PILGRIMS MUSA & SHERI
IN THE NEW WORLD
By Yussef El Guindi
Directed by Shirley Serotsky
At the Atlas Performing Arts Center
Featuring Ahmad Kamal as Musa and Rachel Felstein as Sheri,
with Freddie Bennett, Sanam L. Hashemi, and Gerrad Alex Taylor
January 16–February 16, 2020
All dates are subject to change
From the Egyptian-American winner of the Steinberg New American Play Award comes a romantic comedy about Muslim and American identity full of unexpected twists. Musa, a new immigrant from Egypt, picks up Sheri, a American waitress with an edge, after her shift. A night of improbable passion turns into an extended labyrinth of cultural assumptions upended.
Lead Underwriters: Kumi and Bill Martin
"A humane comedy of love and immigration."
crackling sexual attraction
with cross cultural awkwardness"
a comic charmer"
“...A tankful of wit...
the playwright's giddy who's on first?-style
dialogue mark his as a talent to watch?
"a funny provocative hit"
"an elegant rom-com with fangs,
a twist on the traditional gentle tale of immigrants
coming to America to forge a new life
and find love"
"wild, funny and unusual"
In Yussef El Guindi’s Plays, Personal and Political
Are in Bed Together
“an energizing jolt... vibrant... endearing..
a salve at a time of bitter social, partisan and national divisions..."
"This rom-com has a higher purpose...important and intriguing"
"Romantic, funny and complex...a must-see theatrical event...equal parts sharp, smart, and filled with heart...marvelous"
"4 Stars! A delightful rom-com...
Mosaic Theater Company reliably highlights moving, relevant perspectives from underrepresented corners of society. In the experienced hands of director Shirley Serotsky, Pilgrims becomes another brick in Mosaic’s wall of multicultural successes. With humor and heart – and without preaching or politics – it makes a persuasive case for a shared humanity that spans cultures and oceans"
"A sultry, cross-cultural romp...
A raunchy, fun rom-com, for sure, but also a thoughtful meditation on merging disparate worlds and making a new home away from home. Director Shirley Serotsky skillfully blends levity with timely, complex questions."
"El Guindi is an excellent storyteller who has populated his city with charming, flawed characters who have their own sensual desires, spiritual aspirations, and material needs."
"as delicious a romp as any that’s come along in a while...
There are some dazzling performances in Pilgrims,
all executed with perfect timing."
Click on each artist for more information
Salma S. Zohdi
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 2ND | 3:00 PM
The Sacred and the Profane: A Feminist Perspective
Moderated by Laley Lippard, Manager of Partnerships and Public Programming with panelist Aly Oseth, Community Resource Manager at Lotus Blooms and co-organizer of SmutSlam DC and Mohini Malhotra, development economist, organizational facilitator, and founder and CEO of Shakti, a social art venture to better women's and girls' lives globally.
Immigration Then & Now: Narrative and Policy
Moderated by Michael Feldman, Co-facilitator of the Theater and Policy Salon with panelist Rochelle A Davis, Associate Professor, Director; Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) and Victoria Sams, Lebanese American Program Officer in the Division of Education at National Endowment for the Humanities.
The Pilgrimage: Hajj and The Journey
Moderated by Stephen Stern, Mosaic Theater Founding Board Chair, Public Programming with panelist Helen Zughaib, Artist, Activist, and Former US Cultural Envoy through the US Department of State, to Palestine.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 9TH | 3:00 PM
Islam and the West: Personal and Political Perspectives Moderated by Stephen Stern, Mosaic Theater Founding Board Chair, Public Programming with panelist Khaled Elgindy Senior Fellow at the Middle East Institute and Melvin Hardy, of the Millennium Arts Salon, Center for Contemporary Art, PeaceAction, and Mayors for Peace..
Cast Talk Back
The Baggage We Carry: Unpacking Our History
Moderated by Salma S. Zohdi, Production Dramaturg
Open Forum: Reflecting on PILGRIMS and the Voices Festival Facilitated by Ari Roth, Mosaic Founding Artistic Director
Egypt in Mind and Memory: Liberation Stories
Moderated by Ari Roth, Mosaic Founding Artistic Director with panelist Lobna Ismail, President of Connecting Cultures and Dina Soltan, Egyptian actor and activist
The Plays of Yussef El Guindi
Moderated by Ari Roth, Mosaic Founding Artistic Director with panelists Salma Zohdi, Production Dramaturg and Shirley Serotsky, Production Director
Cast Talk Back
Observance and Assimilation: Third Culture
Communities & Keeping the Faith
Moderated by Nizar Farsakh, Chair of the Board of The Museum of the Palestinian People with panelist Rawan Odeh, Managing Director, New Story Leadership for the Middle East.
Intercultural & Interracial Relationship
Moderated by Aria Velz, Mosaic Manager of Institutional Giving with panelist KJ Moran, DC playwright and educator.
Arriving on a New Shore: Defining Home
Moderated by Laley Lippard with panelist Amgad Naguib, Egyptian-American immigrant and Global Communications Counselor & Strategist and Raghad Makhlouf, exiled Syrian actress & educator.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 30TH | 8:00 PM
Intersectional Identity: Examining Power and Privilege
Moderated by Drew Keaveny, Mosaic Artistic Resident Fellow with panelist Sheldon Scott, Director of Culture at Eaton Workshop.
Shifting Female Identities in the West and the Middle East
Moderated by Andrea Barron, Advocacy Program Manager at the Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition with panelists Hurunnessa Fariad, Afghan immigrant and Head of Outreach & Interfaith at the ADAMS Mosque; Shaista Ahmed, Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom, a national organization that brings Muslim and Jewish women together for dialogue; and Sahar Khamis, Ph.D., an Egyptian-American Professor of Communication at the University of Maryland, College Park, an Affiliate Professor of Women's Studies, an expert on Arab and Muslim media, a media commentator, and a radio host.