(BOSTON) — Huntington Theatre Company presents a free workshop performance of Dancing is a Sin: Two New One-Woman Plays from Egypt. The presentation includes the two plays: They Say Dancing is a Sin by Hany Abdel Naser and Mohamed Abdel Mu’iz and The Mirror by Yasmeen Emam (Shaghaf), both are produced, co-translated, and directed by Huntington Playwriting Fellow Rebekah Maggor. The developmental workshops will culminate in a free workshop performance on Thursday, January 14 at 7:30pm in the Roberts Studio Theatre in the South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA.
Written in Egypt during a time of social unrest and political instability, these two short Egyptian plays tell stories of women yearning for lives of dignity in the face of poverty, corruption, and discrimination. Full of humor, passion, and crushing candor, the intimate evening of theatre includes live music and choreography interwoven into these personal stories.
In the surreal one-woman show The Mirror, a teenage girl is paralyzed by the question of whether to wear a revealing or conservative dress to the wedding of a man she dreamed of marrying. In the gritty monologue They Say Dancing is a Sin by Hany Abdel Nasser and Mohamed Abdel Mu’iz, an independently-minded belly dancer derides the duplicity and greed of her well-to-do patrons.
This workshop performance will be followed by a discussion with Egyptian playwrights Yasmeen Emam and Hany Abdel Naser, in conversation with co-translator and director Rebekah Maggor and international theatre scholar and New York University professor Carol Martin, and moderated by writer and Culturebot contributor Hani Omar Khalil.
This workshop is supported by a Theatre Communications Group Global Connections grant from the Mellon Foundation. The plays will be published in the forthcoming anthology Tahrir Tales: Plays from the Egyptian Revolution (part of Seagull Books "In Performance" series, distributed by the University of Chicago Press), recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Literature in Translation fellowship.


Thursday, January 14 at 7:30pm
South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
Free and open to the public



by Hany Abdel Naser and Mohamed Abdel Mu’iz
Translated by Mohammed Albakry and Rebekah Maggor
Directed by Rebekah Maggor
Choreography by Melanie Stewart
Music composed and performed by Hany Abdel Naser
Mohamed Abdel Mu’iz (Playwright) received his BA in foreign trade and economics from Helwan University in Cairo, and a certificate in banking studies from Ain Shams University. Soon after completing his studies in business, he turned towards the theatre. He began working as an actor and writer for the independent troupe Mukhtabar El-mesahharaty. He co-wrote seven storytelling shows for the company and also wrote many other plays including Enta dayes ala alby (You’re Stepping on My Heart) and the one-woman show Alraqs Haram (They Say Dancing is a Sin). In 2006 Mr. Mu’iz was awarded Best Rising Actor in the National Theatre Festival. He has also acted in numerous independent and commercial films.
Hany Abdel Naser (Playwright and Composer) is an award-winning director, composer, and playwright. He is the founding director of the Halwasa Theatre Troupe and has directed, adapted, and composed music for many productions for the Egyptian independent theatre. Recent original plays include This Circus is Ours, By the Light of the Revolutionary Moon, Made in Japan, Assembled in Egypt, and many others. Abdel Naser is professor of classical Arabic music at Helwan University. He is also well-known to Egyptian audiences through his popular cooking show “Super Hat Trick” on SebTV.
Rebekah Maggor (Co-translator and Director) is a director, translator, performer, theatre scholar, and playwright. She is a former Huntington Playwriting Fellow and was last seen by Huntington audiences in her one-woman play Shakespeare’s Actresses in America. Her plays and translations have had readings and productions at the American Repertory Theater, New York Theater Workshop, the Old Vic in London, and the Huntington Theatre Company. Ms. Maggor has received grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Theatre Communications Group, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and the Fulbright Middle East and North Africa Regional Research Program. She is co-editor and co-translator of the forthcoming anthology Tahrir Tales: Plays from the Egyptian Revolution. She has taught theatre and performance at Vanderbilt University and Harvard University, and is currently an affiliated scholar at the Charles Warren Center at Harvard University.
Melanie Stewart (Choreographer/ Movement Director) is the Artistic Director of Melanie Stewart Dance Theatre. Ms. Stewart has produced over 50 original works of dance and movement theatre for the concert stage in dance/film/video and in education, both nationally and abroad. As a critically acclaimed choreographer and director, her awards include numerous fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Dance Advance/Pew Charitable Trusts, and the PA Council on the Arts. She is a Leigh Gerdine Distinguished Alumna Award winner from Webster University and a recent nominee for a USA Artist’s Fellowship. She holds a BA in dance from Webster College and an MFA in choreography/performance from Temple University. Throughout her career she has actively linked her professional work as a performer, choreographer, director, and producer to her academic career as a professor, and now associate dean of performing arts at Rowan University.


by Yasmeen Emam (Shaghaf)
Translated by Rebekah Maggor and Mona Ragab
Directed by Rebekah Maggor
Choreography by Melanie Stewart
Music composed and performed by Hany Abdel Naser
Yasmeen Emam (Shaghaf) (Playwright) began writing short stories in college and turned to playwriting and directing in 2010. Her first play Joy Seeker was selected for several independent festivals in Cairo in 2011. In 2012 her play Angry Grain was short-listed in the Arab Theatre Institute competition. In 2014, her play The Mirror was part of the “To Be Continued…” festival and the National Theatre Festival in Egypt. She has also collaborated on writing Men and Women (inspired by Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray) which was produced by the Egyptian Theatre House. Her play One Shoe for Everyone was published in 2014 and featured on Egyptian radio.


Recipient of the 2013 Regional Theatre Tony Award and named Best of Boston 2013 and 2014 by Boston magazine, the Huntington Theatre Company has developed into Boston’s leading professional theatre and one of the region’s premier cultural assets since its founding in 1982. Bringing together superb local and national talent, the Huntington produces a mix of groundbreaking new works and classics made current to create award-winning productions, runs nationally renowned programs in education and new play development, and serves the local theatre community through its operation of the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. Under the direction of Artistic Director Peter DuBois and Managing Director Michael Maso and in residence at Boston University, the Huntington cultivates, celebrates, and champions theatre as an art form. For more information, visit


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