SYNOPSIS: Winner of the 2021 Blue Ink Playwriting Award. Sakinah, an Arab American woman, undergoes a mental health evaluation to determine what led to the violent crime she committed against Emily, a rich heiress. The play explores race, class, privilege, and how those factors collide and play out in today’s culture.

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FRIDAY, AUGUST 6 @ 7:00 PM Central

Join us for a powerful, live reading via Zoom. The reading runs about 100 minutes with no intermission. Following the reading, stay in our virtual space for a group discussion and share actions you can take. For more information, read our Backstage Guide in your browser or download pdf.

Buy tickets HERE or call (773) 654-3103 until Friday, August 6 @ 5:00 PM Central. Suggested donation is $10 or pay-what-you-can. Your Zoom link will be sent the day before the reading and again 1 hour before the reading starts. For any questions or to get on the waitlist, contact us at BoxOffice@AmericanBluesTheater.com .

Additional Resources

NAMI Chicago – guided by the experiences of those living with mental health conditions and rooted in equity, NAMI Chicago educates to fight stigma and discrimination.

Arab American Action Network (AAAN) – strives to strengthen the Arab community in the Chicago area.

Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) – is dedicated to promoting the rights of immigrants and refugees to full and equal participation in the civic, cultural, social, and political life of our diverse society.

Creative Team

YUSSEF EL GUINDI he/him (Playwright) Born in Egypt, raised in London and now based in Seattle, Yussef El Guindi’s work frequently examines the collision of ethnicities, cultures and politics that face Arab-Americans and Muslim Americans. El Guindi holds an MFA in playwriting from Carnegie-Mellon University, and has worked as a playwright at Silk Road Rising; literary manager for Golden Thread Productions; and playwright-in-residence at Duke University. He is the recipient of many honors, including the Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award and the 2010 Middle East America Distinguished Playwright Award. El Guindi’s most recent productions include “People of the Book” at ACT in Seattle; “Language Rooms” (Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award) at Pony World Theatre in Seattle, and Broken Nose Theatre in Chicago; “Hostages” at Radial Theater Project in Seattle; “The Talented Ones” at Artists Repertory Theatre in Portland ( Santa Barbara Independent Indy Awards); “Threesome” at Portland Center Stage, ACT, and at 59E59 (winner of a Portland Drammy for Best Original Script); “Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World” (winner of the Steinberg/ American Theater Critics Association’s New Play Award in 2012; and the 2011 Gregory Award) also at ACT, Center Repertory Company (Walnut Creek, CA), and at Mosaic Theater Company (DC). Other productions: “Our Enemies: Lively Scenes of Love and Combat” was produced by Silk Road Rising and won the M. Elizabeth Osborn award. His play “Back of the Throat” (winner of L.A. Weekly’s Excellence in Playwriting Award for 2006), “Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World”, “Jihad Jones and the Kalashnikov Babes”, “Such a Beautiful Voice is Sayeda and Karima’s City” have been published by Dramatists Play Service. “Ten Acrobats in an Amazing Leap of Faith”, “Collaborator”, “Threesome”, “The Talented Ones” and “Hostages” have been published by Broadway Play Publishing Inc. In January, 2019, Bloomsbury/ Methuen Drama published “Selected Works by Yussef El Guindi”. Currently a Core Company playwright member at ACT in Seattle, and a Resident Artist at Golden Thread Production.

KAISER AHMED he/him (director) is a Chicago-based theatre director, producer, teacher, and actor. Kaiser was the Founding Artistic Director of Jackalope Theatre Company from 2008-2012 and continued to lead as the Associate Artistic Director through 2019. He resumed serving as Artistic Director beginning 2020. Born in Dhaka, Bangladesh and raised in mid-Michigan, Kaiser was recently named on NewCity’s “Players 2019: Fifty People Who Really Perform For Chicago”. Kaiser holds a BA from Columbia College Chicago’s Theatre Directing program, under the mentorship of Sheldon Patinkin. Most recently, he assistant directed Amy Morton on Guards at the Taj (Steppenwolf) and Gary Griffin on Hand to God (Victory Gardens). Kaiser is a 2015-16 Eugene O’Neill National Directors Fellowship Finalist, a 2016-17 Victory Gardens Directors Inclusion Initiative recipient, an Associate Member of SDC, a member of SAF-AFTRA, and proudly represented by Gray Talent. Kaiser recently directed Fast Company (Jackalope Theatre). Other Chicago credits include the Midwest Premiere of The Late Henry Moss (The Artistic Home), Language Rooms (Broken Nose Theatre), Washer/Dryer and VANYA (or That’s Life!) (Rasaka Theatre). Regional credits include the World Premiere of Stoo’s Famous Martian-American Gumbo, an interactive and touring TYA play commissioned by Peppercorn Theatre in Winston-Salem, NC. As a teaching artist, Kaiser works with Northlight Theatre, Raven Theatre & Mudlark Theatre. (Un)related to theatre, Kaiser is an Eagle Scout and fluent in Bengali. kaiserahmed.org

JENNA BOSCO she/her (Sakinah) is an actor, writer, and filmmaker from Teaneck, New Jersey. Her character-driven work centers women of color, marginalized communities, immigrants, and the experiences of being first generation in the USA. Her half hour comedy Lady Liberty was selected for the inaugural 2021 Black List Muslim List, a finalist for the 2020 Warner Brother’s Writer’s Workshop, as well as a second rounder of the 2020 episodic labs at Sundance, the Black List x WIF, and Austin FF. She is a recipient of the 2021 New Jersey Council on the Art’s Individual Artist Fellowship in screenwriting. Jenna is the creator and star of New Heights Webseries, which was an official selection at NYC Webfest, Brooklyn Webfest, New Media Film Festival and the Black Woman Film Festival. She recently wrote, produced and directed a short film, Baladi (My Country), which premiered at the 2020 Big Apple Film Festival and won best short in the women filmmakers category. Her recent acting credits include NBC’s New Amsterdam, NBC’s The Blacklist, and CBS’ Tommy. Jenna is an NYU Tisch Drama Grad, a diversity scholarship recipient at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade, and a former member of The Flea Theater’s acting company, “The Bats.” In her spare time, Jenna enjoys cooking plant-based meals, taking care of her garden, and making travel films. JennaBosco.com

MANNY BUCKLEY he/him (Richard/Waleed) is a proud Ensemble member of American Blues Theater. Blues credits include Six Corners, Looking Over the President’s Shoulder (Jeff Award Nomination-Best Solo Performance), and Dutchman/TRANSit (Black Theatre Alliance Award Nomination). Manny toured nationally as “Satchel Paige” in the original production of The Satchel Paige Story, and appeared in The Father (Helen Hayes Award Nomination) at Studio Theatre in Washington, D.C. He originated the role of “Carson” in Hit the Wall, which sold out extensions in Steppenwolf’s Garage Rep. Select Chicago credits include The Brothers Size, 1984, and Of Mice and Men (Steppenwolf); Dorian (House Theater); In the Heat of the Night (Shattered Globe Theater); Southbridge (Chicago Dramatists); and Love’s Labor’s Lost (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre). Mr. Buckley is the recipient of a Black Theatre Alliance, and Black Excellence Award. Film credits: Proven Innocent, Chicago Fire, and Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing.

BRYCE GANGEL she/her (Emily) is an actor currently based in Los Angeles. While in Chicago, Bryce appeared on stage in acclaimed productions such as: Court Theatre’s Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Rivendell Theatre’s Dry Land, Steep Theatre’s Posh, the world premiere of 1980 (Or Why I’m Voting for John Anderson) with Jackalope Theatre and more. She has been nominated individually for two Joseph Jefferson Awards and received a Jeff as part of the ensemble of The U.S. Premiere of Laura Wade’s Posh. Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune named Bryce a Hot New Face of Chicago Theatre in 2016. TV/Film credits include: Rita (Showtime); The Exorcist (Fox); Crisis, Chicago Fire (NBC); the web-based comedy Embeds; the critically acclaimed Princess Cyd (directed by Stephen Cone); and Dreaming Grand Avenue. Bryce is represented by Paonessa Talent in Chicago & Principal Entertainment in Los Angeles.

CAMILLE ROBINSON she/her (Jenny) is a proud Ensemble member of American Blues Theater. She has been with the company since 2016, after making her debut in the critically-acclaimed production of Little Shop of Horrors. She has also appeared in 4 productions of Blues’ smash holiday tradition, It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago! In the 8 years that Camille has been a professional actor, she has been on many stages in the greater Chicagoland area. Some of her favorites include: Firebrand Theatre, Paramount Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, Goodman Theatre, Drury Lane Theatre and American Blues Theater, of course! Camille can also be seen as Nurse Tanya on NBC’s Chicago Med. She is a member of SAG-AFTRA and Actors’ Equity Association and represented by Gray Talent Group. camille-robinson.com

JOEY VAHEDI he/him (Fouad) is an American actor of Mid-East decent. He has worked on shows for Netflix, CBS, Amazon, Showtime and more. Currently, you can catch Joey as series regular ‘Thomas’ on the new hit show The Chosen, the world’s largest crowd-funded project. Joey is based in Los Angeles and received his BFA in Acting from California State University, Fullerton. You can get more info at www.joeyvahedi.com.

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CARA PARRISH she/her (Stage Manager) is a proud Ensemble Member of American Blues Theater where she is also the Office & HR Manager. Chicago credits: Gem of the Ocean, Electra, Hard Problem, Photograph 51, Five Guys Named Moe, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Lady From the Sea (Court Theatre); WITCH, Port Authority, Yellow Moon, The Letters, The Caretaker, Death of a Streetcar Named Virginia Woolf, & The Blond, The Brunette, and the Vengeful Redhead (Writers Theatre); Too Heavy for Your Pocket & The Vibrator Play (TimeLine Theatre Company); James and the Giant Peach (Drury Lane Theatre Oakbrook); Jabari Dreams of Freedom (Chicago Children’s Theatre); Romeo and Juliet & Emma (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre); Beauty’s Daughter & Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (American Blues Theater). Cara is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.

We wish to express our gratitude to the Performers’ Unions (Actors’ Equity Association, American Guild of Musical Artists, American Guild of Variety Artists, SAG-AFTRA) through Theatre Authority, Inc. for their cooperation in permitting the artists to appear on this program.

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