The 2016 Middle East America Convening at The Lark
In partnership with our Middle East America (MEA) partners, San Francisco's Golden Thread Productions (celebrating its 20th Anniversary!) and Chicago's Silk Road Rising, The Lark is excited to host The 2016 Middle East America Convening! Our plans for the convening, a follow-up to the meeting we had in 2012, will take place over a day and a half and include “reports from the field” on strides that members of the Middle Eastern American theater community have made over the last few years; conversations about ongoing and potential collaborations amongst MEA artists, and with our colleagues in the Middle East; and a celebration of the writers who received the MEA Playwright Fellowship:
Mona Mansour, Yussef El Guindi & Adriana Sevahn Nichols. Throughout the convening, we also plan to present readings of excerpts from the work of 2014 Fellowship awardee, Mona Mansour as well as those who received Honorable Mention in the 2014 MEA Fellowship process: Bianca Bagatourian, Ismail Khalidi, Daria Polatin, Misha Shulman, & Zohar Tirosh-Polk.
Topics members of the community have expressed an interest in covering during small group “breakout” sessions are:
- What does it mean to be Middle Eastern American — how can the term be defined and to whom does it refer?
- The casting of Middle Eastern roles, and of Middle Eastern actors in US theater, film and television.
- Issues faced by directors and actors in the MEA community.
- Is there economic censorship of “radical” Arab-American voices in the US theater? How can we address this?
- What is our connection to our respective homelands/cultures of origin?
- Preaching to the converted: how do we make our voices heard in the wider community?
- The expectations of Middle Eastern-American theater to be political/focused on the conflicts/headlines.
- How can we better encourage producers and artistic directors to give more opportunities to MEA playwrights
Playwright and Convening Attendee Sevan K. Greene and Convening Panelist Kareem Fahmy speak with CultureBot's Jerry Lieblich about the very specific challenges facing Middle Eastern theater artists in America and how the industry responds to Middle Eastern work: READ THE INTERVIEW!
If you have any questions or are interested in attending, please contact Middle East/United States Playwright Exchange Director Catherine Coray at