June 2 through June 25, 2023
Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 8:00p pm, and Sunday at 2:00 pm
(Single tickets: $22)
Fri., June 2, 8:00 p.m. Opening Night - mask required
Sat., June 3, 8:00 p.m.
Sun., June 4, 2:00 p.m.- mask required
Thurs., June 8, 8:00 p.m.- mask required
Fri., June 9, 8:00 p.m.
Sat., June 10, 8:00 p.m.
Sun., June 11, 2:00 p.m. - mask required
Thurs., June 15, 8:00 p.m.- mask required
Fri., June 16, 8:00 p.m.
Sat., June 17, 8:00 p.m.
Sun., June 18, 2:00 p.m.- mask required
Thurs., June 22, 8:00 p.m.- mask required
Fri., June 23, 8:00 p.m.
Sat., June 24, 8:00 p.m.
Sun., June 25, 2:00 p.m.- mask required
THEATRE NOVA PRESENTS
ARABIC TO ENGLISH
by David Wells
This world premiere by the playwright who penned hit productions Resisting, Mazel Tov, John Lennon, and Irrational makes its long-awaited debut. In 2017, as the Trump administration rounds up hundreds of Iraqi immigrants in Southeast Michigan, Faheem, an Arab American man, is accused of fraudulent marriage to gain a visa. Losing in court will send him to a country he barely knows. As his high-stakes trial unfolds, a young Arab American court translator learns how the slipperiness of language can be manipulated to shape his future, and hers, or even reality itself.
Directed by Sarab Kamoo. Featuring Zeyy Fawaz, Fedor Kinaya, and Joe Sfair. The production and design team includes Paul Taylor (scenic design), Jeff Alder (lighting design), Genevieve Compton (costume design), Sonja Marquis (sound), and Briana O'Neal (stage manager).
For the health, safety, and well-being of our patrons, staff, and artists, Theatre NOVA's current COVID-19 policy requires patrons to wear masks while in the building for particular shows. On dates when masks are not required, we still highly recommend patrons wear masks. This policy is subject to change anytime, following fluctuating local, state, and federal guidelines. Please check our current COVID-19 policy before your scheduled performance date.
"Sfair plays Trevor very well—the beleaguered, go-through-the-motions immigration lawyer. Faheem is savvy, actually a bit more savvy than Trevor, about the trenches of immigration hearings. As Amina gets to know Faheem and takes a deeper interest in his case than her boss, she develops more clarity about her own identity and where she wants to go. Ms. Fawaz is superb in conveying her conflict with her body language and acting chops.
Wells has set the story in Southeast Michigan, name-checking Huntington Woods, Dearborn, Wayne State University, and more. His story is a well-told peek into the world of immigration with an effective balance of heart, curiosity, and rationale.
Directed by Sarab Kamoo, Arabic To English will have a shelf-life no matter which political party is in power because of the extensive hostility many Americans have against anyone from the Middle East."
“Many of the events in the play, a lot of the things they reference, in terms of the judge, the ACLU, putting a stop to the deportations, all of that, I was present in the courtroom [and] at the protests,” Kamoo said. “It was kind of weird to read the script and be like, ‘Wow, that’s exactly what happened and I was right there.’ So it was very personal to me and I was so proud to be able to tell that story.”
The production has had overwhelmingly positive feedback from members of the community. “Arabic to English” will be running from June 2 through June 25, with a total of 14 shows.
“[‘Arabic to English’ is] something that you connect with on so many different levels as a human, you don’t need to be Arab-American to connect with this play,” Fawaz said. “You can see yourself in different characters, but also you can open your mind to a different story, perspective, and culture, that you are not always so fortunate to have a little window into, so it does build bridges.”
“We are so fortunate to have such a beautiful, supportive community in the Detroit-Ann Arbor area,” Fawaz said. “I want to thank every single person that came out and supported the show, every single person that had reached out on social media reached out via email, asked for contact information, and gave us these beautiful and kind words. It never gets old and I’m always touched by every single person.”