Leila Buck

Leila Buck

Leila Buck is a Lebanese American playwright, actor, facilitator and educator who has lived, performed, and taught theatrical tools to youth, educators, aid workers, UN delegates and others across the U.S., Europe, China, Australia and 11 Arab countries. Her plays include American Dreams (Cleveland Public Theater; virtual tour: The Working Theater, Round House, Marin, Hartford Stage, Salt Lake Acting Co., ASU-...
Leila Buck is a Lebanese American playwright, actor, facilitator and educator who has lived, performed, and taught theatrical tools to youth, educators, aid workers, UN delegates and others across the U.S., Europe, China, Australia and 11 Arab countries. Her plays include American Dreams (Cleveland Public Theater; virtual tour: The Working Theater, Round House, Marin, Hartford Stage, Salt Lake Acting Co., ASU-Gammage and others), In the Crossing (developed at the Public Theater, Culture Project, NYTW and the Brooklyn Museum), American Dreams and Arabian Nights (developed at NYTW, selected for BRIC Lab) and Hkeelee: Talk to Me (Mosaic Theater at Arena Stage, & multiple international venues). Currently she is developing the plays Mix & Match under commission from En Garde Arts as a TCG/Fox Fellow, and 1001 Nights (A Retelling) commissioned by California Shakespeare Theatre and co-written with Evren Odcikin (2020 Kilroys List).
As artist-in-residence for Wesleyan University’s Doris Duke Foundation Building Bridges grant, she created interactive work about the (mis)representation of Muslims in the U.S., and received the Edgar Beckham Social Justice Award. Her work is featured in American Theatre; TCG’s Finding Home Essay Salon; Stages of Resistance; Innovation in Five Acts; Etching Our Own Image: Voices from the Arab American Art Movement and Four Arab-American Plays. A TCG Fox Fellow, member of the Public Theater’s inaugural Emerging Writers Group and Usual Suspect with NYTW, Leila teaches Participatory Performance and Civic Engagement and Creation and Representation in U.S. Theater at NYU, from which she holds a Master’s in Theatre for Cross Cultural Education.

Plays

  • AMERICAN DREAMS
    American Dreams is an ensemble-driven participatory performance that imagines a world where the only way to gain citizenship is by competing in a nationally-televised game show run by the U.S. government. Through our most valued and frustrating of democratic processes, audience members choose by majority rule their favorite of three contestants in each of five rounds, culminating in a final vote for their...
    American Dreams is an ensemble-driven participatory performance that imagines a world where the only way to gain citizenship is by competing in a nationally-televised game show run by the U.S. government. Through our most valued and frustrating of democratic processes, audience members choose by majority rule their favorite of three contestants in each of five rounds, culminating in a final vote for their newest fellow citizen. As the game unfolds, audience investment and implication intensifies, blurring the lines between truth and fiction in an immersive, interactive exploration of who and what we choose to believe, and how those decisions shape what it means to be(come) American.