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Cast Announced For About Face Theatre's MOSQUE4MOSQUE

Performances run November 17 – December 17, 2022.

Cast Announced For About Face Theatre's MOSQUE4MOSQUE

About Face Theatre has announced casting for the world premiere of Omer Abbas Salem's new play Mosque4Mosque, directed by Sophiyaa Nayar. Mosque4Mosque is a family comedy about a queer Arab-American Muslim man navigating his first real relationship while his relentlessly caring immigrant mother tries to find the perfect man for him to marry. Mosque4Mosque will be presented November 17 - December 17, 2022 at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago. The press opening is Monday, November 21 at 7:30pm.

Ibrahim is an average 30-something queer Arab-American Muslim who is constantly being reminded how unmarried he is by his relentlessly caring immigrant mother, Sara. Having helped raise his smart, popular, cheerleading hijabi younger sister, Ibrahim has always been comfortable sinking into the background. Normal job, quiet life, easy men. But on the precipice of finding what could be his first real relationship, Sara feels compelled to take Ibrahim's future into her own hands by attempting to find the perfect man for him to marry. Mosque4Mosque is a comedy about a normal Muslim American family that asks us to wrestle with what we believe normal to be.

The cast of Mosque4Mosque includes playwright Omer Abbas Salem as Ibrahim, with Rula Gardenier (Sara), Gloria Imseih Petrelli (Lena), Jordan Dell Harris (James/Jesse), and Rom Barkhordar (Karim Phillip Algiers, The Lawyer, @El_Bagzaddy).

Mosque4Mosque was workshopped and performed virtually through the Criminal Queerness Festival and Dixon Place in July 2020, directed by Sharifa Elkady. It was selected to be Steppenwolf Theatre's SCOUT Development play for 2020 and received a 30-hour workshop and a fully produced reading in March of 2021. This world premiere production at About Face Theatre will receive dramaturgical and community engagement support from Silk Road Rising.

Director Sophiyaa Nayar says "Activist and author adrienne maree brown describes visionary fiction as centering marginalized peoples, 'aiming neither for utopia nor dystopia, but that harder, more realistic place in the middle.' Mosque4Mosque does exactly that -- it reimagines what our relationship with religion, queerness, and family could look like. It dismantles stereotypes about Arab, Muslim, and immigrant families, which are often harmfully painted by the media as violent caricatures or side-plot comedic relief."

"I can see myself in Abbas' work. I see my family in it," she continued. "I see Arab friends I've grown up with and their families in it. He paints these characters with such concrete detail and infuses them with so much life that it's hard not to root for them. A friend once talked about how you can smell his plays when you read them, and I think that holds especially true with Mosque4Mosque."

Pay-what-you-can tickets ($5-$35) will go on sale in the coming weeks at The Den Theatre box office or About Face Theatre's website. The performance schedule, November 17 - December 17, 2022, is as follows: Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30pm, Saturdays at 3:00pm and 7:30pm, and Sundays at 3:00pm. Check the calendar for schedule details around the holidays. All performances will take place at The Den Theatre, 1331 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago.


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