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Production Cancellation

Ticket holders for Pretty Shahid will be contacted with refund options.

"Jackalope has made the difficult decision to cancel the show,”  said Jackalope’s Board of Directors and leadership. ”It has been our greatest honor and pleasure to have served a role in developing this critical new work. We are proud of this play and its team but we will no longer be the home for its world premiere." [See Company Updates for more info]

Pretty Shahid shares the story of the Kazem family who immigrated to Chicago from Iraq and are attempting to assimilate and live when 9/11 happens. This romantic comedy uses classic film tropes to examine identity and which knots one chooses to untie to become the ideal American. It is a play about self discovery that was born and developed at Jackalope and would have been the company’s first production centered in the Muslim, SWANASA (South West Asian, North African, and South Asian) diaspora.


Event Info:

VENUE: Broadway Armory Park
5917 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60660

RUN-TIME:  2 hours.

View current instructions and measures Here.

View the current list of warnings Here.


The Cast

CAST: Isabel Alamin, Ninos Baba, Sam Boeck*, Tina El Gamal, Anelga Hajjar, Tommy Malouf, Ricky Quintana, Esho Rasho, Josh Razavi, Brandon Rivera, Amal Salem, and Liz Sharpe*.

The Team 

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PLAYWRIGHT – Abbas Salem*
Omer Abbas Salem is a Chicago actor and playwright. As an actor, he's worked with Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, The New Coordinates, Jackalope Theatre, Steep Theatre, Silk Road Rising, Griffin Theatre, The House, Bailiwick Chicago, Actors Theatre of Louisville, St. Louis Rep, Roundabout Theater and The Atlantic Theater. As a playwright, his work has been developed and produced at Steppenwolf Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Jackalope Theatre, First Floor Theater, DePaul University, National Queer Theater, Definition Theatre, About Face Theater and The New Coordinates. He is the winner of Steppenwolf's SCOUT Development Project (20/21), Definition Theatre's Amplify Commission (20/21), Goodman Theatre's Future Labs Development (21), The Cunningham Commission at DePaul Theatre School (21/22), Goodman Theatre's Playwrights Unit (21/22) and First Floor Theater's Blueprint Commission (21/22). He was an apprentice of The Actors Theatre of Louisville (17/18) and is also a proud ensemble member with Jackalope Theatre, Steep Theatre, First Floor Theater and The New Coordinates. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign and the University of Chicago. During the day, he's a client strategist in new-tech.

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DIRECTOR – Sophiyaa Nayar
Sophiyaa Nayar is from New Delhi, India. She creates interdisciplinary and genre-bending work that centers (im)migrants. She is a member of the WP Lab 2020-2022, 3Arts Make a Wave Grantee, a Definition Theatre ensemble member, a member of Directors' Lab Chicago 2017 and a resident in Milwaukee Rep's 2017-2018 season. Recent directing credits: “Modern Women” by Omer Abbas Salem (Playwrights Unit Reading, Goodman Theatre), “Plural (LOVE)” by Jen Goma and Haruna Lee (WP, Pipeline Festival), “Shakuntala” by Lavina Jadhwani (Future Labs, Goodman Theatre), “Love in the Time of Jonestown: A Radio Play” by Omer Abbas Salem (New Coordinates), “Good Years” by Ada Alozie (film, Definition Theatre) and “Pretty Shahid” by Omer Abbas Salem (Jackalope Theatre). Recent assistant director credits include “Search for Signs of Intelligent Life... with Cecily Strong” (Leigh Silverman), “Nollywood Dreams” (Saheem Ali). She was part of the SDC Foundation's Observership Class, through which she worked on “Soft Power” by Jeanine Tesori and David Henry Hwang at The Public. Her production of Etheopianamerican” By Sam Kebede (Definition Theatre) won Black Theatre Alliance Awards for Best Play, Featured Actor and Actress, and a Jeff award for Fight Choreography. She has developed work with Steppenwolf, Center Theatre Group, The Shed, American Players Theatre, Writers Theatre, Milwaukee Rep and MCC theatre. Her recent touring show, “Movement Live” is headed to Lincoln Center in 2023.

Nadya Naumaan - Associate Director
Ariel Beller - Stage Manager
Anna Margevich - Asst Stage Manager
Corey Bradberry - Production Manager
Catherine Miller - Casting Director
Spike Bahermez - Casting Associate
Evan Sposato - Technical Director
Eleanor Kahn - Scenic Designer
Eric Watkins - Lighting Designer
Joel Zishuk - Master Electrician
Eric Backus - Sound Designer
Tina Muñoz Pandya - Original Composition
Lonnae Hickman - Props Designer
Eme Ospina-López - Projections Designer
Jessica van Winkle - Costume Designer
Jenn Freeman - Movement Choreographer
Courtney Abbott - Intimacy/Fight Choreographer
Nezha Almahi-LeBrasseur - Dialect Coach
Sarah Price - Comedy Consultant
Sami Ismat - Cultural Consultant

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