Written and performed by Leila Buck
Directed by Shana Gold
Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater, Kogod Cradle
April 30-May 1, 2016

A probing portrait of a cosmopolitan Lebanese matriarch as remembered by her Lebanese-American granddaughter who attempts to piece together her beloved Teta's story. Moving between voices, faiths, times and spaces, from Beirut to Bethesda and beyond, Hkeelee invites you to engage in an interactive exploration of what it means to be(come) American: what we hold onto, what we let go and how those choices come to shape who we are. Part of the Voices From a Changing Middle East Festival, this three-performance limited run plays in Arena Stage’s intimate 200-seat Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle. 

Run time: 1 hour, 30 minutes.

2015-16 Season

Hkeelee (Talk to Me)


Performance Calendar

Meet the Artists

Leila Buck

Writer & Performer

Leila Buck (Writer & Performer)

Leila Buck is a Lebanese American writer, actor and teaching artist who has lived, performed and taught storytelling and drama for cross-cultural engagement for educational, cultural and business institutions and communities across the U.S., Australia, Europe and the Arab world, including as a US State Department Speaker Specialist and Cultural Envoy.  She was Artistic Director of Nisaa Arab-American Women’s Collective and Education Director of Nibras Arab-American Theater Collective, with whom she edited and performed in The Panel -a satire based on dialogues with Arab American women about the challenges of representing their experiences -  and Sajjil (Record) - an investigation of what it means to be Arab in America (Winner, Best Ensemble, NY Fringe 2002).  Writing highlights: In the Crossing (Public Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, Brooklyn Museum, Culture Project -Women Center Stage.) Hkeelee (Talk to Me):  Culture Project – WCS; Arab-American National Museum; Special Jury Prize, Middle East America; Acting highlights: Aftermath (New York Theatre Workshop/International Tour -Drama League nomination); Scorched (Wilma -Barrymore Award); The Admission (Theater J/Studio Theatre).  Press/publication: American Theatre; “Brian Lehrer Live”; NY Times; Etching Our Own Image: Voices from the Arab American Art Movement; Four Arab-American Plays.  Member: Emerging Writers Group- Public Theater; Usual Suspect – New York Theatre Workshop.  M.A.- Educational Theatre/Middle East Studies - NYU.  B.A. – Wesleyan University.


Atlas Performing Arts Center

1333 H Street NE

Washington, DC 20002


202-399-7993 ext 2


Monday-Friday, 11 AM to 2 PM; 3 PM to 6 PM

In person: 2 hours prior to show on show days

Box office does NOT take calls two hours prior to a show's curtain, but will return all voice messages left during that time.

Will Call opens one hour prior to curtain.

Patrons who arrive late will be seated at the discretion of management.