This Is Who I Am
Meet the Artists
Amir Nizar Zuabi is the artistic director of the Shiber Hur Company and an international associate of the Young Vic Theatre London. His award winning shows have gained new audiences locally in Palestine and also internationally thanks to acclaimed festivals and theatres, drawing new attention to the Palestinian Theatre scene. Zuabi first cut his teeth with Stories Under Occupation for Al Kasabah theatre in Ramallah. The show won the Cairo Theatre Festival and Carthage Festival for Best Production. It toured extensively, presented at the Royal Court London, Tokyo International, Goteborg Festival, Lincoln Center NY and elsewhere. Following this success, Zuabi was invited as a guest director to the Young Vic Theatre in London in 2002, where he directed When the World was Green by Sam Shepard. In 2004 he was invited by the Teatro Collosseo in Rome to direct the play In Prigone con Wittgenstein by Mariano Apria. In 2005, Zuabi staged Jidariyya, at the Palestinian National Theatre based on a poem by Mahmoud Darwish. The show toured extensively in Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, and Spain and was invited to Peter Brook’s Bouffes du Nord Theatre in Paris and the prestigious Edinburgh International Festival. In 2009 he premiered Saint-Saëns’s Opera Samson and Delilah at the Vlamesse Opera house in Antwerp.
In 2009, Zuabi founded the Shiber Hur Theatre Company, of which he is the artistic director, and began to collaborate with the Young Vic Theatre London. As part of this collaboration he has directed I Am Yusuf, The Beloved One, and In The Penal Colony as co-productions between his company shiberhur and the Young Vic, all winning critical acclaim in London and touring internationally. He was the first Middle-Eastern director to be invited to direct in the Royal Shakespeare Company, where he directed a sold-out production of The Comedy of Errors.
He has written 7 published plays I Am Yusuf And This Is My Brother, The Beloved One, With Great Sorrow, Oh My Sweet Land ,Three Days Of Mourn, West of Us is The Sea, and the children’s musical Mid Spring Song, as well as numerous adaptations and devised pieces for stage.
Evren Odcikin (Director) is a theater director, writer, and arts administrator with a deep commitment to championing historically excluded voices in the American theater. He serves as the Associate Artistic Director and Director of Artistic Programming at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He is a founding steering committee member of the MENA Theater Maker Alliance, a founder of Maia Directors, and a resident artist with Golden Thread Productions. Evren was born and raised in Turkey.
Ramsey Faragallah is an actor, a writer, & teacher. Onstage he has appeared at the Kennedy Center, The Public Theater, Playwrights Horizons, Manhattan Theater Club, Rikers Island and other minimum and maximum security prisons, Yale University, Sundance, The McCarter, The Culture Project, Williamstown, Hartford Stage, Red Bull, New York Stage & Film, The New Vic (London) and theaters throughout Europe and Australia. His many television appearances include recurring and guest star roles in Tommy, Bull, Mozart in the Jungle, Taken, Madame Secretary, The Black List, Homeland, the Law & Order trifecta, & thirteen seasons with David Letterman. He has appeared in the films of Sidney Pollack, Sidney Lumet and several films of Woody Allen. Voiceover work for RadioLab, This American Life, Playing on Air, NOVA, Random House, Penguin and others. Ramsey studied with Ms. Stella Adler, is a member of The Actors Center and is enthusiastically dedicated to restoring, driving & racing vintage automobiles.
Yousof Sultani (Actor) was most recently seen as SON in “This Is Who I Am” (a joint production by Woolly Mammoth, PlayCo, Guthrie, A.R.T and Oregon Shakespeare Festival). Other credits include: “Selling Kabul” (Seattle Rep), “The Gradient” (St Louis Rep) “A Thousand Splendid Suns” (Arena Stage), “And Then There Were None” (Drury Lane), “Photograph 51” (Court Theatre), “Heartland” (InterAct Theatre), “Miss Bennet: Christmas At Pemberley” and “Guards At the Taj” (Milwaukee Repertory Theater), “The Doppelgänger: An International Farce” and “The Fundamentals” (Steppenwolf Theater), “United Flight 232” (House Theatre), “Disappearing Number” and “Inana” (TimeLine Theatre), “Othello” (Chicago Shakespeare Theater) and “The Hundred Flowers Project“ (Silk Road Rising). Film credits include Glass House. Television credits include The Big Leap (FOX),The Brave (NBC), Empire (FOX) and Chicago Fire (NBC). Yousof received his BFA in Performance from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Reza Behjat was born and raised in Iran where he worked with some of the most prominent directors for several years before moving to the United States in 2014. Off-Broadway: Wish You Were Here (Playwrights Horizons); The Vagrant Trilogy (The Public); Out of Time (The Public/NAATCO); English (Atlantic); P.S. (Ars Nova); Disclaimer (The Public’s UTR); Henry VI (NAATCO); Hamlet (Waterwell). Regional and others: Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Guthrie Theater, PlayMakers Rep, Actors Theater of Louisville, Baltimore Center Stage, Geva Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare, New Georges, Long Wharf Theater, etc. Awards: Knight of Illumination Award (Nina Simone: Four Women, 2019)
Mariana Sanchez (Set Designer) is a scenic designer originally from Mexico with a background in architecture based in the New York area. Some of her credits include: Anatomy of a Suicide (The Atlantic Theater) Marys Seacole (LTC3), Fade (Primary Stages), Troy, Winter’s Tale (The Public), Frontieres Sans Frontieres ( Bushwick Starr), Oh My Sweet Land ( Play Company). Regional: Manahatta, War (Yale Repertory), The Copper Children, Manahatta, The River Bride, All’s Well That Ends Well (OSF), Mojada (St Louis Rep), The Niceties (Geva Theater), Fetch Clay, Make Man (Dallas Theater Center), Skeleton Crew (Baltimore Center Stage), The Wolves, Fade (TheaterWorks), Peter Pan (Yale University) among others. She holds an MFA from the Yale School of Drama and B. Arch. from National Autonomous University in Mexico City.
Dina El-Aziz: Off-Broadway: I Thought I Would Die But I Didn’t (The Tank) Eh Dah? Questions for My Father (Hypokrit Theatre/NYTW Next Door) The Russian and The Jew (Anna & Kitty Inc/The Tank), Dead Are My People (Noor Theater/NYTW's Next Door); Field Awakening (Corkscrew Festival); Alternating Currents (The Working Theater); Other theatre: P*ssyC*ck Know Nothing, News Of The Strange, Marjana and the Forty Thieves, Pay No Attention To The Girl (Target Margin Theater). Regional: 9 Parts of Desire (Portland Center Stage); King Lear (Northern Stage); Noura (The Guthrie); Noura (The Old Globe); Yasmina’s Necklace (Premiere Stages); Selling Kabul (Williamstown Theatre Festival); Pay No Attention To The Girl (Target Margin Theater/Spoleto Festival); We’ve Come to Believe, The Corpse Washer, How to Defend Yourself (Actors Theatre of Louisville/43rd Humana Festival), Heartland (Geva Theatre Center). Film: Roommates (Short); Keiko’s Hands (Short); Jihadi Street (Short); Shift (Short); Prisoners of War (Short). JS Seidman Award.
James Ard (Sound Designer) is a noisemaker with a focus on new works, interactive media, and immersive stage productions. Recent theatrical Sound Design credits include Our Country (Under The Radar Festival / The Public Theater), This Is Who I Am (Playco / Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company), This Much I Know, Exit Strategy (Aurora Theatre Company), 9 Parts of Desire (Portland Center Stage), Utopia, La Ronde (Cutting Ball Theater), A Small Fire (Shotgun Players), and Indecent (San Francisco Playhouse).
From their respective kitchens in Ramallah and New York City, they recreate a cherished family recipe and struggle to bridge the gap between them, one ingredient at a time. Told through the intimacy of a video call, with humor and humanity Amir Nizar Zuabi’s new play explores the unpredictable nature of grief and the delicacy of family connection across geographical and generational divides.
Ramsey Faragallah Yousof Sultani
Video Systems Designer
Rachael Danielle Albert
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company American Repertory Theater Guthrie Theater Oregon Shakespeare Festival