Off-Broadway's Atlantic Theater to Host Immigrant MixFest

Readings and Workshops   Off-Broadway's Atlantic Theater to Host Immigrant MixFest
Saheem Ali, Shadi Ghaheri, and Arian Moayed have teamed up for the free play festival highlighting immigrant stories.
Saheem Ali Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Atlantic Theater Company continues its MixFest series, an annual festival of free, new play readings, with Immigrant MixFest this summer. The week-long festival, produced by director Saheem Ali, writer-director Shadi Ghaheri, and actor-co-founder of Waterwell Arian Moayed, will feature staged readings of full-length plays highlighting the immigrant experience.

Immigrant MixFest will run August 14–20 in Atlantic's Stage 2, and will feature plays by Kemiyondo Coutinho, Rachel De-lahay, Shadi Ghaheri, Kate Mulvany, and Karen Zacarías. Admission is free; reservations can be made here.

Shadi Ghaheri
Shadi Ghaheri

“As an immigrant artist, your country, origin, and culture are not something that can be erased or replaced and that’s why sometimes I personally feel like a superhero, and at other times I feel unwelcomed or not understood at all,” says Ghaheri. “Here, at Atlantic’s Immigrant MixFest, the hope is to share a platform in order to listen to the deeply urgent, political, and personal stories of immigrant artists of our time.”

Check out the full lineup for the festival below.

August 14 at 5 PM: Meet the Artists Panel
Immigrant MixFest will kick off with a group panel moderated by Arian Moayed. Learn more about the writers and directors in the festival, their creative process and what inspires their work.

August 15 at 2 PM: The Copper Children
By Karen Zacarías, directed by Shariffa Ali
Based on the history of “orphan trains” that transported immigrant children to homes in the West, this Oregon Shakespeare Festival American Revolutions play explores the events that led to the sensational (and now-forgotten) "Trial of the Century" custody case that stirred the nation into a frenzied debate about children, law, race, class and religion. The Copper Children takes a sharp look at the collision of good intentions and despicable behavior, blending humor, tragedy, joy and unsentimental social commentary.

August 15 at 7 PM: Tosca Tehran
Written and directed by Shadi Ghaheri
Tosca Tehran is a story of a group of Iranian actors who, with the risk of getting arrested—or worst—have decided to perform the uncensored Tosca in an international festival in Tehran, Iran. A place where religion is weaponized to arrest, execute and destroy people who believe in love, freedom and justice.

August 16 at 2 PM: Routes
By Rachel De-lahay, directed by Saheem Ali
Anka got in and is here for good. Olufemi is being coached to break back in. Bashir has been here forever but he’s just been sent into limbo. Lisa wants to send them all home. Welcome to England. A journey into the heart of what it is to be a citizen, and finding a place where you belong. A cutting new play about immigration and exile, and what happens when people fall through the cracks.

August 19 at 2 PM: Cinderellas of America
By Kemiyondo Coutinho, directed by Pirronne Yousefzadeh
When Nomi's happily ever after is threatened by border control, she takes matters into her own hands, only to find that the grass is not always greener on the American side. Cinderellas of America explores the immigrant experience in America today and what the immigrant is willing (and not willing) to do in pursuit of the shiny glass slipper that is inevitably lost.

August 20 at 7 PM: The Seed
By Kate Mulvany, directed by Mei Ann Teo
Based on real events, The Seed tells the story of three generations of one family and the impact of war on all their lives. Brian Maloney is an IRA soldier begrudgingly living in Nottingham, England. On his birthday, he is visited by his long-lost son Danny, a “10-pound pom” and Vietnam veteran now living in Australia. Danny is accompanied by his daughter Rose, a writer dealing with the repercussions of her father’s involvement in the war and desperately trying to write his story. As the characters settle in on Guy Fawkes Night for what should be an evening of celebration and healing, the realms of truth and lies, war and peace, and family and foe become blurred, and the three lives begin to entangle and strangle.

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