Category Archives: 2016

Al’ukhraa Blog



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MSP has embarked on a very personal project for our 2016 FREE Shakespeare in the ParkS production.

On December 7, 2015 Donald Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States”. This was just the beginning of what has created the current political climate of fear of “The Other” in the United States.

Al’ukhraa: A Study in Othello will integrate personal stories from NYC high school girls with Shakespeare’s Othello.

We want to create a space for these girls’ voices to be heard.

We want to bring to the forefront what is happening in our own backyard.

We want to stir our communities to action.

This is the blog of the girls, the actors, the women, the production team as they create, rehearse, and perform  Al’ukhraa.

This is a conversation our entire community needs to be having. Please send us your thoughts, your own stories, and join us as we share ours.

And come see the SHOW!


2016 الأخرى A Study in Othello


Read the Al’ukhraa BLOG, send us your thoughts and stories!

MSP’s 2016 FREE Shakespeare in the ParkS is back with a very personal piece created in part with NYC’s young Muslim high school women.

الأخرى (Al’ukhraa) – “the other”

Through personal accounts written by Muslim girls and Shakespeare’s text of Othello, Al’ukhraa explores how our opinions of “the other” effect the community as a whole, and how the current political climate of fear is directly impacting our NYC high school girls.

Bring a BLANKET Bring a PICNIC

All Performances FREE

All Performances @ 6:00pm

Rain Policy: The show must go on! We perform rain or shine. We will never cancel a show before showtime. So come on out! Bring a slicker, bring an umbrella. Some of our best shows have been in mysterious and foggy weather.


Astoria Park, Queens – June, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Summit Rock, Central Park – June 23, 24, July 7, 8, 9, 10
Morningside Park – June 25, 26, July 14, 15, 16, 17


To Astoria Park in Queens (near 23rd Ave and 19th St):
By subway, take N train to Astoria Blvd Station. Walk West on 23rd Ave towards the East River.

To Summit Rock in Central Park (near 83rd St. at Central Park West):
By subway, take B or C train to 86th St./Central Park West. Enter the park at 85th St.

To Morningside Park in Manhattan (near the pond at 114th St. and Morningside Ave)
By subway, take B or C train to 110th St. / Cathedral Pkwy. Enter the park at 114th St.


Sarah Eismann – Director/Iago (see MEET THE PLAYERS for more info) is absolutely thrilled to be working with such a talented and exciting cast and crew on this production. A recent MFA Acting graduate from Columbia University, Sarah got her BFA in Drama at Tisch School for the Arts at NYU. She also trained with the National Theatre Conservatory in Denver, and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. She has performed withthe Tony Award winning Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, California Shakespeare Theatre, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Woman’s Will, improv troupes Tilted Frame SF, Middle School Poetry, and RadioStar Network.

Julie Orkis – Emilia/Ensemble is a recent graduate of the BFA Acting program at Brooklyn College, where she was also the captain of the Women’s Tennis Team. (Internationally ranked Junior pro, CUNYAC Scholar Athlete of the Month, Four-Time Player of The Year) Recent credits include Serena Williams body double for Delta Airlines in-flight video, Girl at Brunch for OceanSpray Craisins web-commercial, Athena in The Hysterical History of the Trojan War, and Female Executive in the world premiere of Asleep at the Wheel. Julie is thrilled to be joining The Manhattan Shakespeare Project for its 2016 season!

Mouna R’miki – Othello moved to New York to fully pursue acting and joined the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, where she finds joy exploring  Human Nature. So far, she has been blessed in being part and collaborating in various multicultural projects. Credits include – Like me, like you; Skylla and Kharybdis; Nowhere/Now-Here; Rest Upon The Wind; Usual Girls / Film: The Guest; SAGA; La Recette de l’Amour (…). She is very happy to join this season’s Manhattan Shakes, as one of the voices for tolerance and acceptance and is humbled to step into Othello’s fierce shoes.

Gareth Tidball – Desdemona/Ensemble is an actress, director, and playwright. A recent graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Gareth received training in the Meisner Studio and the Classical Studio. Her favorite past credits include Jack, or the Submission (Mother Jack) Henry V (Fluellen), and Unity: 1918 (Rose). Gareth also serves as a teaching artist throughout the five boroughs. She currently teaches drama classes to young adults at the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, and she assists with arts enrichment classes in association with the South Asian Youth Academy (SAYA). She is a founding member of the all-female clown troupe The Pupils.

***The Voices***

So much gratitude to the young women who IMG_20160515_145255contributed their talent and voices to Al’ukhraa.
Zarin Chowdhury
Sarah Essa
Bagdad Mohamed
Saira Mughal


Julia Levine – Assistant Director is a theatre artist, educator, and 2015 graduate of Butler University. Assistant directing credits include: The Debates (Theater in Asylum), Spring Awakening, The Infernal Machine, Charlotte’s Web (The Hangar Theatre); stage managing: JUPITER (La MaMa), The Witches (Access Theater). She has been an assistant or intern with various local companies, including Honest Accomplice Theatre, The New Collectives, Superhero Clubhouse, and the Foundry Theatre. Julia is Assistant Producer on the 2017 International Human Rights Art Festival, co-presented by the Institute of Prophetic Activist Art and Dixon Place, where she will premiere a reading of her new play about the food system.

Tom Spencer – Stage Manager is an NYC-born playwright who grew up in New Hampshire, where he has had two original shows produced, and one staged reading. He is the stage manager for Manhattan Shakespeare Project. He once worked as a blacksmith. He likes working outside, Shakespeare, and America.

Niki Afsar – Dramaturg 




Josh Fried – Stage Management Intern was born and raised in Fairfax, Virginia. Unlike most people who are in the arts, he didn’t grow up with theater, and really only got into it during high school, which is where he took his first real theater class. Now he’s a student at Longwood University where he is studying technical theater. He enjoys every aspect of theater, from acting to tech. He most recently had one of his own plays produced at school, and is thrilled to be part of Manhattan Shakespeare Project. To all who dream big; seek a life useful.

SopArtStudioSop-Art Studio – Graphic Design
Christopher Soprano’s art is born out of an instinctive desire to create. His passion for letter forms and intuitive mark making create intertwined narratives. Fused with his adamant optimism the work is both playful and dark. In addition to identity design, Christopher currently creates huge character sculptures and environments for theme parks. As a result of working under tight deadlines, his personal work captures his energy and expressiveness.

***Pre-Show Musical Entertainment***

MSP is so excited to have these very talented NYC musicians VOLUNTEERING their time to bring their songs, sounds, and fun to our wonderful audiences before the show. Come catch them at 5:30 every night!

A. BridgesSqAdrian Bridges is excited to be joining Manhattan Shakespeare Project with a revolving group of collaborators to provide music before shows of Al’ukhraa. He received both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from New York University’s Jazz Studies program, with an emphasis in guitar and composition. Adrian has since found a home in the multi-disciplinary world of theater, working as a performer, sound designer, music director, and composer for numerous shows, including Less Than Rent Theatre’s Little Town Blues and Diva (United Solo Festival – Best Musical), Theater In Asylum’s ¡Ole! and Debates, Artilliers’ Dreamplay and Sea/Sick, and Kaleid Theatre’s No Place LikeGlow, and

***THANK YOU!***

To everyone who helped make this production possible.
*The East and West Coast Eismann Families
*Genevieve Windbiel & the Windbiel Family
*The Fried Family
*Katherine Dalton – The Institute for Health Professions at Cambria Heights
*Brooke Turner
*The fabulous people at The Public Delacorte Free Shakespeare in the Park ticket line
*Eve Landau & The JCC in Manhattan
*Kathleen Dorman – Classic Stage Company
*Chez Bushwick Studios
*Everyone who Likes and Shares all our Social Media!!!
*And all our amazing audiences!

الأخرى A Study in Othello is made possible in part with public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.