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Middle East / United States Playwright Exchange

COVID-19 Update: Due to restrictions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, this program will be on hiatus until further notice.

The Program

The Middle East/United States Playwright Exchange is an ongoing reciprocal opportunity for playwrights from the Middle East-North Africa-Gulf region to interface with US playwrights—particularly those of Middle Eastern origin. The aim of the program is to introduce their work to the larger Lark community, our theatrical partners, and New York audiences—and for US playwrights to travel to the region and introduce their work to audiences in the Middle East.

A roundtable reading of MRS. GHADA'S PAIN THRESHOLDThe team at work during rehearsals of Amahl Khouri's SHE, HE, MEDirector Daniella Topol, Translator Hassan Abdulrazzak, and the actors of MRS. GHADA'S PAIN THRESHOLDOur MEA partners: Jamil Khoury of Silk Road Rising and Torange Yeghizarian of Golden Thread ProductionsLameece Issaq of Noor Theatre speaks at The 2016 MEA ConveningThe MEA Fellows conduct a panel conversation about their experiencesThe actors of MRS. GHADA'S PAIN THRESHOLD rehearsing in the conference roomInfo

The Impact

The US theater landscape is rich with writers of Middle Eastern origin, the children and grandchildren of immigrants from Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Iran, and Iraq, among many countries. They write about what they come from, their current lives, and where they are going—and their stories have meaning for their colleagues and counterparts in the Arab world. The Arabic-language writers we encounter are telling their own unique tales, illuminating diverse cultures often misunderstood in the western world. Along with partners such as Golden Thread Productions in San Francisco, Silk Road Rising in Chicago, Theatre Without Borders, the Martin E. Segal Theater Center, and the Sundance Institute Theater Program, The Lark's Middle East/US Playwright Exchange celebrates the diversity of voices coming from both the Middle East-North Africa-Gulf region and the US Middle Eastern diaspora.

The Selection Process

Playwrights and translators are selected by a small team made up of Lark staff, advisors, and international partners, led by program director Catherine Coray.

You may also be interested in the Middle East America Initiative.

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