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Silk Road Rising announces 2017–2018 theater season

Written by
Kris Vire

Silk Road Rising, the Chicago theater company focused primarily on stories from writers of Asian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean descent, has announced plans for its 15th season, to include three mainstage productions and three series of staged readings.

The mainstage season opens with the U.S. premiere of Wild Boar (November 9 to December 17), a thriller about a journalist investigating the disappearance of a writer. The 2012 drama is by Hong Kong playwright Candace Chong and adapted by Pulitzer Prize winner David Henry Hwang; Helen Young is set to direct.

Next up is Through the Elevated Line (March 8 to April 15), about a gay Iranian man who, fleeing persecution at home, resettles in Chicago with his sister and her American husband. The world premiere by Novid Parsi is said to have “echoes of A Streetcar Named Desire.” (Parsi, we should note, is a former theater critic for Time Out Chicago.) Carin Silkaitis will direct.

Writer-performer Anu Bhatt’s solo piece Hollow/Wave (May 17 to 27), about wrestling with overlapping identities as a South Asian actor, completes the slate, with direction by Barbara Zahora.

In August and September, the Crescent and Star Staged Reading Series will present three pieces about “Arab and Muslim journeys”: Twice, Thrice, Frice, by Fouad Teymour (August 5 and 6), Jihad Against Violence: Oh ISIS Up Yours!, by Fawzia Afzal-Khan (August 19 and 20), and We Swim, We Talk, We Go to War by Mona Mansour (September 9 and 10).

In the new year, Silk Road Rising will stage two readings in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut: P3M5: The Plurality of Privacy Project, comprising five-minute plays about privacy by various writers (January 13 and 14), and Pure Land (February 3 and 4), by German Iranian playwright Mehdi Moradpour, about a pregnant Middle Eastern woman seeking asylum.

The summer 2018 New China Festival will feature readings of plays to be announced from China and Taiwan. Hwang will curate the lineup.

Silk Road Rising’s current show, Great Expectationsa co-production with Remy Bumppo Theatre Company of Tanika Gupta’s Dickens adaptation—continues through July 2.

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