newsweek, May 15, 2015


By Pia Wilson
Directed By Shana Gold

With Nadine Malouf, Jesse Perez, and Steven Rattazzi
Headline: "Egypt Honors Mother Who Dressed As A Man For 43 Years to Provide for Family" Al Arabiya, March 15, 2015


By Mona Mansour
Directed By Erin Mee

With Michael Braun, Bridgit Antoinette Evans, Aaron Costa Ganis, and Christina Pumariega. Voice over by Ryah Aqel.
Headline: "One Nation Under Allah: Fury After School Recites Pledge in Arabic" Fox News, March 20, 2015