“Are you Ancient Desert Flowers ready to bloom? We are bringing the whole kit and caboodle!”
-The Goddess Isis, The Art of Hijab, Kohl Black and the Right Way to Pray 

 

Oh, and in case you were wondering what it takes for the creative team of The Art of Hijab to get ready in the morning, we’ve taken cues from a few of our favorite YouTube tutorials and put together a few handy videos that explain our morning beauty routines! Mystery solved!  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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Drumroll, please!
Maybe you saw it at LaGuardia Performing Arts Center. Maybe you’ve seen the photos on Facebook. And now, after an intensive and rewardingly unhurried development process, Polybe + Seats is delighted to present The Art of Hijab, Kohl Black and the Right Way to Pray as a community performance at the Bay Ridge Library in December 2017 and as part of a performance residency at Crown Heights' OBIE-award winning FiveMyles in January 2018. Thanks to our loyal individual supporters, developmental residencies at the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, ART/NY’s Creative Space, generous funding from the Brooklyn Arts Council, and a community partnership with the Arab American Association of New York, all we need is one final assist to get us over the finish line!

About the project
The Art of Hijab, Kohl Black and the Right Way to Pray is inspired by YouTube beauty and hijab styling tutorials for the Muslim woman; shared stories of the Koran, Torah, and Christian Bible; and playwright Sarah Badiyah Sakaan’s culturally diverse upbringing in Memphis. Using multimedia, testimony, nonlinear narrative and cross-gender casting, Polybe + Seats examines gender roles, faith, identity, and Islam in the United States. The play also engages the stigma of Muslim women who choose to wear Hijab in the western world and questions the social basis for beauty norms and gender roles in the United States and beyond. 
Polybe’s company members feel intensely that in the current political climate, artistic representations exploring American Islam and feminism are crucial in stemming an alarming tide of intolerance. This play presents a complex representation of two American Muslim sisters growing up in the Bible Belt, stylish Muslim women on the web, and characters of Biblical and Mythical proportions.

Our terrific team includes director Jessica Brater; performers Nuah Ozryel, Aizzah Fatima, Sakaan; sound and video designer Gavin Hecker; costume designer Karen Boyer; lighting designers Natalie Robin and Leslie Smith; and Polybe company members Elaine O'Brien and Lindsay Torrey.
We can’t WAIT to share this with you! As Goddess Isis says in the play, “Are you Ancient Desert Flowers ready to bloom? We are bringing the whole kit and caboodle!”

What we need
We are proud of the financial backing we've received from the Brooklyn Arts Council and our individual supporters, but we still have a $6000 gap that we need your support to close. If you’ve thought about supporting the project or have already helped us and want to double down, now is the time! The funds we raise through this campaign will go primarily toward paying stipends to the talented performers and designers who are working with us, like the fabulous Nuah Ozryel, an Arab-Canadian actor you may recognize from “Madame Secretary,” who plays an Imam, a Bar Mitzvah DJ, and a makeup stylist for mommies on the go. Other expenses include materials for our designers to create the digital and physical world of the play, insurance, rehearsal space rental, and marketing materials.

We are offering VIP tickets, show posters, and a pdf of the script as perks for campaign contributors as well as unique rewards reflecting the wide range of talents of our company members, including a homemade Syrian dinner party, private yoga lessons, and babysitting. We are also offering perks that reflect the emphasis on diversity and inclusivity in the production such as postcards to the White House on an anti-hate topic of your choice. You can see a full list of perks here.

How can you help?
Even if you can’t contribute (and even $1 helps, really), we hope you will be able to come see our show in January! Sign up for our mailing list to get the news when tickets go on sale!
Please also help spread the word! You can share this campaign on Facebook, tweet about us, Google+ us, Instagram us, or email your friends the link to this campaign with the handy links located above this text. Your support will help us make this show a success.
If you would like to support us regularly, you can create a recurring monthly donation through Fractured Atlas here. If you would prefer to support us by mailing a check, please visit this section of our website for information. Or, if you work for a company that has a matching gifts program, email us at info@polybeandseats.org before you contribute about making your gift double.

FAQ:
1. Can I contribute from outside the United States? Yes, visit our page on Fractured Atlas to make a tax-deductible contribution.
2. Oh no, I missed the campaign and now it is closed! Can I still support your play? Yes! You can make a tax-deductible contribution through Fractured Atlas and we will still thank you in our program and on our website.
Please also look to these cultural associations for news and volunteer opportunities: 
NAAP (Network of Arab Americans Professionals) 
AAANY (Arab American Association of New York)

 

 

 

 

Summertime is coming to a close but we’re just warming up!

Starting September 5, 2017, you can check out our Fractured Atlas crowdfunding platform and give big (or give small!) to our full scale production of The Art of Hijab, Kohl Black and the Right Way to Pray. We launch our campaign on Tuesday September 5th, right after Labor Day, so start your engines!

Regular updates will be posted here! We’ve been investing in this project since 2014 and we want you on board.

 

 

 

 

 Our upcoming production of The Art of Hijab, Kohl Black and the Right Way to Pray by associate artistic director Sarah Badiyah Sakaan is coming soon.

Directed by artistic director Jessica Silsby Brater.

Inspired by YouTube tutorials on make-up and hijab styling, The Art of Hijab, Kohl Black, and the Right Way to Pray engages with Muslim feminist identity and playwright Sarah Badiyah Sakaan’s experience growing up in a Muslim household in the U.S. Bible Belt. The play explores the juxtaposition of American Muslim women living assimilated lives yet choosing to dress modestly. Following Polybe + Seats’s 2014 Anna Asli Suriyah (I come from Syria), the project is a continuation of the company’s interest in exploring Muslim-American identity.

 

 

 

Polybe was Gertrude Stein's dog. Seats are where you sit.


Polybe + Seats has been making theater together since 2001. We produce new plays and collaboratively developed work that experiments with images, language, structure, and storytelling. By presenting our stories from multiple perspectives, we invite our audiences to make their own connections with our work. Our work has been presented by The University of Michigan, Mabou Mines / Suite, Brooklyn Fire Proof, and the Waterfront Museum and Showboat Barge.

 


By choosing stories that we ourselves are curious about, we engage our audiences' curiosity and imaginations.

"Polybe + Seats launches Granada in a storytelling tour-de-force that sets the foundation for their future collaborative work to come." - Theater Online

"A promising young company bravely taking on the impossible Stein challenge." --Charles McNulty, The Village Voice

 

 

July 2011 News: Thank you to the over 90 supporters of our first-ever crowdfunding campaign, hosted by IndieGoGo.com!