Fawzia Mirza's ME, MY MOM & SHARMILA Comes to Steppenwolf This Month

Fawzia Mirza's ME, MY MOM & SHARMILA Comes to Steppenwolf This MonthChicago writer and actress Fawzia Mirza takes the stage in her one-woman comedy ME, MY MOM & SHARMILA, directed by Meghan Beals, presented as part of Steppenwolf Theatre's LookOut Series.

The story of Mirza and her relationship with her mother, told through their shared love for Bollywood heroine Sharmila Tagore, will play September 23 & 24, 2016 at Steppenwolf's 1700 Theatre, 1700 N. Halsted St. in Chicago. Tickets are available at www.steppenwolf.org or by calling (312) 335-1650.

A hilarious coming-of-age story told by a first generation American woman of color. At some point, we all realize we are not exactly the person our parents expected us to become. How do we find our own voice and embrace our personal identity in the face of societal and familial pressures? Told with humor and deep insight, dynamic writer-performer Fawzia Mirza shares a journey of self-discovery and strength that carries her all the way from childhood as a Pakistani Muslim in small-town Canada to living out as an actress in the heart of Chicago. Told through the lens of two women's shared love for glamorous Bollywood film star, Sharmila Tagore, using personal anecdotes, pop culture and even some South Asian history lessons, this is a profound and exciting new show about family, love, romance and finding yourself.

ME, MY MOM & SHARMILA is part of Steppenwolf's LookOut Series - a new new multi-genre performance series, presenting a wide variety of work, coming from a diverse array of voices, artists emerging and established alike. For additional information, For information, visit steppenwolf.org/lookout.

Screenings of "THE MUSLIM TRUMP" & Performance of "FIGHTING ISLAMOPHOBIA"

Fawzia Mirza's documentary "THE MUSLIM TRUMP," plus her new live performance piece titled "FIGHTING ISLAMOPHOBIA," will be featured as part of VIP: Very Important Performances, presented by 3Arts and 6018North at Expo Chicago, The Fifth International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art. In the 15-minute "mockumentary," Mirza stars as Donald Trump's illegitimate Muslim daughter, Ayesha Trump.

The screenings and performance will be held Thursday, September 22 at 8 pm, Friday, September 23 at 1:30 pm and Sunday, September 25 at 1:30 pm at Navy Pier, (2nd floor, 300 level) 600 E. Grand St. in Chicago. The screening will also include a live performance by Mirza. For single tickets, priced at $20, visit expochicago.com.. For additional information, visit www.themuslimtrump.com.

Fawzia Mirza is an award-winning actor, comedian, producer and writer. She was selected as a a 2015 3Arts Award recipient in Acting, named a "Top 10 Creative" by Indiewire magazine, one of Chicago's "Rising Stars" of indie filmmaking by WBEZ, a White House Champion of Change in Asian American and Pacific Islander Art and Storytelling and the 2017 3Arts Fellow at the Djerassi Artists Program in Woodside, CA. Mirza believes in dispelling the myth of the "model minority" in mainstream media and in the power of comedy to tackle divisive topics and break stereotypes across race, gender, sexual orientation, class and religion.

She has performed on various Chicago stages including starring in Brahman/i co-produced by Silk Road Rising and About Face Theatre. She has been seen at The Goodman Theatre in Pulitzer Prize winner, Quiara Alegria Hudes' play, The Happiest Song Plays Last, where she originated the role of Shar, and she was an ensemble member of Christopher Shinn's world premiere play, Teddy Ferrara. She was also one of four actors to perform in the solo show White Rabbit/Red Rabbit presented by the MCA and the Chicago Humanities Festival.

Mirza's own one-woman play, Me, My Mom & Sharmila, which explores her relationship with her mother through their shared love for Bollywood heroine, Sharmila Tagore, has been performed at universities, conferences and festivals across the country and toured internationally to Denmark and Pakistan, where it was sponsored by the U.S. Embassy. The legendary Pakistani actor, Zia Mohyeddin said of Fawzia's play, "Some actors hold an audience, a few possess it. Some actors light up a scene, a few ignite it... Mirza belongs to the latter category." Mirza's short play Noor world premiered in The Inconvenience's short play festival "Citizens" in November 2015. Her first published short story appears in the anthology Good Girls Marry Doctors, South Asian American Daughters on Obedience and Rebellion, available now.

Mirza has appeared on Chicago Fire and in a number of indie feature films such as 6 Angry Women, PhD2, Promise Land, Jamie and Jessie Are Not Together, as well as web series including the Emmy-nominated series Her Story and other series, Plus One, Kiss Her I'm Famous, Easy Abby, and her own series, Kam Kardashian. Her first short film, the award-winning The Queen of My Dreams, co-written and co-directed with Ryan Logan, screened at over 65 festivals worldwide and is included on the Chicagoland Shorts DVD collection. Mirza has been a "Featured Artist" as part of the 2015 DCASE Chicago Artists Month. She also starred in and wrote The First Session (NBC Short Film Festival finalist, American Pavilion at Cannes) and Spunkle, her most recent Chicago-shot comedic short film. Mirza has also produced documentaries, including the award-winning, Fish out of Water, and her own short documentary, Reclaiming Pakistan, about Pakistani activist Muhammad Jibran Nasir. Her mockumentary where she plays the illegitimate Muslim daughter of Donald Trump appeared in Marie Claire, Jezebel, CBC Radio Q, Vice, NBC, Al-Jazeera, The A.V. Club, .Mic, and The Red Eye. Mirza's first feature film, Signature Move, which she co-wrote and stars in, co-produced with Newcity Magazine and Full Spectrum Features, wrapped principal photography August 2016. The film was selected as part of the Tribeca Film Institute All Access Program and received the TFI/Labodigital/Los Cabos International Film Festival post-production grant. The film, coming out in 2017, also stars Chicago actors Sari Sanchez, Charin Alvarez, Audrey Francis, Mark Hood, Molly Brennan and the Indian film legend, Shabana Azmi.

Photo by Janna Giacoppo.

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