Canada's First Professional Muslim Theatre Company Launches in Montreal

Canada's First Professional Muslim Theatre Company Launches in MontrealThe Silk Road Institute, a Canadian Muslim non-profit organization dedicated to promoting cultural arts, is launching Canada's first professional Muslim theatre company this fall in Montreal. The Silk Road Theatre will be dedicated to sharing diverse narratives from within Muslim communities with the intention of building bridges of understanding and dialogue with wider Canadian society. The company's first production is the critically-acclaimed play, The Domestic Crusaders, playing at Espace Knox from September 27 to October 6, 2018.

The Domestic Crusaders is written by the American award-winning playwright, Wajahat Ali, one of CNN's twenty-five "most influential Muslims". He is a writer, lawyer, TV host, contributing Op-Ed writer for The New York Times, and a consultant for the U.S. State Department. Directed by former Director of the Quebec Drama Federation, Deborah Forde, the story centres on a Muslim American family grappling with a variety of common trials and tribulations within the changing dynamics of the post-9/11 world.

"It's a journey of love, of faith, of discovery, of challenge to self, and a journey of family both in story and in how this has come together", says Forde, who has been working with the cast and crew since early summer. "I've extended my family through this work [and] I hope it will make that distance between me and someone who is Muslim less."

"We chose this play because it speaks to universal themes of love, struggle and acceptance," says Mohamed Shaheen, Board Chair of the Silk Road Institute. "The cultural arts and storytelling have always had the power to connect people and to celebrate our shared humanity. We hope this play will shed some light into Canada's multi-faceted Muslim community, and contribute to a more constructive conversation about Muslim identity in Quebec."

The show is supported by the Michaëlle Jean Foundation and the Inspirit Foundation. Peter Flegel, Director of Programming and Development at the Michaëlle Jean Foundation, says, "Sadly, we've seen significant anti-Muslim sentiment in this country. We are firm believers that the cultural arts are an important way to help shatter stereotypes and dispel fears that some people may have about those they do not know personally. We are excited to support this initiative because we believe audiences are looking for Muslim-centred narratives that will present their communities in a more nuanced, relatable way."

The Domestic Crusaders: September 27 to October 6, 2018

Espace Knox (6215, av. Godfrey, NDG, H4B 2X6)

For more information or to purchase tickets, call 888-375-8698 or visit www.silkroadinstitute.ca



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