Rohina Malik's THE MECCA TALES to Make NYC Premiere at The Sheen Center

Rohina Malik's THE MECCA TALES to Make NYC Premiere at The Sheen Center

Voyage Theater Company and Crossroads Theatre Company will present The New York Premiere of Rohina Malik's THE MECCA TALES, directed by Kareem Fahmy (3/Fifths at 3LD; This Time with Rising Circle Theater Collective), at The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture (18 Bleecker Street at the corner of Elizabeth Street), October 20-November 4 with evening performances on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7pm and matinee performances on Saturdays and Sundays at 3pm (no Saturday matinee on October 21). Tickets ($18 general admission/$15 students & seniors) will go on sale September 1 at sheencenter.org/shows/mecca or by calling 866-811-4111. The performance will run approximately 90 minutes, with no intermission.

THE MECCA TALES tells the story of five Muslim women on the pilgrimage known as the Hajj. When their bus breaks down miles short of their destination, tempers flare and the women are tested in unexpected ways. They share their personal stories with each other in an attempt to move forward in their lives and find meaning in a spiritual journey seemingly gone awry.

The voices of Muslim women remain all but unheard in theater today. The objective in presenting THE MECCA TALES, supported in part by a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Art Works grant, is to offer a counternarrative to the negative stereotypes of Islam prevalent in the mainstream media and to align with VTC's core mission to "build greater cultural equity across communities."

THE MECCA TALES had its World Premiere at Chicago Dramatists in March 2015 and was nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Play.

Following its run at The Sheen Center, THE MECCA TALES will transfer to the Middlesex County Community College Performing Arts Center in Edison, NJ, for its New Jersey premiere from November 8-12. Concurrent with this new production of THE MECCA TALES, Ms. Malik's play Yasmina's Necklace will run from October 2-November 19 at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago.

ROHINA MALIK (Playwright) is a critically acclaimed Chicago playwright and solo performance artist. She was born and raised in London, England, of South Asian heritage. Her one-woman play Unveiled was developed and had its world premiere at the 16th Street Theater, where it received critical acclaim. Rohina's play The Mecca Tales was produced by Chicago Dramatists in 2015 and was nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Play. Her play Yasmina's Necklace had its world premiere at the 16th Street Theater in January 2016, directed by Ann Filmer, and was also nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Play. She is a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists, an Artistic Associate at the 16th Street Theater, an Artistic Associate at Voyage Theater Company in NYC, and an Artistic Affiliate at the American Blues Theater. Malik's plays have been produced at the 16th Street Theater, Victory Gardens Theater, Crossroads Theater, Chicago Dramatists, Next Theater, Brava Theater, Voyage Theater Company, Silk Road Rising, Theater Project Baltimore, and Mustard Seed Theater. Unveiled was presented in two South African performing arts festivals: the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown and the 969 Festival in Johannesburg. Rohina is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild of America. rohinamalik.weebly.com

Kareem Fahmy (Director) was raised by Egyptian immigrants in French-speaking Canada. He is an NYC-based director, playwright, and developer of new work. His recent world premiere productions - including James Scrugg's 3/Fifths at 3LD (a New York Times Must-See Show), Sevan K. Green's This Time with Rising Circle Theater Collective at The Sheen Center (New York Times Critics' Pick), and Victor Lesniewski's Couriers and Contrabands at TBG Theater - have all received widespread critical acclaim. Kareem is a 2017-2018 National Directors Fellow, a Resident Director at The Flea Theater, and was a member of the 2013/14 Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab and 2013 Lincoln Center Directors Lab. He holds an MFA in theatre directing from Columbia University. www.kareemfahmy.com

VOYAGE THEATER COMPANY presents new and unheralded plays and playwrights from around the world, creating opportunities for collaboration between theater-makers of diverse cultures and disciplines. We serve our local community in New York City through professional productions, educational programming, internships, and discounted tickets for students and seniors. We present plays in multiple languages, and work in partnership with other non-profit organizations to broaden perspectives and build greater cultural equity across communities. voyagetheatercompany.org

Crossroads Theatre Company Crossroads Theatre Company is dedicated to creating and producing professional theatre of the highest standards of artistic excellence that celebrates the culture, history, spirit and voices of the entire African Diaspora. Since 1978, the Crossroads Theatre Company has been a leading force contributing to the canon of works that epitomizes our mission. Over the last four decades, Crossroads has presenting close to 50 new plays that present an authentic and honest portrayal of Black culture including The Colored Museum, Black Eagles, Sheila's Day, Fly and most recently Repairing A Nation which was filmed for television by WNET/Channel 13. In addition, several major theater artists have their indelible imprint on our stage including George C. Wolfe, August Wilson, Ntozake Shange, Bill Cosby, Richard Wesley, Avery Brooks, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Walter Mosley, and Viola Davis, among many others. In 1999, Crossroads received the distinguished honor of receiving the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theater. Since 2007, Crossroads has been under the executive and artistic leadership of Marshall Jones, III. www.crossroadstheatrecompany.org

THE SHEEN CENTER FOR THOUGHT & CULTURE is a forum to showcase works highlighting the true, the good, and the beautiful. Located downtown on historic Bleecker Street, the Sheen Center is a vibrant new arts organization that focuses on theater, music, film, and talk. A project of the Archdiocese of New York, the state-of-the-art complex encompasses the 270-seat Loreto Theater, equipped with five-camera high-definition livestream capability and a multi-track recording studio; the 80-seat Black Box Theater; four rehearsal studios; and an art gallery. It was named after the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, best known for his popular, inspirational radio and TV ministry in the 1950s and 60s. www.sheencenter.org

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