Date(s) - 02/08/2018 - 03/03/2018
James Levin Theatre
Cleaveland Public Theater
By Leila Buck. Directed and developed by Tamilla Woodard. Developed in collaboration with Ali Andre Ali, Osh Ghanimah, Jens Rasmussen, Imran Sheikh, and Andrew Aaron Valdez.
You are invited into the live studio audience of American Dreams, where you will decide which of three contestants will receive the ultimate prize: citizenship in “the greatest nation on earth.” Weaving playful audience engagement with up-to-the-moment questions about immigration and more, this participatory performance explores how we navigate between fear, security, and freedom; who and what we choose to believe—and how those choices come to shape who we are. World Premiere.
About the playwright: Leila Buck is a Lebanese American writer, actor, and intercultural educator who has lived and worked across the U.S. and in 22 countries. She has performed and developed her plays with/at the Public Theater, Culture Project, Brooklyn Museum, Arena Stage (Best Performances, DC Metro Theater Arts 2016), New York Theatre Workshop (Drama League nomination), and the Wilma Theater (Barrymore Award). A State Department Speaker Specialist and Cultural Envoy, Leila has worked with UN teams to craft and perform stories of refugees and led workshops and dialogues on theatrical tools for cross-cultural communication with youth, aid workers, UN delegates, and educators in Denmark, Geneva, Istanbul, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, and Lebanon. She received the Edgar Beckham Social Justice award for her work as artist-in-residence for Wesleyan University’s Doris Duke Foundation Building Bridges grant, teaching and creating interactive theatrical dialogues with students, faculty, and community about the (mis)representation of Muslims in the U.S.. She has taught storytelling and theatre for literacy, conflict resolution, and intercultural engagement with New York Theatre Workshop and Lincoln Center and at cultural, educational, and community-based institutions across the U.S. and around the world. Her work is featured in/on TCG’s Finding Home Essay Salon; Lark’s Stages of Resistance blog; Innovation in Five Acts; Etching Our Own Image: Voices from the Arab American Art Movement, and Four Arab-American Plays. She is a member of the Public Theater’s inaugural Emerging Writers Group, a Usual Suspect with New York Theatre Workshop, and teaches Participatory Performance and Civic Engagement and Representation of Arabs and Muslims in U.S. Theater at NYU. www.leilabuck.com