the Broadway company of JT Rogers’ OSLO, in red for International Women’s Day

OSLO has been in rehearsal now for a few weeks, calibrating the show for the Vivian Beaumont Theater and the limited Broadway run this spring (April 13th ~ June 18th). The entire team of last summer’s Off-Broadway run at the Newhouse is back together, (with the addition of another actor to the ‘cover crew’, easing my load a bit. A bit.) In this pic from the rehearsal room, with everyone all in red in support of International Women’s Day, you can see how damn happy everyone is to be back together and headed to the Great White Way with this marvelous production. Get your tickets, now!

 


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I’ve spent the past month on the gorgeous campus of Princeton University, playing ‘Tariq/Tim’ in the McCarter Theatre’s LAB Spotlight production of Heather Raffo’s NOURA, featuring the playwright, herself, along with Dahlia Azama and Haaz Sleiman. Sincerely grateful to the crack team at the McCarter for a most hospitable stay, as well as to photographer Brad Resnick for these images. It’s been a year since I began workshopping this piece, through incarnations at CSC, EpicTheatreEnsemble, and Noor Theatre here in the city, with jaunts to Kansas City Repertory and the Arab American Museum along the way. I’m now on to other scheduled projects, but wishing Heather and the gang much success as they forge NOURA’s future, beginning with the world premiere production at the Shakespeare Theatre in D.C. in 2018.

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Catch me tonight, 10pm on NBC, as a Libyan scholar, father, and head of a techno-terror cell as ‘The BLACKLIST’ returns after a holiday hiatus. Spittin’ some mean Arabic in this episode…might this guy return, sometime in the future?
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After a critically-acclaimed and sold-out run at the Mitzi Newhouse (closing 08/28), Lincoln Center Theater has decided to move ‘OSLO’ upstairs to the Vivian Beaumont and Broadway, next spring! I’ve accepted their invitation to continue ‘covering’ four of the principal male roles in the production: ‘Hassan Asfour’ (played by Dariush Kashani), ‘Ahmed Qurie’ (Anthony Azizi), ‘Uri Savir’ (Michael Aronov), and ‘Yossi Beilin’ (Adam Dannheisser).

For all the boards I’ve trod, I’d never ‘understudied’ before, and tackling these four roles has been a mammoth, gymnastic task. I’m grateful to LCT and to Bart Sher for the vote of confidence as they introduce J.T. Rogers’ stunning new play to New York.

In addition to the guys I cover, the company is chock-full of fantastic actors: Jennifer Ehle and Jefferson Mays, Daniel Jenkins, Henny Russell and T. Ryder Smith, Daniel Oreskes, Christopher McHale and Jeb Kreager, Angela Pierce, Joe Siravo, Jeff Still, and Jack Koenig. These are hearty, hardy New York actors, all…so, I don’t know how often I’ll be hitting the stage, myself, but follow me on twitter and Instagram for all the late-breaking news next spring!

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I’ve been workshopping Heather Raffo‘s new play, NOURA, over the past several months as Tariq/Tim, Noura’s husband and Iraqi refugee. Monday, June 13th at 7pm, the work is featured in Classic Stage Company’s First Look Festival. This is an astounding new work.  Get your tickets here and say you saw it first.firstlookibsen_800x315


oslosquare.jpeg__480x480_q85_crop_subsampling-2_upscaleThrilled to be spending the summer at Lincoln Center Theater, understudying a few choice roles in their production of J.T. Rogers’ new play about the peace negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis in the early 1990s in, yes, OSLO. A cast of fantastic actors, directed by Bart Sher…and, a juggling act I’ve never attempted before. Follow my twitterfeed to see if I go on! Yalla!


Spent the weekend workshopping Act One of Ismail Khalidi‘s latest, a commission from Noor Theatre exploring issues of race and citizenship in America, circa the First World War and amid the Syrian migrant/peddler community, who settled all over the South and West of these United States.  The very next night, Noor won an Obie Award. Read the citation from the Obie judges and discover why this gorgeous company has bloomed over the last several years.

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Ali Abbas’ whipsmart brainchild, ‘The Ridge’, about a quartet of 20-something Muslim superheroes living in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, has been picked up to series by AmazonStudios and TheRidge_AmazonPrimewill begin shooting in NYC in the fall. The pilot episode has been retooled as the ‘Origin Story’ and begins streaming June 1st on AmazonPrime. You’ll catch me later in the year in a featured role as ‘Kareem’, father to one of the super-powered foursome…who’d do just about anything for his darling daughter. Anything. Keep ‘The Ridge’ on your radar!

 


I’m fortunate this spring to be working on a searing, contemporary adaptation/refraction of Ibsen’s Et Dukkehjem, or A Doll House, penned by the fierce Heather Raffo, and titled, ‘NOURA’. Here in the city, we’ve had a reading at the LARK as well as ten days of workshop/performance with Epic Theatre Ensemble. Then, a long weekend as an Incubator project at UARTS in Philadelphia at the beginning of April, and we’ll hang at the McCarter for more development, middle of June.

I’ve played Torvald in Ibsen’s play, for director Nancy Keystone, and it’s a role full of contradiction, to my eyes and in my experience. Heather’s taken the whole, roiling ‘revolution’ in the play to an urgency, a currency, which is startling and deeply moving. ‘Re-imagined’ in contemporary New York City, and peopled by refugees from the devastation in Iraq, this five-character piece subtly detonates images of identity, love, family, sacrifice, war, silence, courage, and the very survival of the race, into a taut and tender ninety minutes. It’s a feverish feat of playwrighting…and, as Heather works on it,  it’s only getting better.

As Tariq, (or, ‘Tim’, in his American incarnation), I’ve had the opportunity to dig around in a rich and complicated role, as well as to develop an intimate artistic marriage with Heather. Came along just when I needed it. I’m grateful to her for asking me along thus far…and, I’m excited for all of you as this play moves toward production! Put it on your radar. NOURA.

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Fantastic time this week rehearsing with some of the best actors around (Mike Crane, Larry Powell, R.J. Foster) for the Noor Theatre reading of Ramiz Monsef’s hilarious play, ‘Brother Gary’, one night only (tonight, 11/17!) at New York Theatre Workshop.

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