The Vagrant Trilogy Comes to DC

28 May

THE VAGRANT TRILOGY examines the life of one family — a Palestinian Wordsworth scholar and his loved ones — from three different vantage points, putting in concert for the first time the three plays URGE FOR GOING (Public LAB), THE HOUR OF FEELING (Humana Festival), and THE VAGRANT (commission, Public Theater; Sundance Lab). The plays, which span a 40-year period, collectively ask the question of how one choice can affect an entire life trajectory, and how sometimes the only redemption is found in language.

The trilogy receives its first staged outing in DC at Mosaic Theater, 1333 H Street NE. We open June 11, with previews starting June 6.  Mark Wing-Davey, my longtime collaborator, directs this lovely cast, with Hadi Tabbal and Dina Soltan playing Adham and Abir, who over the course of the three plays are together, apart, and together again, sort of. It’s complicated. 85B_2461

The rest of the cast are incredible, from left to right: Shpend Xani, Elan Zafir, Michael Kramer, and Nora Achrati. Fantastically smart Jesse Alick from the Public Theater has served as dramaturg on the project for years. Very grateful for such a great group bringing this family to life.  Yallah come. Here’s a link:  Trilogy




The Vagrant Trilogy

10 Oct


On October 28, 12noon to 430, I’ll be having a reading of my trilogy of plays, called The Vagrant trilogy – that’s The Hour of Feeling, The Vagrant, and Urge for Going – at New Dramatists, 424 W. 44th.

I was invited this summer to Martha’s Vineyard by the Public Theater to work on all three with this same group of incredible actors (Tala Ashe, Ramsey Faragallah, Osh Ghanimah, Lameece Issaq, Dariush Kashani and Hadi Tabbal, all badasses of the American theater) and it was probably one of my favorite all-time theater adventures.

Here’s a pic of the invite and link.

Many thanks to Oskar Eustis, Mandy Hackett, Jesse Alick, and Emily Morse at New Dramatists, who helped me think big with this.



The Masses at NYU

5 May

A workshop production with third-year Meisner students, following a month (so fast so so fast) of investigation along the lines of riots, “mobs,” lines and such. Took us to some great and scary places. With one of my favorite collaborators, Scott Illingworth (second photo below). Here’s a link to come see.


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The Way West at Labyrinth

8 Feb

Next up: The Way West at Labryinth Theater in NY. Previews start Feb. 25

Directed by Mimi O’Donnell and starring Didi O’Connell, Nadia Bowers, Anna O’Donaghue, Portia, Alfredo Narciso and Curran Connor. Some of the same folks who did the Barebones workshop at the Lark.


The Way West

The Way West goes Way Way West

28 Nov

Next spring The Way West goes up at Marin Theatre Company. Check this out:

There are a few things I’m very excited about:

Hayley Finn is directing. I met Hayley at the Public Theater years ago, when she came to talk to all of us about the Playwrights Center in Minneapolis. I became a Core Writer there and had the chance to work with Hayley twice on The Way West and The Hour of Feeling, with readings at the end of each. She’s smart! Incisive! Very fun to work with.

Two is, Margot Melcon will be there! She’s the lit manager at Marin, also mad smart, and she joined me in Minneapolis when we worked on the play.

Three: The play will be staged about two hour’s drive from Stockton, California. I’ve always had in mind Stockton or Modesto as the setting for it — a town that’s “seen better days.” So there’s that.

And then, and then, of course the cast, about whom I’ve heard nothing but great:

The Way West Finishes This Leg o’ Journey

9 Jun

We just finished up a great run of THE WAY WEST at Steppenwolf.

And don’t think I take this stuff lightly:


I got to see closing day and night and to see how it’s progressed. I love these actors. I think I may love the ending, actually. We’ll see.


They do a thing wherein people pick a line from the play they’ve finished and leave it in the dressing room, for future denizens. Here are this casts’ posts:



Didi O’ Connell




Didi O’Connell and Caroline Neff


20140607_231530 Ira Amyx




Caroline Neff



And from Zoe Perry.


Thank you Chicago!









A very nice New Year

2 Jan

I am very proud of this news (below, from Broadway World). It comes from people and a place I really respect. In the meantime, Happy New Year to all. It’s a day and night of forced gaiety, but I suppose it gives us all a demarcation we sometimes need. Start fresh with new, clear out with old and unnecessary! All that.

“Marin Theatre Company artistic director Jasson Minadakis, managing director Michael Barker and director of new play development Margot Melcon announced today the winners of MTC’s two national new American play prizes, a program now in its sixth year. The Way West by Mona Mansour won the 2013 Sky Cooper New American Play Prize and Eric Dufault won the 2013 David Calicchio Emerging American Playwright Prize for his play The Year of the Rooster. The winners were selected from nearly 700 eligible submissions.”


American Theatre Magazine on FACING OUR TRUTHS

4 Dec

American Theatre Magazine on FACING OUR TRUTHS

Nice article in this month’s American Theatre magazine on the project created by Keith Josef Adkins of New Black Fest — Facing Our Truths: Short Plays on Trayvon, Race, and Privilege.

Theatre is one of the few public forums in which people can engage and have conversation and feel comfortable and feel protected,” Adkins says. A playwright himself, he knew he didn’t want to put the burden of responding to the case on the shoulders of just one writer. “I just felt, ‘Let me find writers whom I know are from diverse backgrounds and diverse perspectives,’” he recalls thinking. “That way the conversation can be wide.”

First reading is Dec. 5, CUNY’s Segal Center.

Urge for Going in San Francisco

16 Nov

I’m very pleased! URGE FOR GOING is making its West Coast premiere, starting now. Like, tonight. (Notice the use of “like.” I am after all still a California girl at heart.) Tonight! Evren Odcikin directs. You should know Evren: He’s super smart, intuitive, and brings to this play all that informs his own story. Here’s Evren after our first preview, doing notes, looking very calm, on a set designed by Kate Boyd that very much captures the look and feel of a refugee camp dwelling.


Many thanks to Torange Yeghiazarian, the artistic director of Golden Thread, who championed this play years ago, and who basically has been doing this sort of thing for almost twenty years!

Here is a production pic of the cast: Camilla Betancourt Ascensio, Terry Lamb, and Tara Blau. Lights and set by Kate Boyd. Costumes by Michelle Mulholland.


If you are in or near the Bay Area, please feel free to spread the word. Many shukrans, Mona

Seven years starting now!

9 Sep

Tonight, tonight, tonight!

Me and six other playwrights will begin our seven-year stints at New Dramatists. Oh yeah! We get to have excerpts of our work read, and after the ceremonial portion of the evening there will be some celebrating and whatnot. I’m excited to have a part of The Way West read, with Nadia Bowers and Gayle Rankin doing the roles they did at the Lark last fall, and Jordan Baker doing Mom. All fierce and funny women and great actors. With Linsay Firman directing.

What will we seven playwrights do in seven years? What will I do in seven years? Terrifying but good question. We were asked what it meant to us, and it was put into a lovely video, which you can watch here.