Adam Ashraf Elsayigh

Adam Ashraf Elsayigh

Adam Ashraf Elsayigh was born in Cairo, Egypt to parents who were reluctantly doctors. When soon thereafter, Adam’s parents relocated the family to Dubai, Adam grew up in a religious Muslim household with American cable television, going to a British school in a Gulf state where over 90% of the population were migrant workers. This upbringing at the cross-section of cultures is at the core of the artist Adam is...
Adam Ashraf Elsayigh was born in Cairo, Egypt to parents who were reluctantly doctors. When soon thereafter, Adam’s parents relocated the family to Dubai, Adam grew up in a religious Muslim household with American cable television, going to a British school in a Gulf state where over 90% of the population were migrant workers. This upbringing at the cross-section of cultures is at the core of the artist Adam is.



Today, Adam is a a writer, theatermaker, and dramaturg who writes and develops plays that interrogate the intersections of queerness, immigration, and colonialism. Adam’s plays (including Drowning in Cairo, Revelation, Memorial, and Jamestown/ Williamsburg) have been developed and seen at New York Theater Workshop, The Lark, The Tisch School of the Arts, The LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, and Golden Thread Productions. Adam is a fellow at Georgetown University's Laboratory for Global Performance and an Alliance/Kendeda Award Finalist. He holds a BA in Theater with an emphasis in Playwriting and Dramaturgy from NYU Abu Dhabi and is an MFA Candidate in Playwriting at Brooklyn College. Learn more about what Adam is up to at https://www.adamaelsayigh.com/.

Plays

  • ALAA: A Family Trilogy
    In 2011, blogger and techie Alaa Abd El-Fattah rose to prominence as one of the leading youth voices of the Egyptian Revolution. But Alaa has spent much of the last decade unlawfully imprisoned in Cairo’s prisons by the counter-revolutionary military dictatorship. Juxtaposing physical storytelling and projections with Abd El-Fattah’s testimonials, and family interviews, ALAA: A Family Trilogy dramatizes the...
    In 2011, blogger and techie Alaa Abd El-Fattah rose to prominence as one of the leading youth voices of the Egyptian Revolution. But Alaa has spent much of the last decade unlawfully imprisoned in Cairo’s prisons by the counter-revolutionary military dictatorship. Juxtaposing physical storytelling and projections with Abd El-Fattah’s testimonials, and family interviews, ALAA: A Family Trilogy dramatizes the Egyptian Revolution and the counterrevolution to follow, through the legacy of Egypt’s most high profile political prisoner and the family he came from.
  • Data Queen
    Lebanese Gen-Z Partyboi Sam is in trouble with his tamer, older, White boyfriend Joel. But it’s really not his fault Joel went snooping, finding Sam’s FUCK FORM, with all the raunchy descriptions of his recent hookups. So here they are at ODYSSEY, San Francisco’s hottest, new Couple Therapy practice. Will Sam and Joel manage to fix this hot mess with the assistance of their overwhelmed but well-meaning...
    Lebanese Gen-Z Partyboi Sam is in trouble with his tamer, older, White boyfriend Joel. But it’s really not his fault Joel went snooping, finding Sam’s FUCK FORM, with all the raunchy descriptions of his recent hookups. So here they are at ODYSSEY, San Francisco’s hottest, new Couple Therapy practice. Will Sam and Joel manage to fix this hot mess with the assistance of their overwhelmed but well-meaning counselor, Sharon… or is this all doomed for failure?
  • Drowning in Cairo
    It is May 2001 in Cairo. Moody, Khalid, and their servant Taha are on the Queen Boat, a gay nightclub docked on the Nile. When an unexpected police raid results in the arrest and public humiliation of the attendees, the lives of these young men are altered forever. Drowning in Cairo weaves budding romances, class differences, and familial expectations into a loving portrait of three men who all struggle to...
    It is May 2001 in Cairo. Moody, Khalid, and their servant Taha are on the Queen Boat, a gay nightclub docked on the Nile. When an unexpected police raid results in the arrest and public humiliation of the attendees, the lives of these young men are altered forever. Drowning in Cairo weaves budding romances, class differences, and familial expectations into a loving portrait of three men who all struggle to rebuild their lives against all odds.
  • Memorial
    Memorial is a verbatim play that tells the story of the Christchurch Muslim community during and following the two mosque shootings that occurred on March 15th in Christchurch, New Zealand using embodied rituals and practices. Memorial chronicles the impact of the shootings, and systems of violence, through the words and experiences of seven citizens of Christchurch, focusing on the friends and families of...
    Memorial is a verbatim play that tells the story of the Christchurch Muslim community during and following the two mosque shootings that occurred on March 15th in Christchurch, New Zealand using embodied rituals and practices. Memorial chronicles the impact of the shootings, and systems of violence, through the words and experiences of seven citizens of Christchurch, focusing on the friends and families of those who were lost in the attacks. It also deeply engages with themes of migration, diaspora and the experience of otherness and xenophobia both within and outside communities.

    This is a co-written piece with my friend and collaborator, Arianna Stucki
  • Jamestown/Williamsburg
    It is 2019 and Diyala just moved from Syria to Williamsburg, Virginia on a student visa. It is also 1619 and Agnes just married the Lord of the Virginia Company in Jamestown, who happens to be sleeping with a Native American man. Agnes and Diyala are worlds apart, yet, what secrets are both of these women bringing with them to their new lives? What’s that kinship that binds them in a world that defies the...
    It is 2019 and Diyala just moved from Syria to Williamsburg, Virginia on a student visa. It is also 1619 and Agnes just married the Lord of the Virginia Company in Jamestown, who happens to be sleeping with a Native American man. Agnes and Diyala are worlds apart, yet, what secrets are both of these women bringing with them to their new lives? What’s that kinship that binds them in a world that defies the logics of time and space? Jamestown/Williamsburg tells the story of the voyages and traumas of two immigrant women.
  • Revelation
    When a national scandal erupts revealing a string of “discreet hookups” with underage boys from Grindr, Michael, a megachurch celebrity pastor, is confronted by Brandon, his long-estranged son he forced into conversion therapy as a teenager. Revelation is the story of a queer father and son reconciling their disparate narratives of an abusive past. Can they find forgiveness and attempt to move forward?
  • The Bug
    When Mona and Dalia, two first-generation Egyptian-American girls on the precipice of adolescence, realize their mom is planning on "cutting them down there like girls do back home", they get together in the middle of the night and plot to flee their home. Their conversation reveals their family dynamic, their relationship to their homeland, and the tension between the immigrant parents and their children.
  • The New Mr. Leather
    Fed up with the tired tropes of the leather scene, transboi Arthur embarks on a drunken Tuesday night mission at the local leather bar. Armed with insights from two decades of Mr. Leather contests with Tom of Finland sketch doppelganger, he's ready to shake up the kink world and challenge the status quo in a night of bold rebellion, humor, and a fresh take on leather culture.
  • The House of Grandma Hanem
    The House of Grandma Hanem tells the story of gay yet closeted Sherif who starts a pro-science, pro-human rights Youtube Vlog in conservative-Muslim Cairo, Egypt. When his Vlog goes viral, Sherif leaves his family with the decision to denounce one of their own, or support him and shame the name of the family. Simultaneously, his cousin, Sara, faces a question of faith and attempts to reconcile her understanding...
    The House of Grandma Hanem tells the story of gay yet closeted Sherif who starts a pro-science, pro-human rights Youtube Vlog in conservative-Muslim Cairo, Egypt. When his Vlog goes viral, Sherif leaves his family with the decision to denounce one of their own, or support him and shame the name of the family. Simultaneously, his cousin, Sara, faces a question of faith and attempts to reconcile her understanding of religion when she falls in love with the secular, white German study abroad student in her university in Egypt.