Mihbaj: a staged reading of a play by Riad Ismat Guild Complex

Tuesday June 19th - For the past seven years, Syria has been a news headline, yet the nuances of its tragedy remain an enigma to many. Mihbaj sheds a light on the humanitarian side of this crisis that has divided families by grudges and fanatic allegiances, scattered Syrians as refugees to many Western countries, and troubled the conscience of the entire developed world.

Near the areas occupied by both extreme Islamists and Kurds in northern Syria, a widow struggles to hold her three sons together. Meanwhile, war spreads animosity, grinding the souls of a once harmonious haven like a traditional Mihbaj, grinding coffee.

Suggested donation - $5 at the door. Details, info@GuildComplex.org


06/19/18 - 06/19/18


Mihbaj is a part of the The Voices of Protest series which highlights diasporic writers working in Chicago today, in collaboration with artists and activists from around the world, to offer unique events at the intersection of arts and activism.  Because the legacy of refugees and other immigrants in Chicago colors the city's literary and political landscape.

Riad Ismat (Playwright/Director) is a Syrian dramatist, director, short story and screenplay writer, who has 18 stage plays, 7 television series and many published books to his credit. He directed for Damascus National Theatre and Syria's Academy of Dramatic Arts. He teaches in Northwestern University's Department of Radio, Television, and Film, and works with Columbia College and other institutions.


Featuring, in order of appearance:

John Green (Narrator) is a British trained professor at Columbia College, Chicago. He directed Pornography for Flinders University, South Australia, Love and Information, Come Unto These Yellow Sands and The Conference of the Birds for Columbia College, along with several other works he directed in Indiana and elsewhere.

Heidi Katz (Naifeh) has appeared in Piven Theatre Workshop's Ivanov and The Good Doctor, and in Interrobang Theatre Project's production of Deanna Jents' play Falling. She has also worked with Oil Lamp Theater (The Girl in the Freudian Slip), Halcyon Theatre (The Wild Duck), Northlight Theatre, Polarity Ensemble Theatre, and Silk Road Rising.

Nawaf Gasem (Adnan) is an actor, known for Unto All Nations (2010) and Samuel: A Journey of Discovery (2010). He has acted in several Chicago theaters.

Sami Ismat (Fares) is a director, performer and teaching artist, who worked with Silk Road Rising, CollaborAction, Trap Door, Green House, Centre and Northlight theatres. Sami holds an MFA in directing from East 15 Acting School, UK.

Bassam Abdelfattah (Jasem) is an actor, known for Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams (2017) and The Chi (2018). He is well-known in Chicago theatre circles.


Riad Ismat

Riad Ismat

John Green, Heidi Katz, Nawaf Gasem, Sami Ismat and Bassam Abdelfattah

Tags: Literary, Old Europe, 2018