Love Blossoms and Cultures Collide in Yasminas Necklace

Love Blossoms and Cultures Collide in Yasminas Necklace
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Love Blossoms and Cultures Collide in Yasminas Necklace

LOVE BLOSSOMS AND CULTURES COLLIDE IN YASMINA’S NECKLACE, ROHINA MALIK’S MODERN AMERICAN LOVE STORY, DIRECTED BY ANN FILMER, OCTOBER 20 – NOVEMBER 19

***IRAQI ART BY AHMAD ABDULRAZZAQ FEATURED ON THE SET—AND DISPLAYED IN THE LOBBY AVAILABLE FOR SALE, IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PRODUCTION***

Chicago-based playwright Rohina Malik and director Ann Filmer reunite for the “downtown debut” of Yasmina’s Necklace at Goodman Theatre, beginning October 20 in the Owen Theatre. Malik’s “unique American love story, hilarious yet deeply moving, profound and beautiful” (OakPark.com) explores two disparate Muslim families coming together as their children embark on a romantic relationship.

The play, which premiered under Filmer’s direction at 16th Street Theater last year, has been further developed for the Goodman production—and the production’s set features six paintings by Ahmad Abdulrazzaq, an Iraqi refugee living in Chicago, who received his diploma at the Institute of Fine Arts of Baghdad.

The Goodman Theatre

The Goodman Theatre (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Additional works by Abdulrazzaq will be displayed in the lobby and available for purchase (while pieces last)—along with selections from Oregon-based photographer Jim Lommasson’s exhibit, “What We Carried: Fragments from the Cradle of Civilization” about Iraqi and Syrian refugees who have fled to the U.S. Yasmina’s Necklace appears October 20 – November 19 in the Goodman’s 350-seat flexible Owen Theatre. Tickets ($10-$40, subject to change) are available by phone at 312.443.4800, online at GoodmanTheatre.org/Necklace or at the box office (170 N. Dearborn). See page two for more information regarding events and accessibility. Rehearsal Photos are available here in the Press Room.

“I first encountered Rohina’s work with her one-woman show, Unveiled, in which she portrayed five Muslim women discussing their choice to cover their heads—and the resulting discrimination they encountered, especially after 9/11. The play demonstrated Rohina’s remarkable ability to challenge stereotypes surrounding the Muslim community with grace and humor,” said Artistic Director Robert Falls.

“Likewise, Yasmina’s Necklace shows us individuals wrestling with their life circumstances—as we all do, regardless of our cultural backgrounds—while providing a glimpse into a cultural milieu that may be unfamiliar to many. I am delighted to welcome back Rohina and director Ann Filmer—two artists we are proud to have previously worked with as a Playwrights Unit member and Michael Maggio Directing Fellow, respectively—to share their wonderful production with Goodman audiences.”

As previously announced, Susaan Jamshidi leads the nine-member cast as Yasmina—a young Iraqi artist who has hardened herself against the possibility of finding happiness after fleeing to Chicago from her war-torn homeland. But when she meets Sam (Michael Perez ), a man with his own emotional setbacks, what had seemed unthinkable becomes tantalizingly real. Joining Jamshidi and Perez are Salar Ardebili (Man), Rom Barkhordar (Musa), Laura Crotte (Sara), Allen Gilmore (Imam Kareem), Martin Hanna (Amir), Amro Salama (Ali) and Frank Sawa (Officer)—Ardebili, Crotte, Jamshidi, Perez and Salama return to the production from the world premiere at 16th Street Theater. The creative team includes Joe Schermoly (Set) Rachel M. Sypniewski (Costumes), Cat Wilson (Lights) and Barry Bennett (Sound). Winston & Strawn is the Contributing Sponsor for Yasmina’s Necklace.

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“I’m concerned about the portrayal of Muslims in the media. Often with television shows and films, roles that are written about Muslims are often written by people who are not Muslim, and they fall into problematic stereotypes. Rarely do we see Muslims as ‘normal’ human beings, and that’s so dangerous,” said Playwright Rohina Malik, whose production, The Mecca Tales, will make its New York debut later this month at the Sheen Center. “I wrote Yasmina’s Necklace to not only challenge negative stereotypes, but to be the hammer to smash them. I’m thrilled to return to the Goodman and reunite with my longtime collaborator and friend, Ann, to share this timely play.”

TICKETS, DISCOUNTS AND SPECIAL EVENTS

Tickets ($10-$40) – GoodmanTheatre.org/Necklace; 312.443.3800; Fax: 312.443.3825; TTY/TDD: 312.443.3829
Box Office Hours –12noon – 5pm; on performance days, the box office remains open until 30 minutes past curtain
MezzTix – Half-price day-of-performance mezzanine tickets available at 10am online (promo code MEZZTIX)
$10Tix – Student $10 advance tickets; limit four, with valid student ID (promo code 10TIX)
Group Sales are available for parties 10+; 312.443.3820
Gift Certificates – Available in any amount; GoodmanTheatre.org/GiftCertificates

This season, the Goodman introduces a new way to experience Chicago’s world-class theater: MEMBERSHIP. Audiences choose from three levels to suit their preferences, including Classic 7-play, 5-play or 3-play packages; Choice, a personalized package that can include both Owen and Albert productions; and Whenever—the ultimate flexible package, to be used at any time during the season (not valid for A Christmas Carol). All Goodman members receive unlimited ticket exchanges, discounted parking, 15% savings at the Goodman bar and gift shop, restaurant discounts and more. To purchase a Membership visit GoodmanTheatre.org/Memberships or call the Box Office at 312.443.3800.

COLLEGE NIGHT – October 26 | 6pm meet-the-artists pizza party, 7:30pm performance
Tickets are $10 using code COLLEGE; includes dinner and performance. Students enjoy a pre-show reception with fellow theater-lovers and cast members, followed by a performance. GoodmanTheatre.org/CollegeNight

ARTIST ENCOUNTER – October 29 at 5pm | Goodman Theatre
Tickets are $10 for general public; free for Goodman Members, Donors and students. Join the playwright and director for an in-depth conversation about the play, moderated by Chicago Sun-Times Urban Affairs Reporter and Assistant City Editor Maudlyne Ihejirika.

ACCESSIBILITY AT THE GOODMAN

Touch Tour, November 12 at 12:30pm – A presentation detailing the set, costume and character elements
Audio Described Performance, November 12 at 2pm – The action/text is audibly enhanced for patrons via headset
ASL Interpreted Performance, November 18 at 2pm– Professional ASL interpreter signs the action/text as played
Open Captioned Performance, November 19 at 2pm – An LED sign presents dialogue in sync with the performance
Visit Goodman Theatre.org/Access for more information about Goodman Theatre’s accessibility efforts.

About Goodman Theatre

America’s “Best Regional Theatre” (Time magazine) and “Chicago’s flagship resident stage” ( Chicago Tribune), Goodman Theatre is a not-for-profit organization distinguished by the quality and scope of its artistic programming and civic engagement. Founded in 1925, the Goodman is led by Robert Falls—“Chicago’s most essential director” (Chicago Tribune), who marks 30 years as Artistic Director this season—and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, who is celebrated for his vision and leadership over nearly four decades. Dedicated to new plays, reimagined classics and large-scale musical theater works, Goodman Theatre artists and productions have earned hundreds of awards for artistic excellence, including: two Pulitzer Prizes, 22 Tony Awards, nearly 160 Jeff Awards and more. Over the past three decades, audiences have experienced more than 150 world or American premieres, 30 major musical productions, as well as nationally and internationally celebrated productions of classic works (including Falls’ productions of Death of a Salesman, Long Day’s Journey into Night, King Lear and The Iceman Cometh, many in collaboration with actor Brian Dennehy). In addition, the Goodman is the first theater in the world to produce all 10 plays in August Wilson’s “American Century Cycle.” For nearly four decades, the annual holiday tradition of A Christmas Carol has created a new generation of theatergoers.

The 2016 opening of the Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement (“the Alice”) launched the next phase in the Goodman’s decades-long commitment as an arts and community organization dedicated to educating Chicago youth and promoting lifelong learning. Programs are offered year-round and free of charge. Eighty-five percent of the Goodman’s youth program participants come from underserved communities.

Goodman Theatre was founded by William O. Goodman and his family in honor of their son Kenneth, an important figure in Chicago’s cultural renaissance in the early 1900s. The Goodman family’s legacy lives on through the continued work and dedication of Kenneth’s family, including Albert Ivar Goodman, who with his late mother, Edith-Marie Appleton, contributed the necessary funds for the creation of the new Goodman center in 2000.

Today, Goodman Theatre leadership includes the distinguished members of the Artistic Collective: Brian Dennehy, Rebecca Gilman, Henry Godinez, Dael Orlandersmith, Steve Scott, Chuck Smith, Regina Taylor, Henry Wishcamper and Mary Zimmerman. Joan E. Clifford is Chair of Goodman Theatre’s Board of Trustees, Cynthia K. Scholl is Women’s Board President and Justin A. Kulovsek is President of the Scenemakers Board for young professionals.

Visit the Goodman virtually at GoodmanTheatre.org—including OnStage+ for insider information—and on Twitter (@GoodmanTheatre), Facebook and Instagram.

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rayhanania

rayhanania

Managing Writer at The Arab Daily News
RAY HANANIA — Columnist

Ray Hanania is an award winning political columnist and author. He covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and for TheArabDailyNews.com, and TheDailyHookah.com.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.

His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania

Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com

Visit this link to read Ray's column archive at the ArabNews,com www.arabnews.com/taxonomy/term/10906
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