For Immediate Release
April 13, 2017
Nicole Ashley Reed
News is Fast. Theatre is Slow. Not this Time!
Noor Theatre Takes on the Headlines with 48 Hour Forum
Noor Theatre is New York’s only theatre representing voices of the Middle Eastern diaspora. Noor is often asked to respond to the barrage of news related to the Middle East and beyond. Often, when news breaks, it can take several years before we see something on stage about it. Such is the nature of theatre making,
48 Hour Forum brings together a diverse roster of playwrights, directors and actors to spin current news stories into short plays in just forty-eight hours. Theatre artists of all backgrounds collaborate with artists of Middle Eastern descent to discuss events that directly affect Middle Eastern communities here and abroad.
Many of our fellow minority groups are under threat of attack from the new presidential administration. Coming together to create relevant art is not only critical, but powerful and affecting. Hate crimes are now on the rise, an executive order restricting travel from several Muslim-majority countries has been enacted, and the threat of a Muslim registry looms. The divisive rhetoric that galvanized Trump’s campaign is now being carried into the White House without apology, subsequently giving license to news outlets, commentators, and ordinary citizens to air their anti-immigrant, anti-Arab, anti-Islamic, anti-woman, anti-gay, anti-minority opinions with impunity. Noor Theatre exists to counteract these dangerous narratives by supporting, developing and producing the work of artists of Middle Eastern descent and creating events like 48 Hour Forum.
The event takes place at Downtown Art – 70 East 4th Street, New York, NY 10003 (between 2nd Avenue and Bowery). Performances are Monday, May 15th at 8pm ($30), and reprised on Tuesday, May 16th at 7PM as a benefit performance and reception ($100) for this vibrant and necessary theatre company. Tickets may be purchased from www.noortheatre.org.
Past participants have included playwrights Keith Josef Adkins (Artistic Director of The New Black Fest), Clare Barron (You Got Older, Page 73), Kara Lee Corthron (AliceGraceAnon, Irondale Center), and Mona Mansour (The Way West, Labyrinth, and Whiting Award winner, 2012.) This year’s participants include playwrights Marcus Gardley (Every Tongue Confess, Arena Stage); Mashuq Deen (Draw The Circle, International Human Rights Festival); and Winter Miller (In Darfur, Public Theater); directors Jose Zayas (Strom Thurmond Is Not A Racist, Brick Theater); Kareem Fahmy (This Time, Rising Circle Theater Collective) and actors Sanjit de Silva (Dry Powder, Public Theater) and Marjan Neshat (Quantico).
The creation of this work was made possible in part by funding from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.