Category: About the Playwrights


msnbc Dr. Abdelfattah Abusrour, general manager of the Al Rowwad Cultural Center in Bethlehem.jpg

Abdelfattah AbuSrour is a writer/actor/director from Bethlehem. He has performed and directed plays in Palestine, Europe, and the US, including Waiting for Rain, We Are the Children of the Camp, and Handala, adapted from Naji al-Ali’s cartoons. Far Away from a Villag Close By won first prize in the Deir Yassin Remembered Festival in London. In 2014, he directed The Diary of Anne Frank for Burning Coal Theatre Company in Raleigh, NC. AbuSrour is a recipient of the Ashoka Fellowship and Synergos’ Arab World Social Innovator Award. In 1998, he co-founded the Alrowwad Cultural and Theatre Center for Children in the Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem.


Natasha Greenblatt is from Toronto, Canada. She is a writer, actor and maker of theatre, television, and film. A graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada, Natasha has acted in plays across Canada and the United States. She wrote, acted in, and co-produced the short film, Flush. Her play, The Peace Maker, was part of the 2013 Next Stage Theatre Festival.


Karen Hartman recently held the Playwrights’ Center’s McKnight National Residency and Commission for a nationally recognized playwright in the US. Goliath, about the 2005 Gaza pullout, won the Dorothy Silver New Play Prize, and underlies a new work Gaza Rehearsal. Hartman’s works include: Roz and Ray (Edgerton New Play Prize), The Book of Joseph, Project Dawn, Gum, Leah’s Train, Going Gone (NEA New Play Grant), Girl Under Grain (Best Drama in NY Fringe), Wild Kate, ALICE: Tales of a Curious Girl (Music by Gina Leishman), Troy Women, and MotherBone, score by Graham Reynolds (Frederick Loewe Award for New Musical Theater). Hartman’s work has been supported by the Sustainable Arts Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation at Bellagio, the NEA, the Helen Merrill Foundation, a Hodder Fellowship, a Jerome Fellowship, and a Fulbright Scholarship to Jerusalem. She has written for both The New York Times and The Washington Post. An alumna of New Dramatists and long-time New Yorker, Hartman is now Senior Artist in Residence at the University of Washington School of Drama.


Ismail Khalidi ’s plays include Truth Serum Blues (Pangea World Theater), Foot, Final Status, Tennis in Nablus (Alliance Theatre), and a co-adaptation of Returning to Haifa. He is the co-editor, with Naomi Wallace, of Inside/Outside: Six Plays from Palestine and the Diaspora (TCG, 2015). His writing has appeared in Mizna, Guernica, The Nation, American Theatre, The Daily Beast, and Remezcla. Khalidi received his MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Born in Beirut and raised in the US, he currently resides in Chile, where he is an artist-in-residence at Teatro Amal.

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Hannah Khalil is an award-winning Palestinian-Irish writer whose stage plays include Ring (Winner of Soho Theatre’s Westminster Prize), Leaving Home, Plan D (nominated for the Meyer-Whitworth Award), Bitterenders (Winner of Sandpit Arts’ Bulbul 2013) and The Worst Cook in the West Bank. Hannah’s radio plays include Last of the Pearl Fishers and The Deportation Room, both for BBC Radio 4. Hannah’s latest work includes a production of Scenes from 68* Years at the Arcola Theatre, London, in April 2016.


Arthur Milner was Resident Playwright at Ottawa’s Great Canadian Theatre Company from 1984 to 1991, and then Artistic Director until 1995. He has taught theatre at Concordia and Carleton Universities, and at Algonquin College and the National Theatre School, and has worked as a dramaturge at the Manitoba Association of Playwrights, the Banff Playwrights Colony, and Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal. His articles on social, economic, and arts issues have appeared in The Globe and Mail and Inroads, The Canadian Journal of Opinion, where he is a regular columnist. His published plays include 1997; Zero Hour; Learning to Live with Personal Growth; It’s Not a Country, It’s Winter; Crusader of the World; and Joan Henry, the Musical (with Allen Cole and Estelle Shook). He lives with his wife, theatre director Jennifer Brewin, in Val-des-Monts, Quebec.


Stephen Orlov is an award-winning dramatist whose plays have been showcased in such major theatre centres as Montreal, Chicago, and London. They include Isolated Incident (with Rahul Varma), Salaam- Shalom, Bow Ties, Sperm Count, and Freeze, his box office hit at Montreal’s Centaur Theatre Company, which Guernica Editions has just published. Stephen also teaches master classes on script writing for theatre and film, most recently for the Saint Lucia National Arts Festival and the Osher Institute at Dartmouth College. He has recently served on the Board Executives of Playwrights Guild of Canada and Playwrights Canada Press, and he is currently a member of the inaugural Playwrights Unit of Infinitheatre. Stephen is now writing his recently commissioned play, Birthmark, the sequel to Sperm Count. Boston-born, Stephen resides in Montreal with his wife, cellist Karen Kaderavek.


Samah Sabawi  is an award winning poet and playwright. Her play Tales Of A City By The Sea (Currency Press 2016) had two sellout seasons at La Mama (2014 & 2016), and was staged at Sydney’s Casula Powerhouse and Adelaide’s Bakhouse Theatres in 2016. The play had its first Arabic language production at Alrowwad’s Cultural Theater Society in Palestine in 2014 and its first Malaysian production in 2017 at Theatre KuAsh.  Tales of a City by the Sea was selected for the 2016 Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) Drama Playlist and it won two Drama Victoria awards for best new Australian publication for VCE And best performance by a theatre company for VCE.  Sabawi’s poetry anthology I Remember My Name, edited by Vacy Vlazna and co-authored with Baroud and Bseiso (Novum 2016) won the 2016 Palestine Book Awards. Sabawi is a cultural ambassador for the Melbourne Theatre Company and Multicultural Arts Victoria and a PhD candidate at Victoria University.


Lisa Schlesinger is a recipient of the NEA/TCG Theatre Residency Program for Playwrights Award, winner of the BBC International Radio Playwriting Competition and a USA Artist Fellowship finalist. She has received commissions from the Guthrie Theater and Ensemble Studio Theatres, the BBC, and fellowships from the NEA, CEC International, and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Her plays include In the Wake of the Graybow Riots, Celestial Bodies, Rock Ends Ahead, The Bones of Danny Winston, and Iphigenia: Fragments from an Excavation, a theatre/ film collaboration. Lisa’s work has been published in The New York Times, American Theatre, and in PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art.


Betty Shamieh

is a Palestinian-American playwright and was named a UNESCO Young Artist for Intercultural Dialogue in 2011. Her off-Broadway premieres are The Black Eyed (New York Theatre Workshop) and Roar (The New Group). Her recent European productions in translation include Again and Against (Playhouse Teater, Stockholm), The Black Eyed (Fournos Theatre, Athens), and Territories (European Capitals of Culture Festival). A graduate of Harvard College and the Yale School of Drama, Shamieh was selected as a Clifton Visiting Artist at Harvard in 2004 and named as a Playwriting Fellow at Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies in 2006. Her works have been translated into seven languages. Visit her at www.


Naomi Wallace is an Obie Award–winning playwright from Kentucky. Her plays—produced in the United Kingdom, Europe, the United States, and the Middle East—include In the Heart of America, Slaughter City, One Flea Spare, The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek, Things of Dry Hours, The Fever Chart, And I And Silence, and The Liquid Plain. In 2009, One Flea Spare was incorporated into the permanent repertoire of the French national theatre, the Comédie-Française. Wallace is also a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship and the 2012 Horton Foote Award. In 2013 Wallace received the Windham–Campbell Prize for Drama.