SAN FRANCISCO: Golden Thread Productions, which focuses on the Middle East, has announced its 2016 season, the company’s 20th. The season will include a new play by Yussef El Guindi and a world premiere from Kevin Artigue.
“I created Golden Thread because I needed an artistic home for my own work,” said founding artistic director Torange Yeghiazarian in a statement. “It is deeply gratifying to see that over the last 20 years, the company has served so many other Middle Eastern artists like me, and by amplifying these voices, established the Middle Eastern American theatre as an integral element of the American theatre cannon.”
The season will start with the world premiere of Artigue’s The Most Dangerous Highway in the World (May 5–29). The play follows an 8-year-old Afghan boy who makes his living directing traffic on the highway connecting Jalalabad to Kabul. Artigue will be the first playwright produced on the Golden Thread mainstage who is not of Middle-Eastern descent. Golden Thread’s director of marketing and new plays Evren Odcikin will direct.
Next up will be El Guindi’s Our Enemies: Lively Scenes of Love and Combat (Oct. 28–Nov 20). The play is a commentary on the lack of Arab voices in American media. El Guindi is also the most produced playwright at Golden Thread, with four productions under his belt and many short plays. Yeghiazarian will direct.
In addition to the productions, Golden Thread will also hold its annual New Threads Staged Reading Series in June and July. The new plays that will receive readings are Scenes from 68 Years by Hannah Khalil, Those Ills We Have by Novid Parsi, The Victims by Ken Kaissar, and The One, Percy Ent by Tariq Hamami.
For International Women’s Day in March, the theatre will host the celebration “What Do the Women Say,” which will feature four Bay Area artists showcasing their work. Visual artist and curator Taraneh Hemami, Aswat founder and executive director Nabila Mango, playwright Betty Shamieh, and Ballet Afsanaeh founding artistic director Sharlyn Sawyer will participate.
Founded in 1996, Golden Thread Productions is the first theatre company to focus on the Middle East, producing plays and events that celebrate the region.