New Arab American Theater Works started out as a collective of Minnesota-based Arab, Arab American, and Muslim theater artists doing work in the local area in many forms for over two decades. Using this grant, it will support creative dialogues around the issues of Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism. The dialogues will be inspired after participants watch Zafira and the Resistance. The futuristic play tells the story of an Arab American schoolteacher who is sent to an internment camp in Minnesota with other Arab and Muslim women—the result of a hostile political climate.
The play, written by Minnesota playwright Kathryn Haddad and directed by Malek Najjar and Zeina Salame, will be followed by a community dialogue about Islamophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment. The play and dialogues will be presented over three weekends in October in the Guthrie Theater’s Dowling Studio.