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Art by Jason Simon

Token Theatre Friends: Arian Moayed’s Lesson in Immigration Law

The Tony-nominated actor and Waterwell cofounder discusses immigration, Middle Eastern representation, and creating civically engaged work.

“We are bringing you all the affordable shows this episode.”

Twice a month on the Token Theatre Friends video series and podcasts, theatre critics (and theatre besties) Jose Solís and Diep Tran bring a POC perspective to the performing arts.

This week, they talk to Arian Moayed, co-founder of Waterwell, a socially conscious theatre company currently in the midst of their run of The Courtroom, a reenactment of a real-life immigration case (they are next mounting it at the Greene Space on Feb. 19, and are looking to tour it around the country).

Moayed is also a stage and screen actor who has appeared in Broadway’s The Humans and Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (for which he was nominated for a Tony Award), as well as Off-Broadway productions of Guards at the Taj and Hamlet. He was mostly seen in HBO’s “Succession.” Moayed spoke to the Friends about access to theatre, saying no to playing stereotypes, and his own migrant story (he arrived in America from Iran when he was six years old).

Audio of the interview is also available on the podcast, on which the Friends review three shows currently playing in New York City:

Master of the Crossroads by Paul Calderón, produced by Primitive Grace Ensemble through Feb. 9 ($15 – $18). This is a provocative drama about the effects of religion, PTSD, and racism in the lives of two African American siblings.

Behind the Sheet by Charly Evon Simpson at Ensemble Studio Theater, through Feb. 17 ($20 – $40). In this we learn how a medical discovery that advanced gynecology was the result of inhuman experiments done on female slaves.

God Said This by Leah Nanako Winkler at the Cherry Lane Theater through Feb. 15 ($82). Winkler looks at parent-child relationships through the eyes of a family facing a cancer diagnosis. (Use the code GSTREVIEW and can get $20 tickets.)

Then to close out the show, the Friends discuss the politics of penises onstage.

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Have comments, suggestions for segments, shows to plug, or thoughts on how the Friends can be even better? Contact the Token Theatre Friends via email or Twitter.

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