Photo Flash: A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS Begins Rehearsals At Arena Stage

By: Jan. 03, 2020

Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater announces the company for A Thousand Splendid Suns, adapted for the stage by Ursula Rani Sarma and based on the 2007 New York Times bestselling novel by Khaled Hosseini (Kite Runner).

Set in 1992 in war-torn Afghanistan, this gripping story centers around a friendship that develops between two Afghan women following a tragedy. While facing insurmountable odds of a brutal and oppressive way of life, the two form an unlikely bond in a heart-rending fight for survival. Directed by Carey Perloff, A Thousand Splendid Suns runs January 17 - March 1, 2020 in the Kreeger Theater.

A Thousand Splendid Suns made its world premiere at American Conservatory Theater in 2017 under the direction of Perloff.

"Bringing Khaled Hosseini's gorgeous novel to life has been a remarkable journey. What I was most passionate about was telling a story of female friendship over many decades, so that's the spine of the play," explains Perloff. "While Afghanistan has been in the headlines for decades as a war zone and place of conflict, it is revelatory to see the country's recent history from the eyes of women and girls, told in a poetic way through movement and music as well as text. It's hugely meaningful to us to be able to bring this play to Washington, D.C., at this moment in history. Arena Stage was the theater I grew up with as a child in D.C. and I am honored to be coming back with a project so close to my heart."

"I have long admired this beautiful production led by Carey Perloff and this is a powerful story. This production has rippled across the country and Canada and resonates with audiences everywhere," shares Artistic Director Molly Smith. "We look forward to bringing it to Arena Stage, a city filled with the most informed audience in the country."

Making their Arena Stage debuts and reprising their roles from the 2017 original production at ACT include Haysam Kadri (Theatre Calgary's The Crucible) as Rasheed, Jason Kapoor (San Francisco Playhouse's Born Yesterday) as Wakil and Nikita Tewani (Milwaukee Repertory's The Who & The What) as Aziza.

Also making their Arena debuts are Hend Ayoub (Broadway's Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo) as Mariam, Sarah Corey (Theater J's Love Sick) as Ensemble, Lanna Joffrey (The Old Globe's They Promised Her the Moon) as Fariba/Nana, Joseph Kamal (Broadway's The Band's Visit) as Babi/Zaman/Interrogator, Mirian Katrib (Tailsman Theatre's Me and You) as Laila, Justin Xavier Poydras (CCPCS’s Comedy of Errors) as Zalmai, Ravi Mampara (Ford's A Christmas Carol) as Zalmai, Yousof Sultani (Drury Lane's And Then There Were None) as Ensemble and Antoine Yared (Seattle Repertory's Indecent) as Tariq/Driver.

In addition to Perloff, the creative team includes Set Designer Ken MacDonald, Costume Designer Linda Cho, Lighting Designer Robert Wierzel, Sound Designer Jake Rodriguez, Choreographer Stephen Buescher, Original Music by David Coulter, Associate Director Haysam Kadri, Original Fight Consultation by Jonathan Rider, Fight Consultation Lewis Shaw, Vocal Coach Anita Maynard-Losh, Casting Director Victor Vazquez, CSA, Stage Managers Dani Bae and Christi B. Spann and Assistant Stage Manager Marne Anderson.

Additional casting will be announced at a later date. Tickets may be purchased online at, by phone at 202-488-3300 or at the Sales Office at 1101 Sixth Street, SW, D.C.