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HIGHLIGHT Play Series, MYTH IN MOTION & More Set for Noor Theatre's 2013-14 Season

Noor Theatre opens the 2013-2014 Season with the return of the fall play-reading series, Highlight, followed by a co-production with the Rutgers/New Jersey Institute of Technology Theatre program in December, and the next phase of The Myth Project in the Spring.


Highlight sheds light on the talents of emerging theatre artists of Middle-Eastern descent and will begin its fourth season with Ismail Khalidi'sSabra Falling, directed by Noelle Ghoussaini (A Skate Play, The Myth Project).

Sabra Falling, September 23

Khalidi's (Tennis in Nablus, Truth Serum Blues) darkly witty and powerful play explores the dangerous theatre of life and war. It is August 1982, and Beirut is under siege. In the Sabra refugee camp, the specter of a massacre looms as the Akawi family receives an unexpected visitor that brings the past rushing back and alters the course of events to come. Casting to be announced.

The Shadow Spirit, October 7

Noor first presented selections from The Shadow Spirit, directed Lisa Peterson (Slavs, An Iliad) last spring with the Martin E. Segal Center. In a fresh and recently published translation by Dr. Safi Mahfouz and Dr. Marvin Carlson, The Ibn Daniyal Trilogy of saucy puppet plays offers a glimpse into Daniyal's Cairo underworld of pimps, prostitutes and dirty dealing. Don't miss this rare opportunity to hear one of Egypt's earliest secular plays, written by a contemporary of Chaucer and telling tales you never imagined.

The House of Strength, November 18

Highlight concludes with The House of Strength by writer/performer Rahaleh Nassri, directed by Sarna Lapine (South Pacific National Tour).Inspired by the 1953 Iranian democratic movement raging around her, a 15-year-old girl disrupts the sanctity of the Zoorkhaneh ("house of strength"), where her father practices an ancient Iranian martial art. A lifetime later, in the midst of the 2009 uprisings, tensions mount between present-day Zoorkhaneh artists and an Iranian-American filmmaker, who comes to make a documentary on the dying martial art her father practiced as a young man.

All Highlight readings begin at 7:30pm in the 3rd-Floor Rehearsal Studio at New York Theatre Workshop. Following each reading, Noor invites audience members and artists to enjoy refreshments provided by official Highlight sponsors, Lagunitas Beer and Butter Lane Cupcakes.

Past Highlight writers have included Sevan Kaloustian Greene, Yussef El Guindi, Mona Mansour, Betty Shamieh, Denmo Ibrahim and Amir Nizar-Zuabi, with professional directors such as May Adrales and Pippin Parker and starring actors Kathleen Chalfant, David Wilson Barnes, Piter Marek, Sona Tatoyan, Leila Buck and Amir Arison.


In December, Noor Theatre will partner with the Rutgers/New Jersey Institute of Technology Theatre Program to present Myth in Motion, directed by Pirronne Yousefzadeh (The Food Play, A Disappearance in Two Parts). Ms. Yousefzadeh will teach a course in devised theatre and build a new play with the students around the myths of The Arabian Nights. The course will culminate in a co-production between Noor Theatre and Rutgers/NJIT running from December 4-6, 2013 at the Bradley Hall Theatre, 3rd floor, 110 Warren St., Rutgers-Newark campus.

In the Spring, Noor tackles the next phase of The Myth Project with directors Kareem Fahmy, Noelle Ghoussaini and Pirronne Yousefzadeh. Whether excavating sections from the epic Persian poetry, giving attention to forgotten Phoenician gods or exploring the origins ofdjinn, these original pieces aim to shed light on contemporary society, while contextualizing ancient methods, beliefs and stories. Full-length versions will be presented in repertory at New York Theatre Workshop's 4th Street Theatre. Dates and casting information to be announced.

Noor Theatre is dedicated to supporting, developing and producing the work of theatre artists of Middle-Eastern descent. Created in 2010 byLameece Issaq, Maha Chehlaoui and Nancy Vitale, Noor Theatre is a Company-in-Residence at New York Theatre Workshop.

For more information about Noor Theatre, visit

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