Brent Askari

Brent Askari

Brent Askari is a Persian-American writer and actor. He is the winner of the 2019 NNPN Smith Prize for Political Theater for his play The Refugees. Brent's other plays include American Underground (Runner-up winner Bonnie and Terry Burman New Play Award, to be produced at Barrington Stage Company 2019), Hard Cell (PlayPenn Conference 2017, produced at Geva Theatre Center in 2019), White Party (Semi-...
Brent Askari is a Persian-American writer and actor. He is the winner of the 2019 NNPN Smith Prize for Political Theater for his play The Refugees. Brent's other plays include American Underground (Runner-up winner Bonnie and Terry Burman New Play Award, to be produced at Barrington Stage Company 2019), Hard Cell (PlayPenn Conference 2017, produced at Geva Theatre Center in 2019), White Party (Semi-finalist for O’Neill Conference, Finalist Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Finalist Ashland New Plays Festival), Digby’s Home (Semi-finalist O’Neill Conference, produced at Mad Horse Theatre); Cocktails and Travails (Winner of Neil Simon Festival’s National New Play Contest and produced at The Theater Project); Bending Reeds (Semi-Finalist Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Blank Stage Living Room Series); Dirty Deeds Downeast (Finalist, B Street Theater New Comedies Festival). In addition, Brent has had plays produced at or developed by Ensemble Studio Theatre LA, Vital Theatre, The Boston Theatre Marathon, New American Theatre, The Drilling Company, Swarthmore College, Eastern Connecticut State University, and the College of Southern Nevada. Brent has also been a finalist for the Actor’s Theatre of Louisville’s Heideman Award and the Reva Shiner Comedy Award. He was part of HBO’s New Writers Project and has written screenplays for several companies including Paramount Pictures, Marvel Films, MTV, and Reveille Entertainment. He is an ensemble member of Mad Horse Theatre Company.

Plays

  • White Party
    John and Laura Baron throw their annual White Party -- however, when none of their guests arrive, they grow confused and angry. Feeling like victims and wondering why this is happening to them, John and Laura harbor suspicions toward Mary, the African-American cook; Nando, the Hispanic bartender; and Hank, a Middle Eastern man who shows up even though they didn’t invite him.
  • American Underground
    An interracial couple enjoys a visit from their college-aged son when a young Muslim woman arrives at their back door looking for safe passage via a new Underground Railroad.
  • Hard Cell
    Hard Cell is a comedy concerning Nick Abtahi, an Iranian-American professor whose car breaks down during a cross-country road trip. When a tough local thug falsely identifies the mild-mannered Nick as a terrorist -- and threatens his life -- Nick feels he has no choice but to pose as a bomb-wielding terrorist merely to stay alive. As the situation spirals out of control, Nick uses his attackers' own...
    Hard Cell is a comedy concerning Nick Abtahi, an Iranian-American professor whose car breaks down during a cross-country road trip. When a tough local thug falsely identifies the mild-mannered Nick as a terrorist -- and threatens his life -- Nick feels he has no choice but to pose as a bomb-wielding terrorist merely to stay alive. As the situation spirals out of control, Nick uses his attackers' own Islamophobic stereotypes and fears against them, manipulating the situation in order to survive a modern American nightmare.
  • Bending Reeds
    BENDING REEDS concerns Ali Farzan, a Persian screenwriter who comes home to Boston to attend an early screening of his first produced movie. While visiting his family, Ali tries to acquire coins commemorating the Shah’s regime that his late grandfather left for Ali in his will – however, when Ali’s mother learns that his movie features Middle Eastern stereotypes, arguments ensue that expose decades-old family...
    BENDING REEDS concerns Ali Farzan, a Persian screenwriter who comes home to Boston to attend an early screening of his first produced movie. While visiting his family, Ali tries to acquire coins commemorating the Shah’s regime that his late grandfather left for Ali in his will – however, when Ali’s mother learns that his movie features Middle Eastern stereotypes, arguments ensue that expose decades-old family secrets involving key moments in Modern Iranian history… and cause Ali to confront his own identity as a Persian-American.
  • Digby's Home
    Digby’s Home concerns Digby Preston, a prop comic living in Los Angeles, who returns to his small New England town after his first national television appearance. He arrives home hoping that, after his newfound brush with fame, he will finally receive the respect and admiration that he’s felt he’s always deserved – from his family, his ex-girlfriend, and the kids who pushed him around in high school.
    He doesn’t.
  • Cocktails and Travails
    Greg has arranged a nice, quiet, intimate cocktail party with his wife, Emily, and his stuffy colleague, Professor Stilton. A perfect evening could mean Greg achieves tenure at the college. But when Professor Stilton arrives, Emily and the hors d’oeuvres are missing, Greg’s mother-in-law insists on crashing the party, and Greg’s deadbeat brother is convinced he can somehow help. And what on earth is in the...
    Greg has arranged a nice, quiet, intimate cocktail party with his wife, Emily, and his stuffy colleague, Professor Stilton. A perfect evening could mean Greg achieves tenure at the college. But when Professor Stilton arrives, Emily and the hors d’oeuvres are missing, Greg’s mother-in-law insists on crashing the party, and Greg’s deadbeat brother is convinced he can somehow help. And what on earth is in the punch? Things couldn’t get any worse. Or could they?

    WINNER of the Neil Simon Festival National New Play Contest in 2015. FINALIST for the Reva Shiner Comedy Award and the Mountain Playhouse International Comedy Competition.