12th Annual Arab-American & North African Cultural Street Festival


Please visit us on Saturday, June 21st at our booth at the NAAP 12th Annual Arab-American & North African Cultural Street Festival!

We'll be there from 10am to 6pm at Great Jones Street and Lafayette Street in NoHo selling selling art prints to benefit our upcoming production Anna Asli Suriyah (I Come from Syria). We'll have photographs of pre-conflict Syria, original paintings and prints by Walid Sakaan, and art photography inspired by Arab and Arab-American motifs. Come buy some art (from us and from the many other talented vendors), hear music from top Arab-American musicians, and help support our upcoming show!


Casting Call

Theater company Polybe + Seats is seeking 1 male Arab-American and 1-2 female Arab-American performers for our upcoming production Anna Asli Suriyah (I Come From Syria). This is a new piece currently in development through the summer. Performances will take place in the month of August: Saturday-Tuesday evenings 8/9-8/26. Rehearsals begin in late May and will continue (with a number of vacation breaks) throughout June/July. The production will be an Equity showcase and a stipend is available.

This piece is inspired by our lead artist's experiences related to the ongoing crisis in Syria, and the project has already received grants from Brooklyn Arts Council and The Nancy Quinn Fund to create and perform this timely work. We will be performing at a unique non-theatrical venue in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. 

If you are interested in auditioning, please send a headshot and resume to Polybe + Seats Artistic Director Jessica Silsby Brater at

More about the project
Lead artist Sarah Badiyah Sakaan is a first generation Syrian American and was motivated by her desire to find artistic expression for her feelings as events in Syria have unfolded. The company is drawing source material from personal interviews conducted by Sakaan, news reports on the ongoing conflict and refugee situation, and Arabic folk tales. Thematic and stylistic influences include Arab oral storytelling traditions; practice of Syrian social and cultural rituals; urban Syrian soundscapes; and Syrian music, dance and drumming; as well the use of social media as tools of communication in the Syrian Civil War. The text is being written largely by Sakaan but the some scenes will also be collaboratively developed in rehearsal. For more information about the company, please visit


Seeking Stage Manager for our Summer Show

Theater company Polybe + Seats is seeking a stage manager for our upcoming production Anna Asli Suriyah (I come from Syria). This new piece is currently in development and will be performed in August 2014: Saturday-Tuesday evenings 8/9-8/26. A stipend is available for this position.  

This piece is inspired by our lead artist's experiences related to the ongoing crisis in Syria, and the project has already received grants from Brooklyn Arts Council and The Nancy Quinn Fund to create and perform this timely work. We will be performing at a unique non-theatrical venue in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Rehearsals begin in May and will continue intermittently through June/July. Stage Manager schedule is somewhat flexible leading up to August. Assistant SM/Intern is already attached for the duration of the run.      

Interested parties should contact Katie Naka (Producer) at with resume and cover letter or any questions. We will be setting up meetings through early May or until the position is filled.



Our second-greatest talent? - by Avi Glickstein

Over our ten-year history, Polybe + Seats has always been able to rely on one tried-and-true method of fundraising: the bake sale. From the outside, it may appear that being able to bake is a prerequisite for new Company Members. This isn't the case, but, somehow, we've continued to attract little bread and cake babies who love to just crank out the sweets (myself included).

This past Sunday, we put ourselves to work to raise funds for Alice, or the Scottish Gravediggers (opening October 20 - ahem, ahem) and wound up having our most successful sale to date - we raised over $500! How good do treats have to be to make that kind of money? We've posted some pictures so you can see for yourself.

However, here are some basic principles we followed that we think are essential to any profitable bake sale:

1) Don't limit yourselves to human beings. We had lots of happy four-legged customers on Sunday. In fact, we even sold the few treats we had left to an amazingly sweet pitbull named Sammy while having after-sale beers at Mission Dolores.

2) You can never overbake. We thought we had too much stock. We were wrong. We finished the day with a small bowl of the single, sole surviving members of various baked goods families and exactly one dozen tiny apple pies. True, we were making deals like crazy toward the end of the day, but so what? "Hand over fist," as my entrepreneurial wife said. Yep.

3) Location, location, location - the Executive Director of our performance venue, Kim at the Old Stone House, was generous enough to let us set up on the sidewalk in front of the grounds and also contacted the Park Slope farmers market, which was right next to us, to make sure we wouldn't tick them off. And they were generous enough to not mind us being there. Truthfully, they had nothing to worry about since their market is filled with amazing things like Doc Pickle, Go-Go Pops, and Barry's Tempeh. It also helps to be able to say, "We're raising money for a show that's going up RIGHT THERE in two weeks!" Oh boy. Two weeks. Yeesh.

and last...

4) Don't be surprised if people in your company go a little crazy. We had more than one person stay up into the wee hours "waiting for things to cool" and what not. Well whatever everyone did, it was beautiful, delicious, and gone, gone, gone. The bank don't lie, my friends.

And speaking of friends, here are the people you need to accost to cater your next birthday party and some of the bounty they brought forth (for some reason, my authorial voice has turned Biblical - huh):

Katya Schapiro - Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Pear Mousseline Filling, Buckwheat Cookies with Cacao Nibs, Tomato Tart
Sarah Sakaan - Butter Cookies, Tiny Apple Pies, Cream Cheese-Frosted Pumpkin Cupcakes (remember those "wee hours" people?)
Avi Glickstein - Plum Tart
Stacey McMath - Peanut Butter Dog Treats and Liver Dog Treats
Catherine Wallach - Banana Bread, Pumpkin Bread, Fudgy Brownies, Corn Muffins
Jessica Brater - Cheesy Beer Bread, Sugar Cookies w/Candied Kansas Sunflower Seeds 
Bevan Dunbar - Marzipan Snails...MARZIPAN SNAILS!
Miriam Felton-Dansky - Cheesecake Swirl Brownies
Kate Marvin - Plum Torte (they're in season, ok?)

Ok, now if you missed the sale and are salivating, I will say this. Traditionally, there has been some sort of baked good or goods sold at our plays. I'm not promising anything, but your best shot is to come see...

Beginning October 20!