A suspenseful drama about family and sacrifice from an exciting new voice, Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre brings the Australian premiere of Sylvia Khoury’s Pulitzer nominated drama, Selling Kabul, to the stage, this April.
On the eve of his son’s birth, Taroon takes shelter with his sister, Afiya, and her husband, Jawid. Taroon was an interpreter for the US military and spends his days in hiding from the increasingly powerful Taliban, while he awaits news on his visa application.
Desperate to see his wife and baby, he must risk the lives of everyone he loves by venturing to the hospital. A suspenseful drama that tracks the human cost of immigration policy, Selling Kabul asks ‘what would you do to save another person’s life?’
Directed by Brett Cousins and starring Afghan ensemble member, Khisraw Jones-Shukoor, alongside Claudia Greenstone, Nicole Nabout and Farhad Zaiwala, Selling Kabul powerfully portrays the humanity and courage of one Afghan family in Kabul, 2013, when the USA had just begun a major withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.
“Our 2023 season has been built around texts that are not only exemplary but also directly linked to ensemble members – in this case I immediately thought of Khisraw Jones-Shukoor when I read the play,” said Red Stitch Artistic Director, Ella Caldwell.
“To have a play set in Afghanistan with all the characters Afghan is a rare sight to see,” added Khisraw Jones-Shukoor. “I, myself, have never seen that in Melbourne or in Australia for that matter, and to have the unique privilege of leading this thriller and sharing a story theatre-goers won’t normally experience is an honour.”
“It gives me an opportunity to make fellow Afghans proud to see something familiar on an Australian stage, to make them feel less like outsiders and part of our shared country,” said Khisraw.
Sylvia Khoury is a New York-born writer of French and Lebanese descent. Her plays include Selling Kabul (Playwrights Horizons, Williamstown Theater Festival), Power Strip (LCT3), Against the Hillside (Ensemble Studio Theater) and The Place Women Go.
She is currently under commission from Lincoln Center and Williamstown Theater Festival. Awards include the L. Arnold Weissberger Award and Jay Harris Commission and a Citation of Excellence from the Laurents/Hatcher Awards.
Her plays have been developed at Playwrights Horizons, Williamstown Theater Festival, Eugene O’Neill Playwrights’ Conference, Roundabout Theater Underground, Lark Playwrights’ Week, EST/Youngblood, and WP Theater.
She holds a BA from Columbia University and an MFA from the New School for Drama. She obtained her MD from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in May 2021.
Director: Brett Cousins | Featuring: Claudia Greenstone, Khisraw Jones-Shukoor, Nicole Nabout, Farhad Zaiwala | Set and Costume Design: Sophie Woodward | Lighting Design: Richard Vabre | Sound Design: Grace Ferguson | Equity and Inclusion Support Officer: Cessalee Stovall | Stage Manager: Kelly Wilson | Assistant Stage Manager: Jenny Le | Writer: Sylvia Khoury
Red Stitch Actors Theatre, Rear 2 Chapel Street, St Kilda East (behind All Saints Church)
Season: 26 April – 21 May 2023 (previews: 22 – 25 April)
Information and Bookings: www.redstitch.net
Image: The Cast of Selling Kabul – photo by Robert Blackburn & Work Art Life Studios