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Playwrights Mona Mansour and Stav Palti-Negev discuss their Middle Eastern and American identities, how culture impacts their work, and how the current crisis is felt around the world.
Mona’s play THE VAGRANT TRILOGY was set to make its New York City debut in March 2020 at the Public Theater, directed by Mark Wing-Davey; the production was postponed and will resume at a future date. WE SWIM, WE TALK, WE GO TO WAR will be presented by Geva Theatre in April 2021 (dir. Pirronne Yousefzadeh). It premiered at SF’s Golden Thread in 2018 (dir. Evren Odcikin). THE VAGRANT TRILOGY was presented at Mosaic Theater in June 2018, (dir. Wing-Davey.) Of the trilogy: THE HOUR OF FEELING (dir. Wing-Davey) premiered at the Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville, and a new Arabic translation was presented at NYU Abu Dhabi, as part of its Arab Voices Festival in 2016. URGE FOR GOING: productions at the Public Theater (dir. Hal Brooks) and Golden Thread (dir. Odcikin). THE VAGRANT was commissioned by the Public and workshopped at the 2013 Sundance Theater Institute. THE WAY WEST: Labyrinth (dir. Mimi O’Donnell); Village Theater (dir. Christina Myatt); Steppenwolf (dir. Amy Morton); and Marin Theatre Company (dir. Hayley Finn).
Other credits: UNSEEN, Gift Theater (dir. Maureen Payne-Hahner), IN THE OPEN, for Waterwell, directed by James Dean Palmer, and ACROSS THE WATER, written for third-year MFAs at NYU (dir. Scott Illingworth). Mona was a member of the Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group. With Tala Manassah she has written FALLING DOWN THE STAIRS, an EST/Sloan commission. Their play DRESSING is part OF FACING OUR TRUTHS: SHORT PLAYS ABOUT TRAYVON, RACE AND PRIVILEGE, commissioned by the New Black Festival. TV: QUEENS SUPREME, DEAD LIKE ME. Commissions include Playwrights Horizons, Old Globe Theater, La Jolla Playhouse and Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s “American Revolutions.” 2012 Whiting Award. 2014 Middle East America Playwright Award, MacDowell Colony 2018, New Dramatists Class of 2020. Mona has written for an upcoming Apple TV show, and in 2019, formed a theater company, SOCIETY, with Scott Illingworth, Tim Nicolai and Erin Anderson.
“One part of my mind was doing the writing, and God knows what the other part was doing.” — Paul Bowles
monamansour.com / @MonaMansourNY
(She/ Her/ Hers) is an NYC-based Israeli writer. Her play “Salim Salim,” received the Best Play award at the 2014 Israel Fringe Theater Festival and ran for two years at Tmuna Theater in Tel-Aviv, 2015 – 2017. Her play “Elsewhere” premiered at the Israel Fringe Theater Festival in October 2016. Stav’s work has been developed through The Public Theater, Atlantic Theater Company, MacDowell Colony, The Lark, The Flea Theater, New York Live Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, The Orchard Project, and The 14th Street Y, among others. Her plays have received productions with Israel Fringe Theater Festival (Acco), Tmuna Theater (Tel-Aviv), and Nazareth Theater. She is currently a member of the Middle Eastern American Writers Lab at The Lark. Stav was a 2017 alumna of The Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group, a 2015/2017 HaPais Council for the Arts Artist award recipient, and a
2016/2019 Asylum Arts development award recipient. She is currently working on a script for a new Polish-Israeli co-production, and on a new play based on the painting “The Garden of Earthly Delights.” Stav holds an M.A. in Performance Studies from NYU Tisch School of the Arts and a B.A. in Theater Studies from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.