Pretty Shahid

The Kazem family immigrated to the Chicago from Iraq and are attempting to assimilate and live and then 9/11 happens. This romantic comedy uses classic film tropes to examine identity and which knots we choose to untie to become our ideal American. This is a play about self discovery.
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Pretty Shahid

Recommended by

  • Shaun Leisher:
    1 May. 2021
    These are the stories about 9/11 and the Arab immigrant experience that need to be staged. Also, fricking hysterical!!!

Character Information

  • Shahid
    25,
    Arab
    a dreamer with a tendency to catastrophize. His dreams aren’t about what he can do but about what he should be. He has conversations in his head before having them outloud and hates surprises.
  • Nahid
    25,
    Arab
    Shahid’s twin sister and often the voice for both of them. She’d rather look smart and funny than right, so she doesn't take a lot of time to consider things. Less is expected of her and she used that as an excuse to try less. For now.
  • Nabiin
    50s,
    Arab
    The father and a quiet soul. He’s always thinking and doesn’t talk much but is not so tortured about it, like Shahid. He is a former lawyer and has taken his place in the restaurant’s kitchen in stride. The simplicity and tactile nature of cooking and caring and therapeutic.
  • Elif
    50s,
    Arab
    Very much the matriarch. She is the business mind behind the family restaurant. Her and Nabiin seem to have a deal that she makes the decisions in America. She’s not sure what she wants for her children and she likes the idea of them deciding for themselves.
  • Gabriel
    25,
    BIPOC
    POC and queer. The kind of person for whom you want to do things. He’s funny and talkative and doesn’t notice so much when you do things for him. Nervous but hides it well.
  • White Man
    White
    Young and impressionable. Silent but unnecessarily vocal. A really useless person to have on your side.
  • White Woman
    White
    She thinks she’s right because she is right. She can pretend that anything’s real if she needs to.

Development History

  • Commission
    ,
    Jackalope Theatre
    ,
    2021

Production History

  • Workshop
    ,
    Jackalope Theatre
    ,
    2021