Photo Flash: BARRIERS At HERE Arts Center
Rehana Lew Mirza's play BARRIERS is about a South Asian family's loss from the 9/11 attacks and the backlash they endure, featuring a cast that includes Pooja Kumar (Miss India USA 1995, "Flavors") and Sunkrish Bala (ABC-TV's "Notes from the Underbelly") and directed by Colette Robert. BARRIERS is presented by Desipina & Co. in commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the September 11th tragedy and in celebration of the companies tenth season, at HERE Arts Center (145 6th Avenue, enter on Dominick, 1 block south of Spring Street) in Manhattan.
Rehana Lew Mirza's play BARRIERS takes place four months after the 9/11 attacks and focuses on the Chinese/Pakistani Abbas family and the loss of their eldest son Nabhil who had been in the World Trade Center during the attack. When Sunima, the Abbas's only daughter, comes home to announce her pending engagement to a white man - she finds her joyful news lost in a mire of household problems and quickly becomes trapped in the shared family loss that was never dealt with. As this multi-cultural family begins to fragment, they begin to piece together the past each one hides, and the future they all share.
Originally mounted in 2002 at HERE and then subsequently co-produced with the Asian American Theater Company in San Francisco and Los Angeles in 2003, BARRIERS is returning to the stage to look back on the ten-year anniversary of the September 11th tragedy.
Directed by Colette Robert, BARRIERS features a cast that includes: Pooja Kumar, Sunkrish Bala, Joe Petrilla, Eileen Rivera, Jon Norman Schneider and Rajeev Varma. BARRIERS is an Equity approved showcase.
BARRIERS is produced by Ying Le for Desipina & Co. and has a design team that includes Katherine Akiko Day (set and costume design), Colin Whitely (sound design), and Marie Yokoyama (lighting design).
BARRIERS is a part of HEREstay, HERE's curated rental program, which provides artists with subsidized space and equipment, as well as technical and administrative support.
Rehana Lew Mirza's full-length plays include BARRIERS (HERE; Asian American Theater Company, SF); THE GOOD MUSLIM (Theater Row); RADIO DIARIES OF HANK, YANK, & PRANK; PARTICLES OF PAKISTAN (E.S.T. Sloan Commission); if it's sad i don't want to see it (O'Neill semi-Finalist) and LONELY LEELA. She was the 2010 IAAC playwright in residence at The Lark Development Center, a 2008-2010 TCG Future Leader fellow with New Georges, a Leopold Schepp scholar, a 2G Resident Artist, LMCC artist grantee, John Golden Award winner, Princess Grace finalist, and a Sundance Feature Film Lab finalist. She is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Desipina & Co.
Colette Robert's recent directing credits include: PLUCK & TENACITY (Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival Winner), SERIAL.BLACK.FACE (The Culture Project/Women Center Stage), when last we flew (FringeNYC-- winner of Fringe Excellence Awards in Playwriting and Performance, Fringe Encore series, GLAAD Media Award-- Outstanding Off-Off-Broadway Play), and STOCKTON (EST/Youngblood).
Photo Credit: Imaginoor Photography
Pooja Kumar and Sunkrish Bala