Artists Advancing Cultural Change Cohort
Writers Mike Mosallam and Arian Moayed join Artistic Director Lameece Issaq to form our new Artists Advancing Cultural Change cohort, in partnership with Pop Culture Collaborative. As part of this new program, each artist will write a new piece in a medium of their choice, whether film, TV, theatre, or other multi-media platform, to create work that reflects and responds to key ideas and narratives swirling at the center of contemporary American culture through their own specific Middle Eastern lenses. Noor is thrilled to be part of Pop Culture Collaborative’s mission to drive cultural and narrative change in the United States, and to create a pipeline whereby our community’s work is shared with mass audiences. Read this interview with Lameece to learn more about the vision for the cohort!
Meet the Artists
Lameece is an award-winning actor, writer, and producer. Her film Abe, co-written with Jacob Kader, directed by Fernando Grostein Andrade, and starring Stranger Things’ Noah Schnapp, premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Ms. Issaq is the Founding Artistic Director of the NYC-based company Noor Theatre, dedicated to the work of artists of Middle Eastern descent, and for which she received the prestigious Obie award, alongside fellow co-founder Maha Chehlaoui. Her play Food and Fadwa (co-created with Jacob Kader) was a recipient of the Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award and premiered at New York Theatre Workshop. Ms. Issaq’s performance in the title role received overwhelmingly positive reviews, with Variety magazine praising it as “stunning.” The play went on to be translated into Arabic, presented in festivals in Abu Dhabi and Beirut, and published in two play anthologies. Other selected works include Noor and Hadi Go to Hogwarts (Theater Breaking Through Barriers); Nooha’s List, part of the compilation play Motherhood Outloud (Primary Stages); and the upcoming short film, Graveyard. www.lameeceissaq.com.
Arian is the Co-Founder and Board Chair of Waterwell, a civic-minded and socially conscious theater and education company, as well as a Partner at the for-profit Waterwell Films. Most recently with Waterwell, Arian arranged the transcripts of a deportation proceeding called The Courtroom, directed by Waterwell’s Artistic Director Lee Sunday Evans. Other recent Waterwell productions include a dual-language Hamlet (played the title roll) and remounting a forgotten war musical called Blueprint Specials, produced on board of the Intrepid with a cast of veterans. At the Waterwell Drama Program, over 250 students a year learn world-class arts training and advocacy at the Professional Performing Arts School… free of charge. With Waterwell Films, he has written/directed the Emmy-nominated The Accidental Wolf, a streaming short form thriller starring Kelli O’Hara (theaccidentalwolf.com ). Notable acting credits: The Humans (Drama Desk Award), Guards at the Taj (Obie Award), Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (Tony nom), Succession (HBO).
Mike is a producer, director, writer for the theatre, film and television. Through his production company, Mike Mosallam Productions (www.watchmmp.com), he and his team produced short films: "Breaking Fast" (Cannes Film Festival), "Brothers" (Leeds Film Festival), and the upcoming "Ubuntu." He is currently in post-production on his feature film, "Breaking Fast" (based on the short), which is set for completion in late 2019. He is the creator and Co-Executive-Producer of the critically-acclaimed TLC series, "All-American Muslim." With a slate of projects in active development, the MMP team are excited to develop and produce works that tell the stories of marginalized groups. On the theatre side, Mike has produced and directed more than 100 theatrical productions from large-scale musicals, intimate cabaret settings, plays, concerts, and multi-media theatrical events. After eight years in New York / Los Angeles, Mike returned to Michigan in 2009 to head a new initiative, the Wayne County Film Office, and helped attract more than 70 titles to the metro Detroit area. Since January 2012, he has worked in production planning and development for Sunset Studios, Netflix, and IO, where he worked with shows such as “Scandal,” “How to Get Away with Murder," and HBO's "Looking" and "Togetherness."
Fall 2018 Season
November 4 - 11, 2018
DEAD ARE MY PEOPLE
A Play With Music By Ismail Khalidi
Original Compositions By Hadi Eldebek
Lyrics By Ismail Khalidi, Hadi Eldebek & Patrick Lazour
Directed By Leah C. Gardiner
With Adam Bakri, Brandon Gill, Ken Marks, Sevan Greene, Nadine Malouf, & Brian O’Neill
NYTW’s Fourth Street Theatre
83 East 4th Street, NYC
November 4 - 11, 2018
Dead Are My People follows Nicola, a young Syrian man who flees to the U.S. from famine-stricken Mount Lebanon during World War I. Once there, he hopes to track down his uncle Tanios, who emigrated West years before. Finding few traces of his kin, Nicola must ultimately navigate the treacherous terrain of the Jim Crow South. Grappling with the legacies of white supremacy, immigration, and assimilation, Dead Are My People is an unexpected and timely journey to the core of the American experience. Dead Are My People is Noor Theatre’s first full-length play commission.