Samer Al-Saber (Florida State University) is a theatre director and professor of theatre studies at Florida State University. He holds a PhD in theatre history, theory, and criticism from the University of Washington and an MFA in directing from the University of Calgary. He directed plays in the US, Canada, and the Middle East. His latest directing project in progress is a documentary film on the Jerusalemite theatre El-Hakawati. He has written numerous articles on Palestinian theatre and his book manuscript in progress is tentatively called: Permission To Perform. He is the co-editor, with Gary English, of the anthology Stories Under Occupation and Other Plays From Palestine, under contract with Seagull Press. The Siege will appear in this anthology.
Huwaida Arraf (Human Rights Attorney/International Solidarity Movement) is a Palestinian-American lawyer and human rights advocate. She received her Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Michigan, and her Juris Doctor from the American University Washington College of Law, where she focused her studies on international human rights and humanitarian law. Over the past two decades Huwaida has been involved in a number of legal and grassroots initiatives for Palestinian rights. In 2001, she co-founded the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), a Palestinian-led non-violent resistance movement, which has twice been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. From 2007-2008, Huwaida helped build the first accredited clinical legal education program in the Arab world, based at Al-Quds University. She was one of the initiators and organizers of the first delegation of lawyers to enter Gaza to investigate war crimes following Operation Cast Lead (2008-2009), and co-authored the report on their findings, “Onslaught: Israel’s Attack on Gaza and the Rule of Law.” Huwaida is the former Chairperson of the Free Gaza Movement, and from August to December 2008, led 5 successful sea voyages to the Gaza Strip to confront and challenge Israel’s illegal blockade on the 2 million Palestinians living there. She was one of the primary organizers of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and was traveling with it when it was lethally attacked by Israeli forces on 31 May 2010. In 2011, she was one of the six Palestinian Freedom Riders, who, inspired by the U.S. Civil Rights Movement’s Freedom Rides of the 1960s, attempted to ride segregated Israeli settler public transport, for which they were harassed then violently arrested. Huwaida is co-editor of the book “Peace Under Fire: Israel, Palestine, and the International Solidarity Movement” and her writings have been published in books, magazines and journals around the world. She is currently residing with her husband and two children in Detroit, MI where she is practicing civil rights law.
Leila Buck (playwright/actor/intercultural educator) is a playwright, actor and intercultural facilitator who has lived and worked in 22 countries and throughout the U.S. Latest works: American Dreams and Arabian Nights (work-in-progress – BRICLab Dec. 7 and 8); American Dreams –a participatory performance-game show where the audience decides which contestant will be the next US citizen (Cleveland Public Theater, February 2018; Tour: ArKtype). Playwright-Performer: Hkeelee (Talk to Me) (Mosaic Theater- Arena Stage; Culture Project – Women Center Stage; El Teatro – Tunis; Theatre Gemmayze – Beirut); In the Crossing (Public Theater New Work Now!; Brooklyn Museum; Culture Project –WCS); Hanan’s story (UN, NY/Geneva, World Humanitarian Summit, Istanbul); Actor: Aftermath (New York Theatre Workshop/International Tour -Drama League nomination); Scorched (Wilma Theater-Barrymore Award)Publication/Press: Innovation in Five Acts; Etching Our Own Image: Voices from the Arab American Art Movement; Four Arab-American Plays. Member: EWG- Public Theater; Usual Suspect – New York Theatre Workshop. M.A./Adjunct faculty -NYU. www.leilabuck.com
Marvin Carlson (The Graduate Center, CUNY) is the Sidney E. Cohn Professor of Theatre, Comparative Literature and Middle Eastern Studies at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. He has received an honorary doctorate from the University of Athens, the ATHE Career Achievement Award, the ASTR Distinguished Scholarship Award, the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism, and the Calloway Prize. He is the founding editor of the journals European Stages, and Arabic Stages and the author of over two hundred scholarly articles in the areas of theatre history, theatre theory and dramatic literature. Among his books are Theories of the Theatre (1984), Performance: A Critical Introduction (1996), The Haunted Stage (2001), The Theatres of Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia (with Khalid Amine, 2012), and 10,000 Nights: Highlights from Fifty Years of Theatre-Going (2017). His work has been translated into fifteen languages.
Kathleen Chalfant is an actor who lives and works in New York with a particular interest in the power of art to improve the human condition. She is an advisory board member with Friends of the Freedom Theatre, The Epic Theatre Ensemble, New York Foundation for the Arts; and a board member BC/EFA and The Vineyard Theatre. Broadway: ANGELS IN AMERICA (Tony and Drama Desk nominations); City Center Encores BLOOMER GIRL, RACING DEMON Off-Broadway: FOR PETER PAN ON HER 70th BIRTHDAY, A WALK IN THE WOODS, RED DOG HOWLS, PAINTING CHURCHES, PROPHECY , VITA & VIRGINIA, DEADMAN’S CELL PHONE, WIT (Drama Desk, OBIE, Lucille Lortel, and Outer Critics) , SPALDING GRAY: STORIES LEFT TO TELL, GUANTANAMO: Honour Bound to Defend Freedom,THE LAST LETTER, TALKING HEADS (OBIE),NINE ARMENIANS (Drama Desk Nomination), HENRY V (NYSF, Callaway Award); ENDGAME (OBIE for Sustained Excellence of Performance) THE PARTY (from three stories by Virginia Woolf) Regional Theater: A DELICATE BALANCE; MARY JANE Film: ISN’T IT DELICIOUS ; MUHAMMED ALI’S GREATEST FIGHT: DUPLICITY ;THE PEOPLE SPEAK; MURDER AND MURDER: FIVE CORNERS; A PRICE ABOVE RUBIES; KINSEY. TV: The Affair, The Americans, House of Cards, Rescue Me, Book of Daniel, The Guardian, The Laramie Project, all New York iterations of Law and Order; Additional Awards: 1998 Connecticut Critics Circle Award (Wit); 2000 Ovation, Garland, and Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards (Los Angeles) for WIT; the Drama League and Sidney Kingsley Awards for her body of work; Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from The Cooper Union in 2010.
Linda Chapman (New York Theatre Workshop). Associate Artistic Director at New York Theatre Workshop since 1995; Co-adapted Ann Bannon’s Lesbian classic, The Beebo Brinker Chronicles (GLAAD Media Award winner and nominated for a LAMBDA Literary Award) for the stage with playwright Kate Moira Ryan. Co-writer/performer of OBIE Award winning Gertrude and Alice: A Likeness to Loving with Lola Pashalinski; Associate member of The Wooster Group from 1983-94 as Managing Director and performer; Founding Artistic Director of Sang-Froid, Ltd.; Co-founding producer of Dyke TV and DTV Productions. Administrator at Theater For The New City; Member of Sonia Moore’s American Stanislavski Theatre. Linda is a founding board member of Youth Arts NY, an ICAN coalition member and has served on numerous funding, awards and advisory panels for the NEA, TCG, The Princess Grace Foundation, The Mellon Foundation, The Fox Foundation, The Drama League, CEC Arts/Link, and LMCC among others. Professional memberships include: The League of Professional Theater Women, Stage Directors & Choreographers Society, The National Theatre Conference and The Dramatists Guild
Michelle Fine (the Graduate Center, CUNY) is a Distinguished Professor of Critical Psychology, Women’s Studies and Urban Education at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Author of more than 15 books and over 100 articles. Fine is currently involved in “national conversations” with Muslim American youth and a national participatory project designed by and for LGBTQ youth of color – including a subsample of Muslim American youth. In November, her newest book, JUST research in Contentious Times will be published by Teachers College Press. Fine has testified as an expert witness in well known gender, sexuality and race discrimination education cases, and is the recipient of a range of awards including: 2018 STAATS Award from the American Psychological Foundation for Lifetime Achievements in Science; the 2017 Award for Distinguished Contributions to Qualitative Methods from Division 5 of the American Psychological Association; the 2013 Strickland-Daniels Mentoring Award from the Division of Psychology of Women of the American Psychological Association, 2013 American Psychological Association Public Policy Research Award, the 2012 Henry Murray Award from the Social Psychology and Personality Society, 2011 Kurt Lewin Award from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.
Noelle Ghoussaini (Playwright/Director; Friends of the Freedom Theatre Board Member) is a director, playwright and educator. She creates immersive and inter-disciplinary performance that examines and re-imagines our society within political, social, cultural and mystical contexts. Recent Projects include: Acquittal (Director, Pan Asian Rep), 6 views: on women of power and interest (Creator / Performer, Venice Biennale), Mariposa and the Saint by Julia Steele Allen (Dir. National Tour), There is a Field by Jen Marlowe (Dir. National Tour.) HKEELEE by Leila Buck, (Dir. Mosaic Theatre). A Doll’s House: REMIX edited by Heather Raffo. (Dir. Epic Theatre). Phoenicia Flowers (Director / Playwright. Noor Theatre) Upcoming: American Dreams Arabian Nights by Leila Buck (Director, BRIClab residency). Fatima and her Pigeon (Playwright. The Flea Theatre, commission). Dreamscapes (Director / Creator, Naked Angels Lab). Noelle has also been teaching theatre, playwriting and dance for over a decade with organizations such as Theatre Development Fund, New York Theatre Workshop, the Jenin Freedom Theatre and viBe theatre, among others. Noelle is the recipient of the Laundromat Project Create Change Fellowship, was a New York Theatre Workshop 2050 directing fellow, a Hemispheric Institute fellow for artist activists and a member of the Lincoln Center Director’s Lab. M.A. Arts Politics (NYU, Tisch). www.noelleghoussaini.com
Derek Goldman (Georgetown University) is Professor of Theater and Performance Studies at Georgetown University and co-Founding Director of the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics, which he co-founded with Ambassador Cynthia Schneider in 2012 with a mission “to harness the power of performance to humanize global politics” (www.globallab.georgetown.edu). He is an award-winning stage director, playwright, adapter, producer, developer of new work, teacher, and published scholar, whose artistic work has been seen around the country, Off-Broadway and at numerous major regional theaters, as well as internationally. He is Vice-President of the International Theatre Institute Worldwide and the Co-President of the US Center; Founding Director of UNESCO/ ITI’s Global Network of Higher Education in the Performing Arts; member of the Board of Theatre Communications Group, with whom he is a co-creator of the Global Theatre Initiative, promoting cross-cultural collaboration and cultivating strategies to maximize the global theatre field. He holds a Ph. D. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University.
Frank Hentschker (Executive Director, The Segal Center) who holds a Ph.D. in theatre from the now legendary Institute for Applied Theatre Studies in Giessen, Germany, came to the Graduate Center in 2001 as program director for the Graduate Center’s Martin E. Segal Theatre Center and was appointed to the central doctoral faculty in theatre in 2009. Among the vital events and series he founded at the Segal Center are the World Theatre Performance series, the annual fall PRELUDE Festival, and the PEN World Voices Playwrights Series. Before coming to The Graduate Center, Hentschker founded and directed DISCURS, the largest European student theater festival existing today; he acted as Hamlet in Heiner Müller’s Hamletmaschine, directed by Heiner Müller; created a performance with Joseph Beuys; performed in the Robert Wilson play The Forest (music by David Byrne) and worked for Robert Wilson. Next to programming Segal Theatre Center events Frank teaches Theatre History at Columbia University and is currently working on a book about Robert Wilson’s play texts.
Jacob Kader (Writer/Director/Producer) has experience writing, directing, and producing film, video, and theater. He made his Off-Broadway debut as Co-Author of Food and Fadwa in the 2011-2012 season at New York Theater Workshop. He is actively developing material for stage and screens and lives in Brooklyn, NY with his family. Jacobkader.com
Carin Kuoni (New School) is a curator and editor whose work examines how contemporary artistic practices reflect and inform social, political, and cultural conditions. She is the director and chief curator of the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School where she also teaches. Prior to joining The New School, she was director of exhibitions at Independent Curators International and director of The Swiss Institute, New York. A founding member of the artists’ collective REPOhistory, Kuoni has curated and co-curated numerous transdisciplinary exhibitions, and edited several books, among them Energy Plan for the Western Man: Joseph Beuys in America; Words of Wisdom: A Curator’s Vademecum; Speculation, Now; Entry Points: The Vera List Center Field Guide on Art and Social Justice; and Assuming Boycott: Resistance, Agency, and Cultural Production. She is the recipient of a 2014 Andy Warhol Foundation Curatorial Fellowship, directed SITAC XII: Arte, justamente in Mexico City in 2015, and is a Travel Companion for the 57th Carnegie International in 2018.
Maria LaHood (Center for Constitutional Rights) is a Deputy Legal Director at the Center for Constitutional Rights with expertise in constitutional rights and international human rights. She works to defend the constitutional rights of Palestinian human rights advocates in the United States in cases such as Davis v. Cox, defending Olympia Food Co-op board members for boycotting Israeli goods; Salaita v. Kennedy,representing Steven Salaita, who was terminated from a tenured position for tweets critical of Israel; and CCR v. DOD, seeking U.S. government records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) regarding Israel’s 2010 attack on the flotilla to Gaza. She works closely with Palestine Legal to support students and others whose speech is being suppressed for their Palestine advocacy around the country. She also works on the Right to Heal initiative with Iraqi civil society and Iraq Veterans seeking accountability for the lasting health effects of the Iraq war. Her past work at CCR includes cases against United States officials, Arar v. Ashcroft, Al-Aulaqi v. Obama, and Al-Aulaqi v. Panetta; against foreign government officials, Matar v. Dichter and Belhas v. Ya’alon; and against corporations, Wiwa v. Royal Dutch/Shell and Corrie v. Caterpillar. Prior to coming to the Center for Constitutional Rights she advocated on behalf of affordable housing and civil rights in the San Francisco Bay Area, and she graduated from the University of Michigan Law School. She was named a 2010 Public Justice Trial Lawyer of the Year Finalist. Her recent writing includes “Poisoning Iraq” on the Huffington Post, “Obama Might Want to Look Forward in 2012, but America’s Torture Legacy Will Keep Staring Back” on Truthout, and “The Role of Universal Jurisdiction in the Fight Against Impunity” on Badil, and she has appeared on outlets including Democracy Now!, NPR, and Al Jazeera.
Zachary Lockman (NYU) has taught modern Middle Eastern history at New York University since 1995, and he has been conducting research, writing and speaking about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for four decades. His most recent book is Field Notes: The Making of Middle East Studies in the United States (2016). His other books include Contending Visions of the Middle East: The History and Politics of Orientalism (2004/2010); Comrades and Enemies: Arab and Jewish Workers in Palestine, 1906-1948 (1996); and (with Joel Beinin) Workers on the Nile: Nationalism, Communism, Islam, and the Egyptian Working Class, 1882-1954 (1987). He is a former president of the Middle East Studies Association, chairs the wing of MESA’s Committee on Academic Freedom that deals with North America, and is a contributing editor of Middle East Report.
Erin B. Mee (NYU) is a former board member of the Friends of the Jenin Freedom Theatre, and has written about The Freedom Theatre for numerous publications. As a director, she worked at the Public Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, SoHo Rep, HERE, The Magic Theatre, and The Guthrie Theater in the United States, and with Sopanam in India. She is the Founding Co-Artistic Director of This Is Not A Theatre Company, with whom she has conceived and directed Pool Play, A Serious Banquet, Readymade Cabaret, Ferry Play, Subway Plays, Festival de la Vie for the Avignon Festival, Versailles 2015/2016, and Pool Play 2.0. She is the author of Theatre of Roots: Redirecting the Modern Indian Stage, co-editor of Antigone on the Contemporary World Stage, editor of DramaContemporary: India, and co-editor of Modern Asian Theatre and Performance 1900-2000. She has written numerous articles for TDR, Theatre Journal, American Theatre Magazine, and other journals and books. Her born-digital Scalar article “Hearing the Music of the Hemispheres” won the ATHE-ASTR Award for Best Digital Article in 2016. She is Assistant Arts Professor, Department of Drama, Tisch, NYU. www.erinbmee.com
James C. Nicola (New York Theatre Workshop) has been the Artistic Director of New York Theatre Workshop (NYTW) since 1988. Under his guidance, NYTW has remained steadfast to its founding commitment of nurturing both established and emerging theatre artists, promoting collaboration and bold experimentation with theatrical forms. Mr. Nicola initiated an extensive series of workshop opportunities including summer residencies and artists of color fellowships, and has forged a unique community of theatre artists, the Usual Suspects, a group of writers, directors, designers and actors, who form the core of NYTW’s artist development activities. As Artistic Director, Mr. Nicola has been instrumental in the development of many NYTW world premieres, including Ivo van Hove’s productions of The Little Foxes, Hedda Gabler, A Streetcar Named Desire, and David Bowie and Enda Walsh’s Lazarus, Sam Gold’s production of Othello, Once, Peter and the Starcatcher, Jonathan Larson’s Rent, Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen’s Aftermath, Claudia Shear’s Blown Sideways Through Life and Dirty Blonde, Will Power’sThe Seven, and the American premieres of Caryl Churchill’s Mad Forest, Far Away and A Number, Doug Wright’s Quills and Tony Kushner’s Homebody/Kabul. Mr. Nicola has mentored Theater Mitu and Noor Theater as Companies-in-Residence, inviting these smaller theater companies to receive support and resources from NYTW in order to further their growth and development. Before joining NYTW, Mr. Nicola spent seven years at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., first as a National Endowment for the Arts Directing Fellow and later as a Producing Associate where he directed productions including Marsha Norman’s ‘night Mother, Christopher Durang’s The Marriage of Bette and Boo, and Emily Mann’s Still Life. He is a recipient of Tufts University’s P.T. Barnum Award, the Erwin Piscator Award, and most recently the 2015 Miss Lilly Award for supporting women in theater.
Nisha Sajnani (NYU Steinhardt) PhD, RDT-BCT is the Director of Drama Therapy and on faculty in the Educational Theatre EdD and Rehabilitation Sciences PhD program at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University. She is on the editorial board of the Arts in Psychotherapy and the Principal Editor of Drama Therapy Review. Her research is focused on the role of theatre-making in the treatment and prevention of trauma. Dr. Sajnani coordinates an international network on the arts and displacement and was a recent recipient of the Corann Okorodudu Global Women’s Advocacy Award from the American Psychological Association.
Sarah Schulman (CUNY) is a novelist, playwright, screenwriter, nonfiction writer, and AIDS historian. She is on the advisory board of Jewish Voice for Peace and is faculty advisor to Students for Justice in Palestine. Sarah hold a Guggenheim Fellowship in Playwrighting
Cynthia P. Schneider (Georgetown University), Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown University, teaches, publishes, and organizes initiatives in the field of cultural diplomacy. Ambassador Schneider co-directs the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics at Georgetown, as well as the Los Angeles-based MOST Resource (Muslims on Screen and Television). Additionally, she co-directs the Timbuktu Renaissance, an innovative strategy and platform for countering extremism and promoting peace and development, which grew out of her work leading the Arts and Culture Dialogue Initiative within Brookings’ Center for Middle East Policy. Dr. Schneider speaks and publishes frequently on topic related to arts, culture, and media and international affairs (Huffington Post, CNN.com, Foreign Policy, Brookings). Professor Schneider teaches courses in Diplomacy and Culture in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown, where, from 1984-2005, she was a member of the art history faculty, and published on Rembrandt and seventeenth century Dutch art. From 1998-2001, she served as U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands.
Diala Shamas (Center for Constitutional Rights) is a staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, where she works on challenging government and law enforcement abuses perpetrated under the guise of national security, both in the U.S. and abroad. Prior to joining CCR, Diala was a Clinical Supervising Attorney and Lecturer in Law at the International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic, and a Senior Staff Attorney supervising the CLEAR (Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility) project at CUNY School of Law. She has represented individuals who were approached for questioning by local and federal law enforcement, targeted for surveillance, placed on federal watch-lists or who have had immigration benefits withheld on national security grounds. She was on the legal team representing the plaintiffs in Raza v. City of New York, which challenged the New York City Police Department’s program of suspicionless surveillance of Muslims and resulted in a historic settlement reforming the Police Department’s practices. She also litigated Tanvir v. Holder, challenging the FBI’s abuse of the No-Fly List to pressure individuals to become informants. Diala has also worked on a range of international human rights issues. These have included refugee policies in Australia and Greece, and human rights and humanitarian law violations in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian Territories, where she has lived and worked extensively.
Joanna Sherman (Artistic Director of Bond Street Theatre) has been creating theatre projects in conflict areas globally since 1984. The company works primarily in post-war, refugee and disadvantaged communities, collaborating with local artists, and applying the arts to the peacebuilding process. Current focus areas: Afghanistan, Myanmar, Malaysia, Lebanon, Tunisia. Ms. Sherman has directed and taught internationally, and is a frequent speaker on the role of the arts in peacebuilding. She is currently conducting programs promoting rule of law in Afghanistan through the US Institute of Peace, and working with Rohingya and Somali refugees in Malaysia. She received a 2014 Award from the League of Professional Theatre Women and the 2015 Otto Award for Political Theatre. She served as Cultural Envoy in Myanmar, and is a member of the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics at Georgetown University. Under her directorship, the company received a MacArthur Award for its interdisciplinary and intercultural programming.
Misha Shulman (Director of the School for Creative Judaism): A former Commander in Charge of Education in the Israeli Defense Forces, playwright Misha Shulman is the director of the School for Creative Judaism, and a rabbi at the New Shul. He has been writer in Residence at Crow’s Theatre in Toronto and Theater for the New City in New York. Misha has received high praise and numerous awards for his work confronting Middle Eastern political questions. His plays on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (The Fist, 2002-4, Desert Sunrise 2005-8, Apricots, 2008-9 and Martyrs Street, 2015) have been presented and studied in classes at several American universities. Misha’s writing has been published by Theater Communications Group, Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, The Forward, +972, Tikkun Magazine and NOW Magazine. He has collaborated extensively with the Living Theatre, DADA New York and the Toronto Festival of Clowns, and holds an MFA in Playwriting from Brooklyn College.
Selcuk R. Sirin, Ph.D. (NYU) is a Professor in the Department of Applied Psychology at New York University. Dr. Sirin studies the lives of marginalized children and ways to increase professionals’ ability to better serve their needs. He is the recipient of two Teaching Excellence Awards from Boston College and New York University, the Young Scholar Award from the Foundation for Child Development for his work on immigrant children, and the Review of Research Award from the American Educational Research Association (AERA) given in recognition of an outstanding article published in education. He currently serves on the National Academies of Science committee on Supporting Parents of Young Children. Selcuk Sirin is a columnist @Hurriyet, the most widely read newspaper in Turkey, and he is the author of more than 100 scholarly articles and several English (Muslim American Youth) and Turkish books (Turkey in Crossroads, A Dream of Turkey).
Alisa Solomon (Columbia University) is a professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where she directs the MA concentration in Arts & Culture. A longtime theater critic, political journalist, and dramaturg (most recently for Anna Deavere Smith’s Notes from the Field), she is the author of Re-Dressing the Canon: Essays on Theater and Gender (winner of the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism) and of Wonder of Wonders: A Cultural History of Fiddler on the Roof, an “editor’s choice” in the New York Times Book Review and winner of the Jewish Journal Book Prize, the George Freedley Memorial Award (Theatre Library Association), and the Kurt Weill Prize. As a staff writer at the Village Voice (1983 – 2004), she covered such beats as US immigration policy, Palestine and Israel, and women’s basketball. She is co-editor, with Tony Kushner, of Wrestling with Zion: Progressive Jewish-American Responses to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (Grove, 2003)
Leyya Mona Tawil (ELIXIR/TAC: Temescal Art Center), also known as Lime Rickey International, is an artist working with dance, sound and performance practices. Tawil is a first generation Syrian, Palestinian, American; her articulation of Arab Experimentalism embeds political sub-narratives and cultural confusions into the performance fabric. She has been creating and performing for over two decades, and has been presented throughout the US, Europe and the Arab world. Highlights include After the Last Sky Festival (Berlin), Syrian National Opera House (Damascus), New York Live Arts/Live Ideas 2016 (NYC), Museum of nonconformist Art (St. Petersburg) and Bimhuis (Amsterdam). Tawil is the director of ELIXIR / TAC – an organization supporting transdisciplinary arts and culturally relevant work on a local and international scale.
Zohar Tirosh-Polk (playwright) is a NYC based Israeli-American playwright who currently serves as the dramaturg and dialect coach for the Band’s Visit production on Broadway. Zohar’s plays: Pieces, Land/Holy, Home/Front, The Zionists, Theo’s Dream, Waltz, and Six have been presented/produced at The New Group, Magic Theatre, New Repertory Theatre, Lincoln Center Theater’s Director’s Lab, The Cape Cod Theatre Project, The Jewish Plays Project, Rising Phoenix Rep, Silk Road Rising, the Lark Play Development Center, The Brick and HERE, among others. The Zionists will be published in the upcoming Semitic Commonwealth Anthology. Her English translation of Hanoch Levin’s play, Those Who Walk in the Dark is published in Wanderers and Other Israeli Plays by Seagull Books. A 2017-2018 LABA fellow, Zohar won the Jewish Plays Project’s new play competition for Six. She’s the recipient of the Foundation for Jewish Culture’s Theatre Grant and a commission from Highbrow Productions. Currently, Zohar serves as the Israeli dramaturg and dialect coach for the Broadway production of The Band’s Visit directed by David Cromer. She has a B.A. in Literature and Writing from Columbia University and a Playwriting MFA from Brooklyn College. Zohar lives in Brooklyn with her actor/producer husband and two young children
David Zellnik (Break the Wall) is the author of numerous plays and musicals seen in New York and beyond. His work with composer Joe Zellnik includes Yank! (Off Broadway, 7 Drama Desk nominations; 2017 productions in London West End and Rio de Janeiro), City of Dreams, Flight, and the upcoming Ruth and the Panda. David’s plays include: The Udmurts (Winner Equity Library Theatre competition, semi-finalist O’Neill; World Premiere, Defunkt Theatre Co, PDX); Serendib (The Hippodrome; Off-Broadway EST); and Ariel Sharon Stands at the Temple Mount and Dreams of Theodor Herzl (performed in workshops productions at Theatre J, Culture Project through Epic Theatre, and Chautauqua Theatre). With playwright Ismail Khalidi, he has recently created www.breakthewallproject.org, a multi-artist project that works to change the discourse around Israel/Palestine which launched in June with 13 plays. He wrote Blue Handed for this project under the pseudonym Ah@d Ha’@m, inspired by the testimony of the Israeli NGO “Breaking the Silence.” www.davidzellnik.net