2011

Mosque Alert: Live and Online New Play Development and Civic Engagement by R. Sheth

2011 - Present

Inspired by the 2010 “ground zero mosque” controversy in New York City, playwright and Silk Road Rising co-founder, Jamil Khoury, set out to investigate resistance to the building of mosques in communities across the U.S., and the intersections of Islamophobia, zoning, and public policy. Khoury developed a nine-step process that includes digital and live theatre components, and invites virtual and live audiences to weigh in on artistic decision-making and matters of civic importance. This first-of-its-kind initiative crowd sources its creative processes and encourages open, unfiltered public dialogue.

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It’s a little crazy to change a brand name you’ve only recently managed to establish. by R. Sheth

It’s a little crazy to change a brand name you’ve only recently managed to establish. So when Jamil Khoury told me (during his interview for the Reader’s People Issue), that Silk Road Theatre Project, founded in 2002 by himself and his partner, Malik Gillani, underwent a name change three months ago, I was surprised.

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Threads of Silk 2011: A Gala to Benefit Silk Road Theatre Project by R. Sheth

November 5, 2011

An exquisite dining experience featuring cuisine inspired by cultures along the Silk Road.  Guests can also enjoy luscious Silk Road Cocktails created exclusively for Threads of Silk by North Shore Distillery, the first boutique distillery in Illinois.
And while you dine, enjoy the fun and ever-so-lovely music of the Silk Road Cabaret Singers in a performance emceed by WTTW’s Cheryl Hamada.

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A Dress of Steel Mesh by R. Sheth

September 30–October 2, 2011

Written by Kemba Saran
Directed by Amanda Respess
Design Consultation and Photography by Vinod Menon

When Kemba was eighteen years old she met a charming man who claimed that, despite her hesitation, their fates were sealed—she was destined to be his wife. So begins the play, A Dress of Steel Mesh, which tells the story of a young woman who comes of age in a marriage marred by domestic violence. Compelled to turn inward for comfort, she finds solace by documenting her journey of survival. For nearly twenty years she navigates a terrifying labyrinth of oppression, gradually finding her way to a place of healing and wonderment. Relayed by a chorus of three female voices, A Dress of Steel Mesh offers hope and inspiration to those who, in losing their way, are forced to reclaim it. 

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Mosque Alert: "The Spark" by R. Sheth

WATCH: Playwright Jamil Khoury begins step one in a ten step new play development process and civic engagement tool that's designed to assist him in writing his new play "Mosque Alert." This video blog, The Spark, introduces the ideas and inspirations to "Mosque Alert."

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Calligraphy by R. Sheth

August 25–28, 2011

Written by Velina Hasu Houston
Directed by Lisa Portes

With the humor that survival demands, two cousins—one in Los Angeles and one in Tokyo—struggle to navigate change as they confront their mothers’ aging and the impact it has on their lives.

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‘Version 3.0′ Gives Platform to Asian American Playwrights by R. Sheth

About five years ago, Chay Yew, a playwright and the artistic director of the Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago, was approached by schools for copies of Asian American plays that could be taught and performed. Except Yew couldn’t find a recent compilation of Asian American plays. So when Theatre Communications Group (TCG) approached him about editing a new anthology, he agreed, and the result is “Version 3.0,” released by TCG yesterday.

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The Sultan's Dilemma by R. Sheth

July 12, 2011

Written by Tawfiq al-Hakim
Directed by Adam Webster

The Sultan’s Dilemma explores the tale of a Mamluk sultan at the height of his power who is suddenly faced with a problem: he has never been manumitted and thus is ineligible to be ruler.

Performed as part of the 2011 International Voices Project

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Yellow Face by R. Sheth

Windy City Times
By Jonathan Abarbanel
June 29, 2011

In Yellow Face, playwright David Henry Hwang exhibits his characteristic flare for structural and emotional mechanics. He incorporates a play-within-a-play, has actors taking multiple roles and mixes real and fictional characters caught up in both real and fictional events.

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both/and by R. Sheth

Written by Jamil Khoury
Directed by J. Paul Preseault
June 26, 2011

"both/and" breaks the shackles of "either/or" in this semi-autobiographical short video play by Jamil Khoury. In "both/and," the characters of Jamil, Arab Man, and Gay Man explore and explode the constructed borders between American and Arab, Arab American and gay, for profit and not for profit, and assorted other disputed territories.

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Yellow Face by R. Sheth

Chicago Reader
By Tony Adler
June 22, 2011

Hwang shows up as a character (played by David Rhee), and a big part of what makes the ambivalence fascinating is his willingness to apply it to himself. Sometimes portrayed sympathetically, Hwang is just as often exposed as a damned fool. Steve Scott's production is smart and strong...

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