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Noor Theatre Announces New Associate Artistic Director And Associate Director Of Development And Communications

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The company is set to welcome Associate Artistic Director, Sivan Battat, and Associate Director of Development and Communications, Salma S. Zohdi to its team.

Noor Theatre Announces New Associate Artistic Director And Associate Director Of Development And Communications

 

Noor Theatre will welcome two formidable theatre makers to its team.

"This week, Noor celebrates its 11th year," shares Founding Artistic Director Lameece Issaq. "Our world has shifted so dramatically during this last decade, and Noor has shifted alongside it. We continue to support work that reflects our varied perspectives, and I am heartened to see the amount of new talent in our ranks, the conversations around MENA representation grow and the formidable force this community has become.

Noor was created to be a home for an ever-expanding, wildly diverse community of Middle Eastern and North African theater artists. With that growth, we welcome two wonderful artists and leaders onto our staff, Associate Artistic Director, Sivan Battat, and Associate Director of Development and Communications, Salma S. Zohdi. Salma and Sivan bring a stunning rigor, vitality and artistry to Noor, and we could not be more excited to share these two bright lights with our community. I cannot wait to experience the next iteration of Noor - and the next generation of leadership - as these two brilliant theatre makers bring the force of their talent to our team."

Sivan Battat (she/they) joins the team as Noor Theatre's new Associate Artistic Director. Sivan is an Iraqi-American theatre director & community organizer who brings to this position a wealth of experience bridging justice and cultural work. The Noor team is excited to incorporate their keen artistic vision and leadership into the fabric of Noor's artistic programming.

"Stepping into this role as Associate Artistic Director, I am delighted to bridge various parts of myself as a director, community organizer, storyteller, and activist, as well as an Arab-Jewish artist," shares Battat. "Having multiple, and sometimes perceived paradoxical identities, invites me to lean into the complexity of in-betweenness, which shows up in how I guide a process, structure collaborative relationships, consider responsible art-making practices, and select projects. Within Noor, I am not paradoxical. Within Noor, our artistic practice lives decidedly at the intersection of our political work. My selves as an organizer and artist are not separate here; uplifting MENA stories and voices is in service of our collective liberation. In this role, I am eager to work closely with artists in commissioning, developing and producing new works, and to imagine new possibilities for community building, healing, and advocacy at the intersection of story and performance, on stage and on screen. I have deep reverence for Noor's extraordinary history, and am humbled and grateful to be a part of Noor's present and future."

Salma S. Zohdi (she/her) is stepping into the role of Associate Director of Development and Communications. Salma is a gifted Egyptian storyteller who brings with her a background of dramaturgy and literary excellence With her combined skills in communications, Noor is excited to see her grow in this role and use her dramaturgical ability to craft Noor's narrative and stories as she forges new connections with the Arab-American theater community and beyond.

When asked what excited her about this role, Zohdi responded, "As a new theatre artist and dramaturg in town, coming straight from Egypt- I was on the lookout for an artistic home that uplifts MENA voices, one that nurtures geographically diverse origins and disciplines from our region, and Noor encompasses all of that. For years, I've been aspiring to become part of the Noor community, and now that I'm invited to be part of the team, I'm too eager to flex my pre-existing Communications muscles to share with the theatre community and the world at large the remarkable stories about Noor's artistic programming, advocacy work, organizational growth, and theatrical ripples they affect. I'm ecstatic to take on this role, and I wear it as a badge of honor."

Noor Theatre's staff and board are beyond thrilled to welcome these two new additions to our community. They will be crucial to expanding Noor's artistic programming, advocacy, and community building.

Read more about Sivan and Salma below and on Noor's staff page HERE.

Sivan Battat (she/they) is an Iraqi-American theatre director & community organizer. Sivan's work is across genres - in the theatre, in community, in ritual celebration, and beyond.

Recent directing credits: Layalina, Martin Yousif Zebari (National Queer Theater); The Night Traveller, Salah Abdul Saboor (Cutting Ball Theater); Close to Home, Sharifa Yasmin (Uprising Theatre Company); Coexistence My Ass, Noam Shuster (Harvard University/Tour); Who the Fuck is Ahmed, Michael Zalta (Rough Draft Fest, LPAC); She He Me, Raphael Khouri (National Queer Theater); Baba Karam, Sanaz Toossi, McArabia, Sevan Kaloustian Greene (Atlantic Middle Eastern Mixfest); Pie Shop Play, Alice Pencavel (Corkscrew Festival); East o', West o'!, Michelle J. Rodriguez (ANTFest, Ars Nova). Sivan is currently the Roundabout Theatre Company Directing Fellow, the Drama League Leo Shull Musical Directing Fellow at New York Stage & Film, and a member of TCG's Rising Leaders of Color Cohort. Other residencies include: NYTW (Adelphi Residency), National Queer Theater (Mount Tremper Arts Residency), Roundabout Directors' Group, 14th Street Y (LABA Fellowship), Studio Theatre (Artistic Apprentice). Sivan has assisted and associate directed extensively regionally & off-Broadway, with directors including Whitney White, Sam Gold, Rebecca Taichman, Neil Pepe, GT Upchurch, David Muse and more.

As an organizer, Sivan has worked with NYC-based Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ) in numerous capacities, specifically organizing with Mizrahi & Sephardi Jews. She recently creative directed the first ever Mimouna, a celebration of identity & ritual led by members of the Mizrahi/Sephardi Caucus in partnership with the Arab American Association of NY. Sivan has curated several iterations of Salon Al-Mahjar, a performance salon for queer & trans MENASA artists, leads ancestral storytelling workshops, and serves on the board with Ammud: the Jews of Color Torah Academy. Sivan has also worked at the Arab Hebrew Theatre of Jaffa, and with organizations Breaking the Silence, the Center for Jewish Nonviolence, Jewish Voice for Peace and with various Jewish communities to unlearn Zionism and organize for Palestinian justice & liberation.

Sivan seeks to bridge justice work and cultural work, bringing the power of performance to our movements, and the vision of movement work to our theaters. BA Wesleyan University.

For more information visit sivanbattat.com.

Salma S. Zohdi (she/her) is an Egyptian Dramaturg and theatre practitioner based in New York City. She is a cross-cultural storyteller who strives to align theatre making with social justice movement building. Salma is passionate about facilitating and using the power of storytelling to amplify and uplift a wide range of voices as well as to challenge injustice.

In Egypt, Salma was Alumni Community Theatre's (ACT, Egypt) Public Relations & Marketing Manager, where she also worked as a producer, teaching artist, stage manager, and assistant director. She was also amongst millions that took to the streets in 2011 as part of Jan 25 Revolution. Ever since, she actively sought to meld the principles of social justice movement building to her theatre practice. This led her to New York City in 2013, where she studied and have since been practicing dramaturgy, communications, creative producing, theatre administration, literary advising, and new play development.

Salma's U.S. theatre credits include: Nathan the Wise (CSC), The Mecca Tales (Voyage Theater Company-The Sheen Center), MESTC's "ARAB CLASSIC PLAYS" and "RE-READING OPPRESSION", The Yacoubian Building (LPAC's Rough Draft & Atlantic Theatre Company's Middle Eastern MixFest), Operating Systems (Flux Theatre Ensemble-Abrons Arts Center), Mix & Match (En Garde Arts), The Conversationalists (The Bushwick Starr), and Pilgrims Musa & Sheri in the New World (Mosaic Theater), Global Forms Theatre Festival (GFTF 2020 & 2021), and Google It's Complicated! (Experimental Bitch Presents). Salma is also the co-host of Global Gab, a cross-cultural monthly Zoom conversation that centers immigrant artists.

Salma strives to work closely with teams that run on transparent and socially conscious values and is devoted to collaborating on initiatives and projects that spark dialogue around narratives that are repeatedly overlooked by the mainstream theatrical and media scene.

MA: AUC - English & Comparative Literature. MFA: Columbia University - Theatre (Dramaturgy)

Website: https://zohdiscriptconsultancy.com/

 


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