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English

BY SANAZ TOOSSI
DIRECTED BY KNUD ADAMS

LINDA GROSS THEATER

FEBRUARY 5 – MARCH 20


2020 Steinberg Playwright Award and the Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award winner Sanaz Toossi returns to Atlantic following her Middle Eastern MixFest debut!

More Info

Two words set in motion award-winning playwright Sanaz Toossi’s intricate and profound New York debut: “English Only.” This is the mantra that rules one classroom in Iran, where four adult students are preparing for the TOEFL — the Test of English as a Foreign Language. Chasing fluency through a maze of word games, listening exercises, and show-and-tell sessions, they hope that one day, English will make them whole. But it might be splitting them each in half.

Running time: approximately 100 minutes, with no intermission

Reviews

A rich new play! Both contemplative and comic. The director Knud Adams gently underlines the calm, almost classical rhythms of Toossi’s writing. The cast is uniformly excellent.

JESSE GREEN, THE NEW YORK TIMES

 

“One of the best plays in New York right now! Exquisitely written, performed, and directed. Those plays that appear, shimmer, and conquer an audience so wholly you feel a delicious, building two-way crackle in the room as a performance progresses. English  is one such gem. This critic’s advice is pretty simple. Book a ticket!”

tim teeman, The daily beast

 

An outstanding play. A masterfully executed look at the impossibility of translating humanity through imperfect means.

JUAN A. RAMIREZ, THEATRELY

 

“Fascinating and completely satisfying. Toossi’s implications would be admirable at any time, but it is unquestionably relevant to 2022.

david finkle, new york stage review

★★★★★

English  is both a buoyant comedy of communication and a subtle but probing exploration of what it means to speak and feel understood. That one play can accomplish as much with wit, ease, precision, and heart, makes it among the best new plays of the season.”

Naveen kumar, new york theatre guide

 

“Profoundly cathartic. It elicits understanding and empathy for the struggles people face in learning and fully comprehending language that’s foreign to them. Insightful and thought provoking.

deb miller, dc metro theater arts

 

“An exquisitely crafted production. Sanaz Toossi has given a gift to native English speakers and foreigners alike, through which we get to interrogate our very sense of self. My experience at English  was a nostalgic, enlightening, and somewhat shattering one.”

ran xia, did they like it

 

Must-see theater. Toossi’s brilliance lies in her capacity to illuminate the intangible. Expertly written, beautifully acted and sensitively directed.

sarah downs, front row center


Additional Resources

Upstage Playgoers guide

We’re thrilled to be working with Roundabout Theatre Company to co-produce this beautiful play! Check out their Upstage Playgoer’s Guide to learn about the historical context for the play and dig into the artistic choices made by the show’s creative team.

ENGLISH Study guide

To view the English Study Guide for educators, click HERE.

Photos by Ahron R. Foster.