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MINNEAPOLIS, Spring 2023, The scripts, even those that were still in progress, were vibrant, hilarious, suspense-filled, and poignant in turns. “Birthright Palestine,” for example, was particularly effective in contrasting the obstacles confronting the Palestinian-American students with the ease of their Jewish counterparts’ effusively-described, all-expenses-paid Taglit trip, and Wazwaz perfectly calibrated the balance of ironic humor, empathy, and fierce resistance to injustice in her depiction of the smear campaigns that spring up against the students in local media and online, the draconian disciplinary policies of the university administration, and the risks of harassment, surveillance, and detention that the group faces at the border crossing... 

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NATIONWIDE, July 16, 2020 —  A group of artists has announced the launch of the National Alliance for Middle Eastern and North African Theater Makers (MENATMA), an alliance dedicated to MENA artists and stories in the American theatre.

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MINNESOTA, October 14, 2019 — Playwright Kathryn Haddad is the Executive/Artistic Director of the New Arab American Theater Works and the play reflects her experiences and distinguished career as a teacher, writer and Arab American community organizer. Although originally written in an earlier version during the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, this play could not arrive at a more opportune time. Its themes reflect the fear and anguish of immigrant communities as they listen to autocratic leaders, including the president of the United States mere days earlier in Minneapolis, discuss Muslim bans and spread ugly, xenophobic hatred.

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MINNESOTA, October 14, 2019 — The New Arab American Theater Works production of Kathryn Haddad’s Zafira and the Resistance is a play all Twin Cities parents should take their daughters and sons to. The drama opened this last weekend in the Dowling Studio at the Guthrie Theater. The Dowling Studio is essentially a performance space that seems to function as a bridge between community and art. A space where artists can express their truths and spark communication and connections. I attended the Sunday evening performance with my daughter, a senior in high school. The play was a great conversation stimulator about issue that are happening in the world around us and what they mean and where they can lead. But also about theater itself and the role of the artist in society. 

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MINNEAPOLIS - SAINT PAUL, MINNESOTA, October 16, 2019 — If you don’t know Kathryn Haddad by now, you probably should. Her resume alone could take up an entire article: local playwright, founder of Mizna (an arts organization which published the first Arab American literary journal in the country), executive and artistic director of the New Arab American Theater, a 2019–2020 Jerome Fellow (one of only a handful in the country), a longtime Twin Cities language arts teacher, and so on. Yes, most of that happened at the same time. The woman’s got chops. She’s been speaking up for the arts world in Minnesota—specifically the oft-overlooked Arab American community—for decades. But Haddad’s newest work is showing a different, more personal side of herself than ever before.

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SAINT PAUL, MINNESOTA, November 19, 2018 — A Minnesota woman is on a quest to find Lebanese immigrants who put down roots in the United States 100 years ago — and she's planning to bring their stories to life in a theater production.

It was Kathryn Haddad's own personal story that inspired the project,
"The Hour of Separation."

"I'm selfishly wanting to explore my own history," she explained.

As a part of the Loft's To Be Honest theme, please come to this celebration and discussion of Contemporary Plays by Women of Color. Drawing from path-breaking theaters across the country, this anthology features plays from renowned and emerging playwrights, presenting a rich array of voices and aesthetics in a transforming America. Join the editor, Roberta Uno, and playwrights including Ananya Chatterjea, Dionna Daniel, Kathryn Haddad, Meena Natarajan, and Marcie Rendon for a discussion and celebration.

New Arab American Theater Works is proud to have our Artistic Director Kathryn Haddad's work Zafira the Olive Oil Warrior celebrated at this event, alongside our powerful colleagues in the field. 

Kathryn Haddad’s Zafira the Olive Oil Warrior to appear in the book Contemporary Plays by Women of Color, edited by Roberta Uno, Routledge, Due out Spring 2017!

Contemporary Plays by Women of Color is a ground-breaking anthology of eighteen new and recent works by African American, Asian American, Latina American and Native American playwrights. This compelling collection includes works by award-winning and well-known playwrights such as Anna Deavere Smith, Cherrie Moraga, Pearl Cleage, Marga Gomez and Spiderwoman, as well as many exciting newcomers. 

New Arab American Theater Works is thrilled to have our Artistic Director Kathryn Haddad's work Zafira the Olive Oil Warrior included in this anthology. 

Middle Eastern American Theater: Genesis, Challenges & Future 

New Arab American Theater Works Executive/Artistic Director Kathy Haddad was a panelist in this fascinating discussion moderated by UO Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts Michael Malek Najjar, about the bourgeoing Middle Eastern American Theatre.


Other panelists included Sevan K. Greene, Jennifer Jajeh, Leila Ghaznavi, and Armina LaManna. Co-sponsored by the Consortium of Asian American Theatres & Artists (CAATA), as part of the 2016 National Asian American Theatre Festival, pre-conference on West & Central Asian American Artists (co-organized with Art2Action, Inc.)

New Arab American Theater Works, Pangea World Theater, and Mizna co-presenting Ismail Khalidi a workshop by Ismail Khalidi, September 2016

Ismail Khalidi, poet, playwright and activist, presented scenes from his in-progress work Sabra Falling this September. He is completing an Artistic Residency in Minneapolis to hone this play and get community feedback before its full production in 2017, which will also be co-presented by New Arab American Theater Works, Pangea World Theater, and Mizna. 

Sabra Falling begins in August 1982 and Beirut is under siege. In the Sabra refugee camp the specter of a massacre looms, and the Akawi family receives an unexpected and mysterious visitor who brings the past rushing back - and alters the course of events to come. 

You can see more of Khalidi's work here

New Arab American Theater and Mizna welcome Guthrie director Joseph Haj
to the Twin Cities. 

October 2015

A first-of its-kind festival for the Twin Cities—one of the only ever done in the U.S—a festival of Arab-American theater. 

"A trio of plays this month at Mixed Blood Theatre offers a far more nuanced look at the Arab-American experience than anything you are likely to see on TV or at the movies." 

City Pages

Taous Claire Khazem, Mohamed Yabdri and Kathryn Haddad have each created plays that give a personal window into what it means to be Arab-American."

MPR News, Art Hounds

"As a Lebanese-American Minnesotan, I could identify closely with the characters and cultural subtext in all three plays...But the themes of exploring one’s heritage, adapting to a new home and relying on friends and family as personal touchstones are universal. The festival is well worth attending."

Aisle Say Twin Cities

This event brought together new Arab-American theater pieces in a three-week festival by three locally accomplished Arab-American theater artists. Our work gave new perspective to the general Twin Cities public when thinking about the meaning of “Arab,” “Middle Eastern,” and “Muslim”. 
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