THE YACOUBIAN BUILDING
by Kareem Fahmy
based on the novel by Alaa Al Aswany
directed by Melissa Crespo
Tuesday, August 14 | 2pm
Atlantic Stage 2, 330 West 16th St.
Featuring Jacqueline Antaramian, May Calamawy, Imani Champion, James Cusati-Moyer, Ashkon Davaran, Andrew Ramcharan Guilarte, Alex Hare, Eliud Kauffman, Antoinette LaVecchia, Ahmad Maksoud, Luis Moreno, Haythem Noor, Louis Sallan, Justin Walker White, and Zenzi Williams.
Based on the novel that became an international sensation, The Yacoubian Building is set in Cairo, chronicling the lives of Egyptians of different religions, sexual orientations, and class backgrounds. The titular apartment block becomes a microcosm of an Egypt infested with corruption, discrimination, and despair. A love letter to the Middle East, the play conjures an Egypt before the Arab Spring, still on the brink of change, deeply divided but full of hope.
JACQUELINE ANTARAMIAN (Dawlat). Broadway: Doctor Zhivago, Soul Doctor, Master Class, Mary Stuart, Coram Boy and Julius Caesar with Denzel W. NY Area Theater: The Metropolitan Opera, The Public Theater, Lincoln Center, New World Stages, McCarter, Shakespeare New Jersey. Leading Lady in over 80 productions regionally including: Hellman’s Regina, Williams’ Serafina, Kushner’s Mahala, and Shakespeare’s Gertrude, Emilia, Tamara, Volumnia, Portia, Cleopatra and Lady M, and the title roles in Candida, Mary Stuart, and Hedda Gabler. Barrymore Award: Best Actress for Nine Parts of Desire. TV includes: “Succession,” “Counterpart,” “Homeland,” “American Gods,” “Jessica Jones,” “The Tick,” “Madam Secretary,” “Elementary,” “Blacklist,” “The Path.” Film includes: Side Effects, The Siege.
MAY CALAMAWY (Busayna) is an Egyptian/Palestinian/American actor raised in Bahrain and based in Brooklyn. She completed her undergraduate studies in Acting at Emerson College and continued her studies at William Esper. TV: “The Long Road Home,” “Madam Secretary” and “The Brave.” Theater: The 5th Annual Collective: 10 Play Festival, Women’s Project Pipeline Festival ’18, Noor Theatre 48 Hour Forum and Williamstown Theatre Festival Fridays @ 3 Reading Series ‘18. SAG-AFTRA. AEA.
JAMES CUSATI-MOYER (Taha). Broadway: Six Degrees of Separation (dir. Trip Cullman). Off-Broadway: Nijinsky in World Premiere of Fire and Air by Terrence McNally (Classic Stage Company, dir. John Doyle); The Devil in The Soldier’s Tale featuring Michael Cerveris (Carnegie Hall, dir. Liz Diamond). Regional: KISS at Yale Repertory Theatre (CT Critics Circle Nominee, Best Featured Actor), Westport Country Playhouse, Williamstown Theatre Festival. Television: “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “The Path,” “Red Oaks,” “Blue Bloods,” “Time After Time.” Training: MFA, Yale School of Drama.
ASHKON DAVARAN (Abaskharon / Interrogator) is an Iranian-American actor and songwriter originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. Earlier this year he played various roles in the world premiere of One Thousand Nights and One Day (Off-Broadway). Past credits include the role of Balaga in Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812 (Off-Broadway); and the title roles in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (San Francisco Playhouse) and Beardo, composed by Dave Malloy (Shotgun Players). As a musician, Ashkon has released multiple albums and singles and has been widely recognized for his viral music videos, including his 2010 SF Giants inspired remake of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.”
ANDREW RAMCHARAN GUILARTE (Hagg Azzam). Upcoming: LLoyd in Noises Off at Syracuse Stage. He last appeared in Disgraced in Shanghai with The Great Theater of China reprising the role of Amir. In New York City he was last seen Off-Broadway playing Claudius in Waterwell’s Hamlet. Regionally he appeared in the critically acclaimed production of Disgraced as Amir (Syracuse Stage and Alliance Theatre, Atlanta), The Invisible Hand (Kansas City Rep), Twelfth Night, Malvolio (Connecticut Repertory Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Oberon/Theseus (Masterworks Theatre Company); he was in David Auburn’s Fifth Planet from the Sun at Lincoln Center’s Clark Studio Theater, and he was the King of Siam in Marriott Theatre’s critically acclaimed production of The King and I in Lincolnshire, Chicago. Other NY/Off-Broadway credits: 2G’s world premiere of Galois the Musical (The Ice Factory/The New Ohio Theater); Macbeth (Lincoln Center/Clark Studio Theater); NAATCO’S Obie Award-winning production of Awake and Sing; Immaculate at La MaMa; Bunty Berman Presents (The New Group, world premiere); The Play Company’s Obie Award-winning Invasion (Soho Rep/The Flea); Marat/Sade (Classical Theatre of Harlem); The Winter’s Tale with David Strathairn (Classic Stage Company); Jackson Heights Trilogy (Theatre 167); Bumburg: The Musical (NYIT nominee for Best Production of a Musical); Desipina’s Lonely Leela; Pulitzer Prize-finalist Rajiv Joseph’s The Leopard and the Fox (NYIT nominee for Best Ensemble); Pulitzer Prize-finalist Rollin Jones’ world premiere of The Jammer (NY Fringe); and Kingdom of Lost Songs (Lincoln Center Director’s Lab). Andrew also performed regionally in two of the three plays in the world premiere of the trilogy Displaced Hindu Gods (Mixed Blood Theatre), and The Consequences (Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater, world premiere). TV/Film: “The Blacklist,” “Elementary,” “Madame Secretary,” “Jessica Jones,” “Person of Interest,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Law and Order: SVU,” Turks, Early Edition, The Workplace, When Kiran Met Karen, and How It Probably Went Down: Gandhi. Education: M.F.A. Yale School of Drama; B.F.A. The Theatre School at DePaul University.
ALEX HARE (Stage Directions) is a director/writer investigating what it means to be a citizen-artist. Recent: You Can’t Kiss a Movie (HERE), a film/theatre hybrid inspired by the French New Wave; Chains Don’t Rattle Themselves, a song cycle about youth incarceration; and Walt Whitman BodyJolt (Barn Arts Collective), a play/fitness class. Alex is the Associate Artistic Director of Corkscrew Theater Festival, a summer festival for early-career artists. Assistant credits: School of Rock (Broadway), Side Show (Broadway, Kennedy Center), The Yacoubian Building (in development). Alex studied American Studies at Columbia University. http://alexhare.nyc
ELIUD KAUFFMAN (Zaki Bey). Theatre credits include Crisis (Hudson Guild Theatre), Bellini and the Sultan (FringeNYC), Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Maddox Theatre/T.Schreiber). Film credits include Bel Canto (dir. Paul Weitz), Hands of Stone (dir. Jonathan Jakubowicz), From Nowhere (dir. Mathew Newton), The Intern (dir. Nancy Meyers), Lloro (dir. Ramazan Nanayev (2013 NY Int’l Film Festival Best Actor Nomination), Con Dios (dir. Carlos Ybarra). TV credits include “Boardwalk Empire,” “Flesh and Bone,” “The Blacklist,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Blue Bloods.” Education, B.A. Princeton University and the T. Schreiber Studio Conservatory alum.
ANTOINETTE LAVECCHIA (Souad). Recent: The Portuguese Kid (MTC), Project Dawn (People’s Light), The Blameless (The Old Globe), A Comedy of Tenors (McCarter Theatre, Cleveland Play House). NY: Torch Song (Broadway, Fall 2018), A View From The Bridge (Broadway), String of Pearls (Primary Stages). Film/TV: Team Marco, “Blindspot,” Deliver Us From Evil, “Law & Order: SVU,” “Blue Bloods,” “The Sopranos,” “Killing Kennedy.” Training: MFA Tisch/NYU, Moscow Art Theatre, Philippe Gaulier/Theatre de Complicité. Member of Dramatist Guild, Drama League Fellow, LPTW & The Actor’s Center. www.antoinettelavecchia.com
AHMAD MAKSOUD (Hatim) is proud to represent his Egyptian heritage in Atlantic Theater’s Middle Eastern MixFest. He is currently in the company of The Band’s Visit on Broadway. Ahmad has participated in productions and workshops at the American Repertory Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, Atlantic Theater Company, Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, New World Stages, and The O’Neill. TV credits include “The Good Fight,” “Madam Secretary,” and “The Blacklist.” www.ahmadmaksoud.com.
LUIS MORENO (Sheik Shakir). Off-Broadway: The Government Inspector (Red Bull), The Age of Iron (Classic Stage Company). Regional: we, the invisibles (Humana); Ropes (Two River); Seven Spots on the Sun (Cinninnati Playhouse); Arabian Nights (Berkeley Rep, Arena Stage); Peer Gynt (La Jolla, Kansas City Rep); Anna in the Tropics (Capital Rep). Other NY: Three Sisters (Nature Theater of Oklahoma); Distant Star and Open Up, Hadrian (Caborca); so go the ghosts of mexico, part one (LaMaMa); Fetes de la Nuit (The Ohio). Film: Home, Zzzzzzz TV: “The Good Fight,” “The Mysteries of Laura,” “Daredevil,” “Madam Secretary,” “Person of Interest.” MFA: Columbia University.
HAYTHEM NOOR (Shazli) is a native New Yorker born in Cairo, Egypt. Noor has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the City University of New York. He also studied the Meisner acting technique under William Esper at Esper Studio. He has recently appeared in “Homeland,” “Madam Secretary,” “Law & Order,” “Without a Trace,” “Third Watch,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and more. In Misha Schulman’s play, Desert Sunrise, he was described by The New York Times as ‘haunting and caustic’. Ultimately, Noor lives by the maxim, “The artist can work any job there is, but only for a short while. Only artistic jobs can fulfill us, so we must hold on to them until the end.” He is always eagerly looking forward to his next acting opportunity.
LOUIS SALLAN (Khalid) has a BA from Western Michigan University and an MFA from NYU Graduate Acting 2013. Some of his more recent theatre credits are: The Invisible Hand at Cleveland Playhouse; The Mecca Tales at The Sheen Center; The Strangest at New York Theatre Workshop; Oklahoma at Arrow Rock Lyceum; May Violets Spring at The Workshop Theatre; Hamlet. TV/Film Credits: “Blue Bloods,” “The Blacklist,” “The Blacklist: Redemption,” “Madam Secretary” and Crossing The Line.
JUSTIN WALKER WHITE (Abd Rabbuh) is an actor from NYC and is thrilled to be working with Atlantic this summer. Theater: Julius Caesar (The Public Theater); Utopia MN, The First Immigrant, The Model American (Williamstown, non-eq company). TV: “Blue Bloods,” “Madam Secretary,” “The Blacklist,” “Broad City.” Education: MFA, NYU Tisch Graduate Acting. More at justinwalkerwhite.com
ZENZI WILLIAMS (Hidiya). Last seen in the title role of The Public Theater’s Mobile Unit of Henry V. Other theater credits include The Crucible (Broadway), The Homecoming Queen (Atlantic Theater Company), Imogen Says Nothing (Yale Repertory Theater), Mother Courage and Her Children (Classic Stage Company). Television credits include “The Good Fight,” “The Defenders.” Upcoming: “Daredevil.” Film: Black Panther, The Mess He Made. Williams studied at the British American Dramatic Academy and has an MFA from the Yale School of Drama.
KAREEM FAHMY (Playwright) is a Canadian-born playwright and director of Egyptian descent. His plays, which include The In-Between and Pareidolia, have been developed with Noor Theatre, Working Theater, The Lark, Rising Circle Theater Collective, and Fault Line Theatre. The Yacoubian Building was previously developed at The Drama League and LaGuardia Performing Arts Center. Kareem has directed a number of world premieres including Sevan K. Greene’s This Time (Rising Circle, New York Times Critics’ Pick), James Scruggs’s 3/Fifths (3LD, New York Times 5 Must-See Shows), Victor Lesniewski’s Couriers and Contrabands (TBG Theatre), Nikkole Salter’s Indian Head (Luna Stage), and Adam Kraar’s Alternating Currents (Working Theatre). He is a founder of Maia Directors, a consulting group for organizations and artists engaging with stories from the Middle East and beyond. New York Theater Workshop Usual Suspect. MFA: Columbia University. www.kareemfahmy.com
MELISSA CRESPO (Director) is a NYC based director of theater, opera and film. Recent credits include: Pedro Pan the Musical (NYMF); In the Blue Hour (Lil’ Explosions); The Review or How to Eat Your Opposition(WP Theatre); eat and you belong to us (NYU Tisch); ¡Figaro! (90210) (The Duke on 42nd Street & LA Opera); ABC Talent Showcase (Disney NYC); Destiny of Desire (Garden Theatre); Tar Baby (Edinburgh Fringe Festival & London Vault Festival); Upcoming: graveyard shift (San Francisco Playhouse); Native Gardens (Syracuse Stage, Geva Theatre Center & Portland Stage); Daughters of the Rebellion (Montclair State University). Fellowships/Residencies: Time Warner Fellow (WP Theatre); Usual Suspect (NYTW); The Director’s Project (Drama League); Van Lier Directing Fellow (Second Stage Theatre); Allen Lee Hughes Directing Fellow (Arena Stage). Melissa received her MFA in Directing from The New School for Drama. melissacrespo.com