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Sahar Dika and Frank Sawa in Jamil Khoury's "Mosque Alert" at Silk Road Rising in 2016. (Photo by Airan Wright)

Silk Road Rising 2017-18 Season to Feature 3 Premieres

The lineup will feature works from David Henry Hwang, Novid Parsi, and Anu Bhatt.

CHICAGO: Silk Road Rising has announced its 2017-18 season, which marks the company’s 15th anniversary and features two world premieres and a U.S. premiere.

“For Silk Road Rising’s 15th anniversary season, we bear witness to why the stories we tell and the playwrights we produce help make Chicago theatre that much richer and more responsive,” said founding artistic director Jamil Khoury in a statement. “Be part of celebrating the enormous achievement that is Silk Road’s 15 seasons onstage, online, in the classroom, and in the community. Because without our audiences and supporters we wouldn’t be here today.”

The season will open with the U.S. premiere of Wild Boar (Nov. 9-Dec. 17) by Candace Chong, translated by Joanna C. Lee and Ken Smith and adapted by David Henry Hwang. The play explores what happens when a controversial journalist goes missing and fellow reporters seek to publicize the truth. Helen Young will direct.

The world premiere of Novid Parsi’s Through the Elevated Line (March 8, 2018-April 15, 2018) will be next. The story is about a man who returns home to Chicago after being imprisoned in Iran for being gay. Carin Silkaitis will direct.

The final show of the mainstage season will be the world premiere of Hollow/Wave (May 17-27, 2018), written and performed by Anu Bhatt. The one-woman show explores Bhatt’s journey as a South Asian actor working in Chicago. Barbara Zahora will direct.

The season will also feature three staged reading series. First up will be “Crescent and Star Reading Series: Arab and Muslim Journeys,” featuring readings of three plays: Twice, Thrice, Frice (Aug. 5-6), written by Fouad Teymour and directed by Kareem Fahmy; Jihad Against Violence: Oh ISIS Up Yours! (Aug. 19-20), written by Fawzia Afzal-Khan and directed by George Potter; and We Swim, We Talk, We Go to War (Sept. 9-10), written by Mona Mansour and directed by Anna Bahow.

The following reading series, presented in collaboration with Germany’s Goethe-Institut, will include P3M5: The Plurality of Privacy Project (Jan. 13-14, 2018), featuring five-minute pieces from various playwrights, and Pure Land (Feb. 3-4, 2018), written by Mehdi Moradpour and translated by Neil Blackadder.

The third reading series will be the New China Festival (July 2018), curated by David Henry Hwang. The event will feature readings of three plays translated from Chinese to English that focus on contemporary playwrights in China and Taiwan. Helen Young will serve as the festival’s lead director.

Founded in 2002, Silk Road Rising produces new work that tells Asian-American and Middle-Eastern stories.

*An earlier version of this piece misspelled the name of the season’s Candace Chong play. It is Wild Boar, not Wild Board.

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