Noor Theatre is an Obie-winning company dedicated to supporting, developing and producing the work of theatre artists of Middle Eastern descent.
Our programming supports work at different stages of development, whether early drafts of new plays or world premiere productions. Through our Highlight Reading Series, Co-presentation Partnerships with universities and other organizations, and Premiere Productions, we aim to create exceptional work that transcends cultural boundaries and speaks to all people. Noor Theatre is a Company-In-Residence at New York Theatre Workshop.
“We’re Trying To Change The Dialogue, Change The Conversation From What Is In The Media...Theater Can Start To Shift Those Perceptions.” -Interpreting The New Dialogue, The Wall Street Journal
Highlight is a fall reading series designed to showcase the work of playwrights of Middle Eastern descent. Now in it’s 7th season, Highlight has featured the work of such award-winning playwrights as Mona Mansour, Yussef El Guindi and Heather Raffo. Several plays included in this popular series have gone on to have productions at the Humana Festival, Portland Center Stage, and Here.
Since our founding in 2010, we have produced the world premieres of over ten original plays: Food and Fadwa by Lameece Issaq & Jacob Kader; Myth In Motion with the students of the NJIT/Rutgers Theater program; three original plays in The Myth Project and ten original short plays in 48 Hour Forum. Our inaugural production, Food and Fadwa, was co-produced with New York Theatre Workshop in May 2012.
Noor is proud to partner with prestigious universities and institutions to co-present exciting, unknown work to a wider audience. Whether with the Martin E. Segal Center Theatre or the New York Center for Architecture, these special events always pack the house, and create a bridge between Noor and the larger community.
FOUNDING ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Lameece Issaq has over fifteen years of experience working in the professional theater as an actor, writer and producer. Not only has she been involved in the Arab-American artist community, but also the New York theater scene, having worked at such esteemed institutions as the Public Theater and New York Theater Workshop and with many of New York’s finest theater artists, including Tony-Award winning directors Sam Gold and Daniel Sullivan and playwrights Naomi Wallace and David Hare. Lameece brings Noor together with well-known institutions and artists, and her own aesthetic has been shaped by her work with some of theater’s most respected luminaries.
ASSOCIATE MANAGING DIRECTOR
Megan Patterson is a New York-based arts administrator. She has worked as a company manager for the Cape Playhouse before joining Brierpatch Productions on shows such as The Brightness of Heaven and Actor's Studio Drama School. From there, she worked as a finance associate at 59E59 Theaters before becoming the assistant production coordinator at the Metropolitan Opera. She is ecstatic to join the Noor team as the Associate Managing Director, and she cannot wait to help the company grow during this exciting time!
Kate Moore Heaney
ASSOCIATE ARTISTIC PRODUCER
Kate Moore Heaney is a director, playwright, and producer committed to promoting empathy and investigating social, political, and human rights issues through theatre. In addition to serving as Associate Artistic Producer with Noor, Kate has directed and developed new work at The Flea (where she is a Resident Director), Fundamental Theatre Project, The Director’s Gathering JAM, Midtown International Theatre Festival, The Secret Theatre, The 24 Hour Plays: Nationals, TinyRhino, Rising Sun Performance Company, Playwrights at the Grand, and YES NOISE (on the High Line). Kate has worked, trained, and assistant directed at McCarter Theatre, The Shakespeare Society, Second Stage, Clubbed Thumb, CRY HAVOC, Yale Institute for Music Theatre, and the Théâtre du Châtelet. She has assisted directors such as Emily Mann, Mark Brokaw, Portia Krieger, Adam Immerwahr, and Michael Unger. BA: Yale University. katemooreheaney.com
Founders & Former Staff
Former Executive Director & Advisory Board Member
Maha served as Noor Theatre’s first Executive director from its founding in 2009 until the end of the 2016 season. Maha was instrumental in building the foundation of Noor Theatre. Together with Lameece Issaq and Nancy Vitale, Maha secured Noor’s nonprofit status, helped grow the donor and audience base, and established Noor as an acclaimed American theater. She was also a key collaborator in seven seasons of programming from Food and Fadwa to Highlight to helping to establish 48 Hour Forum.
Maha came to Noor with a decade ofexperience producing, directing and performing in New York's Middle Eastern community. Considered by many a founder of and driving force behind the creation of today's cohesive Arab-American performing arts community, she is a skilled leader and communicator that has led many projects to successful completion, including Nibras' Sajjil: Record, the hit play Live! With Pascale and Chantal, several New York Arab-American Comedy Festival events, and more.
Former Producing Artistic Director
Nancy Vitale is a co-founder of Noor Theatre and was the Producing Artistic Director from 2010-2014. Nancy worked in script development for more than a decade and during her tenure at Noor, she instituted the Highlight Reading Series, and produced events such as The Center For Architecture's Building ANew, The Myth Project and Noor's inaugural production of Food and Fadwa, also serving as dramaturg. You can keep up with her current projects at nancyvitale.com.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President: Nilou Safinya, Entertainment Producer
Vice President: Lena Rizkallah, JD, Vice President, JP Morgan Asset Management
Secretary: Omar Idliby, Assistant Vice President and Program Manager at OppenheimerFunds
Treasurer: Maha Chehlaoui
Mason Granger, Director of Grants, Hearst Foundation
Tariq Hassan, President of DAS, a division Omnicom Group and East and Africa.
Mike Mosallam, Executive Producer, All-American Muslim; Dir. of Business Development, Gower
ARTISTIC ADVISORY BOARD
Beth Blickers, Literary Agent, APA
Kathleen Chalfant, Actor (Angels in America, Wit)
Cherien Dabis, Filmmaker (Amreeka)
Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director, The Public Theater
Kathryn Grody, Playwright and Performer
Mara Isaacs, Founding Producer at Octopus Theatricals
Arian Moayed, Actor (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo), Artistic Director of Waterwell
Scott Morfee, Producer at The Barrow Street Theater
Dean Obeidallah, Comedian and Producer (Amman Comedy Festival, Axis of Evil, NYAACF)
Susan Peters, Executive Director, Arab Bankers Association of North America
Lisa Peterson, Director and Playwright (An Iliad)
Jose Rivera, Playwright and Screenwriter (Motorcycle Diaries, Marisol, Cloud Tectonics)
Tony Shalhoub, Actor (Monk, Golden Boy)
Naomi Wallace, Playwright (One Flea Spare, The Fever Chart)