NYC: Jenny Rachel Weiner's Kingdom Come (Roundabout Underground); Ike Holter's Exit Strategy (Primary Stages); Heidi Schreck's Grand Concourse (Playwrights Horizons); Jesse Eisenberg's The Revisionist and Asuncion, Halley Feiffer's How to Make Friends and Then Kill Them, Heidi Schreck's There Are No More Big Secrets, Sheila Callaghan's That Pretty Pretty; or, The Rape Play (Rattlestick); Ariel Stess's The World My Mama Raised and I'm Pretty Fucked Up, Sheila Callaghan's Roadkill Confidential, Rachel Hoeffel's Quail (Clubbed Thumb); Carlos Murillo's A Thick Description of Harry Smith, Sam Hunter's Jack's Precious Moment (P73); Reggie Watts and Tommy Smith's Radio Play (PS 122). Regional: Alliance, Long Wharf, Woolly Mammoth, Williamstown, Humana, George Street Playhouse, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Portland Center Stage, Marin Theatre Company, City Theatre. Taught and/or directed at Juilliard, NYU, SUNY Purchase, National Theatre Institute, Strasberg Center. NEA/TCG directing fellow, Clubbed Thumb affiliated artist, co-founder of Printer’s Devil in Seattle.
An eloquent, frequently comic new drama.
It simply does one of the things theater does best:
It gets us thinking about how to be human together.
The two families in The Profane are American. They’re also immigrants, as most Americans are or were, somewhere back in the family tree, navigating the difficulties of assimilation, holding onto some of their traditions and altering others, trying to maintain an authentic identity while becoming something new.
The action in The Profane starts when the daughter of super-urbane and secular Arab-American writer, Raif, announces her engagement to the son of traditional, working-class Arab-American parents. Plays about lovers from divergent backgrounds abound in the history of the theater. We all love a happy ending. But most often, when playwrights introduce marriages into their plays, they are looking for trouble.
“The Profane” reflects Zayd’s international perspective, his cosmopolitan sensibility, and his keen sensitivity to the often unspoken dynamics that can unite or divide people from different worlds. It is also, like others of his plays, a story about the sometimes maddening difficulty of being a parent.
“Who are the secular humanists?” Paul Kurtz, founder of the Council for Secular Humanism, asks. “Perhaps,” he proposes, “everyone who believes in the principles of free inquiry, ethics based upon reason, and a commitment to science, democracy, and freedom. Perhaps even you.”