Paradise

Yasmeen Al-Hamadi is a Muslim, Yemeni-American senior at a struggling inner-city Bronx high school. Dr. Guy Royston is her disaffected science teacher, a former Evangelical with a mysterious past. An unlikely research team, together they embark on a neurological study, leading to stormy conflicts over love, faith and culture. An Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan commissioned play and finalist for the...
Yasmeen Al-Hamadi is a Muslim, Yemeni-American senior at a struggling inner-city Bronx high school. Dr. Guy Royston is her disaffected science teacher, a former Evangelical with a mysterious past. An unlikely research team, together they embark on a neurological study, leading to stormy conflicts over love, faith and culture. An Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan commissioned play and finalist for the 2016 Saroyan/Paul Playwriting Prize for Human Rights.
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Paradise

Recommended by

  • Cheryl Bear:
    8 Aug. 2020
    A brilliant exploration of the push and pull effect of science and religion on a young aspiring academic. Through study, a young girl comes alive and dreams of larger things. As a protege, she feels an immense magnitude of loyalty towards her mentor but the situation isn't simple and she has some hard choices to make. Riveting and well done.
  • Doug DeVita:
    8 Jul. 2020
    A haunting, lovely, lyrical work, filled with tension, intelligence, wit, and complex, beautifully realized characters whose choices are not easy, are not always the right ones, but who win our hearts because they are so incredibly alive and human. A rich tapestry of emotional truths, Censabella's "Paradise" is beautiful.
  • Jerry Polner:
    19 Apr. 2020
    In this brilliant and intricately structured two-character play, Laura Maria Censabella gives us a powerful story. Through the distortions of culture, religion, and science, each of the characters are faced with a heart-breaking moral choice.

Character Information

  • Yasmeen al-Hamadi
    Looks 17,
    Arab American, Muslim
    ,
    Female
    Slight Bronx Accent
  • Dr. Guy Royston
    40s,
    White, African American
    ,
    Male
    Rural Virginian accent

Development History

  • Workshop
    ,
    Gulfshore Playhouse - 4th New Works Festival
    ,
    2016
  • Workshop
    ,
    Portland Stage, Little Festival of the Unexpected
    ,
    2015
  • Commission
    ,
    Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
  • Residency
    ,
    Space on Ryder Farm

Production History

  • Professional
    ,
    Visiting Production at The Odyssey Theatre (producers Viola Davis, Julius Tennon and John Cappetta)
    ,
    2019
  • Professional
    ,
    The Matrix Theatre - Extended from Odyssey run (Viola Davis, Julius Tennon, John Cappetta, producers)
    ,
    2019
  • Professional
    ,
    Underground Railway/Central Square Theater
    ,
    2017
  • Professional
    ,
    Passage Theatre
    ,
    2017
  • Professional
    ,
    Luna Stage
    ,
    2017

Awards

Winner
,
2018 IRNE Award, Best New Play, Small/Midsize Stage
,
Independent Reviewers of New England
,
2018
Finalist
,
Outstanding New Script
,
Elliott Norton Award
,
2018
Honorable Mention
,
Jane Chambers Playwriting Award
,
ATHE
,
2017
Runner Up
,
Saroyan/Paul Playwriting Prize for Human Rights
,
ADAA
,
2016
Finalist
,
Woodward/Newman Playwriting Award
,
Bloomington Playwrights Project
,
2016