Silk Road Rising to Present the World Premiere of Jamil Khoury's Re-Spiced: A Silk Road Cabaret

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Silk Road Rising to present the World Premiere of Re-Spiced: A Silk Road Cabaret, song and narrative selection by Jamil Khoury, directed by Steve Scott, musical direction by Ryan Brewster, Choreography by Brenda Didier. Re-Spiced runs April 4 – May 6, 2012, in Pierce Hall at The Historic Chicago Temple Building, 77 W. Washington St, Chicago. Press opening is Saturday, April 7 at 4:00 pm.

Silk Road Rising to present the World Premiere of "Re-Spiced: A Silk Road Cabaret," song and narrative selection by Jamil Khoury, directed by Steve Scott, musical direction by Ryan Brewster, Choreography by Brenda Didier. Re-Spiced runs April 4 – May 6, 2012, in Pierce Hall at The Historic Chicago Temple Building, 77 W. Washington St, Chicago. Press opening is Saturday, April 7 at 4:00 pm.

The cast of "Re-Spiced: A Silk Road Cabaret" includes: Jaii Beckley, Danny Bernardo, Joel Kim Booster, Christine Bunuan, Dipika Cherala, Joyee Lin, Evan Tyrone Martin, Cheyenne Pinson, and Amira Sabbagh.

The design team includes: Dan Stratton (Set), Michael Stanfill (Lighting), Jeremy Lloyd (Costumes), Jesse Gaffney (Props), and Neal Ryan Shaw (Dramaturg). The stage manager is Kate Guthrie. Assistant Director is Corey Pond.


Re-Spiced: A Silk Road Cabaret
"Re-Spiced: A Silk Road Cabaret" is a playful, sexy, occasionally subversive, always entertaining, musical pastiche of Asian and Middle Eastern images in American and British song. From Broadway show tunes to pop, from country to rap, from folk to jazz to rock, Re-Spiced turns the tables on “us” and “them” with panache and glee and leaves us wondering just who’s who?

Song and Narrative Selection by Jamil Khoury
Jamil Khoury is Founding Artistic Director of Silk Road Rising. Promoting playwrights of Silk Road backgrounds is a passion that dovetails well with Khoury’s experiences living in the Middle East and his eleven years as a cross-cultural trainer and international relocations consultant. His vocation as a playwright lends valuable currency to fulfilling SRR’s mission as a playwright driven theatre. Khoury’s plays focus on Middle Eastern themes and questions of Diaspora. He is particularly interested in the intersections of culture, national identity, sexuality, and class. Khoury holds a M.A. degree in Religious Studies from The University of Chicago Divinity School and a B.S. degree in International Relations from Georgetown University 's School of Foreign Service. He is a Kellogg Executive Scholar (Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University) and has been awarded a Certificate of Professional Achievement in Nonprofit Management. Khoury has developed courses in Middle East Studies for The University of Chicago Graham School of General Studies and has lectured widely on Arab American affairs. In fall of 2009, Khoury conceived of and curated the highly successful "Silk Road Cabaret: Broadway Sings the Silk Road." Khoury also conceived of, and was a featured playwright in, SRR’s production of "The DNA Trail: A Genealogy of Short Plays about Ancestry, Identity, and Utter Confusion" (winter 2010). As a lead artist, his video work includes: "both/and" and the soon to be released "Not Quite White: Arabs, Slavs, and the Contours of Contested Whiteness." Khoury’s play "Precious Stones" won Gay Chicago Magazine's 2003 After Dark Award for Outstanding New Work and has been performed in ten cities across the U.S. His play "Fitna" was performed at University Theatre of The University of Chicago and his play "Azizati" was performed at Café Voltaire. Khoury is the 2010 recipient of the 3Arts Artist Award for Playwriting.

Directed by Steve Scott
Steve Scott is the Associate Producer of Goodman Theatre, where he has overseen more than 150 productions; he is also a member of Goodman’s Artistic Collective. Most recently Scott was named Silk Road Rising’s Artistic Advisor. His Goodman directing credits include Horton Foote’s "Blind Date;" "Rabbit Hole;" "Binky Rudich and the Two-Speed Clock;" "No One Will Be Immune;" "Dinner With Friends;" "Wit;" the world premiere of Tom Mula’s "Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol;" "A Midsummer Night’s Dream" (co-directed with Michael Maggio);, and four seasons of "A Christmas Carol." Credits at Silk Road Rising include "Yohen," "The DNA Trail," and "Yellow Face." Scott is a faculty member at the Theatre Conservatory at Roosevelt University’s College of Performing Arts and an ensemble member at the Eclipse Theatre. He has directed for a variety of other companies, including Theatre Wit, the Buffalo Theatre Ensemble, National Jewish Theatre, Theater at the Center, Lifeline Theatre, Organic Touchstone Theatre, and the Lyric Opera Center for American Artists. Scott has served on panels for Theatre Communications Group, the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, the Chicago Council on Fine Arts, the Illinois Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Pew Charitable Trust/Philadelphia Theatre Initiative. He is a member of the Jeff Committee’s Artist and Technical Team, a board member of Season of Concern, and an associate artist with About Face, Chicago Dramatists, and Collaboraction Theatre companies. He was one of six resident directors for WBEZ’s series Stories on Stage, and has contributed articles to a variety of publications. Mr. Scott is the recipient of five Jeff nominations, an After Dark Award, and the Illinois Theatre Association’s Award of Honor.

Musicical Direction by Ryan Brewster
Ryan Brewster began his professional career at the Weathervane Theatre in Whitefield, NH as Assistant Music Director He has showcased his talents worldwide. He worked on "Romance, Romance in Guatemala," worked as an Associate Musical Director for "Flanagan’s Wake" at the Soho Playhouse in New York, and currently resides in Chicago. Area music direction credits include "I Sing!," which received a Jeff Citation Nomination, "The Cradle Will Rock," "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," "Little Shop of Horrors," "Urinetown," "Sunday in the Park with George," "My Fair Lady," and "Evita" and "Chess" both of which received a Non-Equity Jeff Award. Ryan is on the Adjunct Faculty at Roosevelt University's Theatre Conservatory and works as a writer for The Cupid Players musical sketch comedy group.

Previews of "Re-Spiced: A Silk Road Cabaret" are April 4 & 5 at 7:30 pm, and Friday, April 6 at 8:00 pm. The press opening is Saturday, April 7 at 4:00 pm. The production runs through Sunday, May 6. Curtain times are Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30pm; Fridays+ at 8:00 pm; Saturdays++ at 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm, and Sundays at 4:00 pm. Tickets are $20.00 - $30.00. Tickets for "Re-Spiced: A Silk Road Cabaret" ($20 for previews, $30 for regular run) are now on sale and can be purchased at or by phone: 312.857.1234 x 201.

+There will be no performances at Pierce Hall on Friday, April 27 and Saturday, April 28
++ Re-Spiced will be performed at Governor State University on Saturday, April 28

Silk Road Rising creates live theatre and online videos that tell stories through primarily Asian American and Middle Eastern American lenses. In representing communities that intersect and overlap we are advancing a polycultural worldview.

The award winning Silk Road Rising is the recipient of: Insight Arts 2011 Creative Movement Award, the American Theatre Wing’s 2010 National Theatre Company Grant Award, the 2008 Broadway In Chicago/League of Chicago Theaters’ Emerging Theatre Award, the 2008 City of Chicago Human Relations Award, the 2007 Chicago Community Trust Lester and Hope Abelson Fund for the Performing Arts Award (“the Hopie”), the 2007 Columbia College Chicago’s Arts Entrepreneurship Award, the 2007 Asian American Institute’s Milestone Makers Award, and the 2006 Changing Worlds’ Immigrant & Refugee Contributions Award. Major sponsors of Silk Road Rising include: the Joyce Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, and the Alphawood Foundation.

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Malik Gillani

Malik Gillani
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