Middle Eastern American Theatre explores the burgeoning Middle Eastern American theatre movement with a focus on Arab American, Jewish American, Armenian American, Iranian American, and Turkish American theatres, playwrights, directors, and actors. By exploring the rich religious and cultural heritage of this diverse group - which includes Arabs, Armenians, Iranians, Jews, and Turks - and religions that include the Baha'i faith, Christianity, Chaldean, Druze, Ishik Alevism, Judaism, Islam, Mandaeism, Samaratin, Shabakism, Yazidi, and Zoroastrianism - the rich and paradoxical nature of the term 'Middle Eastern' is interrogated through the dramas written and performed by those in the Diaspora.
Featuring a clear introduction and examination of the context and the various push and pull factors that have contributed to the mass migrations to North America - including the so-called "Great Migration" of 1890-1915, the Armenian Genocide, the European Holocaust, the two world wars, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and other social and political conflicts. With chapters devoted to Arab American, Israeli American, Iranian American and Turkish American theatre, Middle Eastern American Theatre traces the history and examines the work of key artists and directors including Heather Raffo, Yussef El Guindi, Jamil Khoury, Mona Mansour, Danny Bryck, Ken Kaissar, Ari Roth, Torange Yeghiazarian, Reza Abdoh, Sedef Ecer, Torange Yeghiazarian, of Golden Thread Productions, and Jamil Khoury, of Silk Road Rising.
The volume provides readers with a deeper and more nuanced understanding of millions of Middle Eastern Americans, and how they have contributed to American theatre today.
Michael Malek Najjar is an associate professor of Theatre Arts at the University of Oregon, USA with a specialization/ concentration in Arab American and Middle Eastern American Theatre forms. He is the author of Middle Eastern American Theatre: Communities, Cultures and Artists and Arab American Drama, Film and Performance, 1908 to the Present. He is the editor of Heather Raffo's Iraq Plays: The Things That Can't Be Said, The Selected Works of Yussef El Guindi, Four Arab American Plays: Works by Leila Buck, Jamil Khoury, Yussef El Guindi, and Lameece Issaq & Jacob Kader and co-editor of Six Plays of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. He is on the advisory board of Arab Stages and the steering committee of MENA Theatre Makers Alliance.