Arts & Theater

Honoring Nehad Selaiha | HowlRound Theatre Commons

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About the event

The essays gathered in the five volumes of Nehad Selaiha: Selected Essays are those selected by the author herself from the hundreds she published in the weekly journal Al-Ahram (The Pyramids). These collections, now long out of print, appeared in 2003 and 2004, approximately half way through Nehad Selaiha’s remarkable career, and provide an impressive sampling of the range and depth of her critical insight and interest. The first volume is largely devoted to one of Selaiha’s central interests, the modern Egyptian Free Theatre Movement, which has produced almost all of the significant young directors, dramatists and actors in that country for the past generation. The next two books report on productions of various Arab dramatists. The final two volumes, Cultural Encounters, discuss examples of international theatre, primarily European and American drama presented in Egypt.

With and introduction by editor Marvin Carlson—followed by a panel with Edward Blaise Ziter (NYU), Sarah Fahmy (Florida State University), Marvin Carlson and GC CUNY Ph.D. student in theatre Adam Elsayigh
Moderated by Frank Hentschker.

Biographies:

Edward Ziter is Professor of Theatre History in the Department of Drama at New York University. He is the author of The Orient on the Victorian Stage (Cambridge UP 2003) and Political Performance in Syria: From the Six-Day War to the Syrian Uprising (Palgrave 2015), which was co-winner of the Calloway Prize for best book on Theatre or Drama. Additionally he edits the peer-adjudicated journal, Arab Stages.

Sarah Fahmy, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance Research at Florida State University. Sarah is a decolonial scholartist, whose work intersects Middle East North African identity politics, community-based performance, digital humanities, and ecofeminist art-science devising. She is a co-founder and chair of the Middle Eastern Theatre Focus Group at ATHE, where she’s leading the development of the “MENA Theatre Handbook: A Digital Guide to MENA Plays and Scholarship” and is a member of MENATMA’s Educators Circle. Her publications appear in theatre and social science journals ranging from Theatre Topics and RiDE, to PloS One; and is on Environmental Communication’s editorial board. Sarah has devised multi-disciplinary site-specific pieces and facilitated applied performance and Playback with hundreds of participants internationally, ranging from creative climate communication with scientists, to youth-centered workshops for the UN Commission on the Status of Women. Her current book project explores MENA-specific decolonial feminist praxis with young women.

Cairo-Born and Dubai-raised, Adam Elsayigh’s childhood entwined a Muslim Egyptian home, American cable, and British schooling in a migrant-majority city. This upbringing at cultural crossroads deeply shapes the artistic projects and research Adam pursues today.  As a playwright, dramaturg, and scholar, Adam focuses on themes such as queerness, immigration, and colonialism. His plays, including Alaa: A Family Trilogy, Drowning in Cairo, Revelation, and Memorial, have been featured in venues like New York Theater Workshop, The Lark, The Tisch School of the Arts, The LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, and Golden Thread Productions. These works engage with significant social issues. Adam is a PhD Candidate in Theater History and Criticism at the Graduate Center, where his research intersects with his playwriting. He holds a BA in Theater and Dramaturgy from NYU Abu Dhabi and an MFA in Playwriting from Brooklyn College. Adam is also an Alum Fellow of Georgetown University’s Laboratory for Global Performance. His current doctoral research merges his playwriting and academic roles toward a data-driven study of the evolution of the Contemporary American play.



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