Experience The Beauty Of Queer Muslim Joy Onstage With The World Premiere Production Of DIL KA By Lee Nisar

On stage at Presentation House Theatre from March 22-31, 2024.

By: Feb. 15, 2024
Experience The Beauty Of Queer Muslim Joy Onstage With The World Premiere Production Of DIL KA By Lee Nisar
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North Vancouver, BC Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Territories - "How many other plays combine the power of buzzcuts and biryani into one unapologetically queer story?" asks playwright, Lee Nisar, in response to why should people come out to see Dil Ka. Ruby Slippers Theatre (RST), in association with Presentation House Theatre (PHT) and Blackout Art Society, present the world premiere production of Dil Ka, which will be on stage at PHT in North Vancouver from March 22 - 31, 2024.

Centering on a queer Muslim woman stepping into her truth, power, and heart, Dil Ka ['of the heart'] follows Zahra, a 26-year-old Pakistani woman, as she prepares to meet her latest arranged match for marriage. Zahra spends most of the play in her family's kitchen preparing the traditional Pakistani dish, biryani, to present to the prospective groom's family. As the story unfolds, the biryani becomes a metaphor for the ingredients that make a "perfect bride".

"I wanted to pay homage to the kitchen in this play, particularly as a place of solace for brown women for decades. Kitchens have served as places of gossip, connection, and - in this play- confession, allowing for honesty outside of the realms of patriarchy," explains Nisar. Through direct address as a confessional, Zahra unpacks the complexities of navigating one's identity in a multicultural society.

Audiences are invited to experience queer brown joy onstage- to laugh, cry, and challenge their own perspectives while watching Dil Ka. Nisar set out to write each character as real and varied in their own relationships to religion as Muslims often are, despite the media trying to paint them all as a monolith.

"I think it is important, now more than ever, for audiences to be confronted with the beauty of being a queer brown Muslim, and how these identities do not have to be exclusionary but, rather, inform each other in the most incredible ways," shares Nisar. Dil Ka prompts audiences to reflect on their own experiences of belonging, acceptance, and the pursuit of authenticity in a world that often demands conformity.

Dil Ka is on at Presentation House Theatre from March 22 - 31, 2024. Tickets are on sale at phtheatre.org/box-office/ or 604-990-3474. For more information and show details, please visit www.phtheatre.org/

About Lee Nisar, playwright:

Lee Nisar (she/they) is a 24-year-old writer, director, and filmmaker, living and working in Toronto, Canada. Lee's work explores issues of place-based trauma, identity, and the intersections of queerness and race (particularly within the context of colonialism). Lee graduated from the University of Guelph with a BA in Theatre Studies and Geography, where she had the opportunity to direct various plays under her school's play festivals, including Wanderlust (2018), Respect for the Dead (2019), and Shakespeare in the Park(ing lot) (2020). Their other interests include singing karaoke with friends, annoying their cat, and bugging the people around her to participate in photoshoots. Lee is currently an MFA Candidate in Documentary Media at X University. Dil Ka is their first full-length play.

About Ruby Slippers Theatre:

For three decades, critically heralded Ruby Slippers Theatre has given voice to under-represented artists garnering over sixty awards, three national tours, and the creation of five original full length works. They are the premiere purveyors of Québec works in English translation within the region, and have a reputation for smart social satire that is infectiously entertaining. RST's annual Advance Theatre Festival provides development and showcase opportunities to female identifying and gender non-conforming playwrights and directors who also identify as Indigenous, Black, or Persons of Colour. Its two annual main stage offerings and Artist in Residency program also reflect the company's values and commitment to advance the radically inclusive stage.

RST's Artistic Director Diane Brown is a recipient of the prestigious Bra D'Or from Playwrights Guild of Canada, a national award in recognition of her many years championing and furthering underrepresented voices.

About Blackout Art Society:

In 2012, Vancouver, BC, witnessed the inception of a unique theatrical force: Blackout Theatre. Initially emerging as an ad hoc theatre ensemble, the company set its sights on creating socially aware and pioneering theatre experiences that resonated deeply with the Persian community. With the invaluable contributions of local Persian artists, its first four years were marked by performances that echoed the company's cultural heritage and enlightened our audiences.

Taking a significant leap in 2017, Blackout Theatre transformed into a registered not-for-profit organization in British Columbia, Blackout Art Society.

As the company evolved, its vision broadened. While the essence of their Persian roots remains undeniably central to the company's identity, its aspirations extend beyond, envisioning a theatre that bridges linguistic and cultural divides, producing enthralling pieces in both Persian and English. 

About Presentation House Theatre:

Nestled in the heart of North Vancouver's Lower Lonsdale, Presentation House Theatre has become a neighbourhood creative hub, providing the community with a dynamic mix of professional theatre, music, and dance productions - all just a Seabus away from downtown Vancouver. For more than 40 years, the company has entertained audiences with innovative programming and quality professional productions in a wonderfully welcoming space. They are committed to presenting and producing shows of the highest standard, and appealing to the diversity of North Shore audiences, offering programming for children and youth, adults young and old.

Presentation House Theatre believes that professional theatre is for everyone. Every show they present or produce will be of the highest professional standard while also appealing to the diversity of the North Shore. They offer programming for children and youth, adults young and old, the music aficionado and the innovative and emerging dancers. We are the cultural hub in your own backyard.