El Guindi's Language Rooms, Dark Comedy About a Mysterious Workplace, Premieres in Philly

News   El Guindi's Language Rooms, Dark Comedy About a Mysterious Workplace, Premieres in Philly
The Wilma Theater world premiere of Yussef El Guindi's Language Rooms, a dark comedy about the abuses of patriotism and loyalty, begins March 3 in Philadelphia.
Playwright Yussef El Guindi
Playwright Yussef El Guindi

Blanka Zizka, co-artistic director of the Wilma in Philadelphia, directs the play, which the company helped develop toward this full staging that runs to April 4. Opening is March 10.

The cast includes Sevan Greene, J. Paul Nicholas (Wilma's Scorched), Peter Jay Fernandez (Broadway's Julius Caesar), Julienne Hanzelka Kim (Broadway's Golden Child) and Nasser Faris (Inana at Denver Center).

According to Wilma Theater notes, Language Rooms is "a black comedy that exposes the divided loyalties among today's immigrants, discovering the rising cost of the American Dream. Ahmed (played by Sevan Greene, of Off-Broadway's Betrayed) is a shining example of the American Dream, successfully landing a big-time position as a translator at a top-secret detainment facility. But things are not what they seem in this twisted workplace, as he soon finds himself dodging shifty video cameras and absurd interoffice mind games."

The play shifts between comedy and political suspense "with surprising twists along the way." The production received the Edgerton Foundation's prestigious New American Play Award.

Rising Egyptian-born Arab-American playwright Yussef El Guindi, based in Seattle, has also written the plays Jihad Jones and the Kalashnikov Babes, Back of the Throat, and two related one-acts Such a Beautiful Voice is Sayeda's and Karima's City. The Wilma's world premiere grows out of an intensive development process, which began with a reading on the Wilma stage a year ago, in addition to workshops at Vassar & New York Stage and Film's Powerhouse Theater and at the Wilma in summer 2009.

The creative team for Language Rooms includes set designer Ola Maslik, lighting designer Russell H. Champa, costume designer Janus Stefanowicz and sound and video designer Jorge Cousineau.

For more information, call (215) 546-7842 or visit www.wilmatheater.org. Wilma is at 265 South Broad Street in Philadelphia.

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