ANCRAM, NY [July 28, 2022] – Ancram Opera House presents INVASION! a satirical comedy by Jonas Hassen Khemiri, translated by Rachel Willson-Broyles, and directed by Jeffrey Mousseau. All performances take place at AOH August 5 – 21, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, and Sundays at 3 pm.
“INVASION! is a subversive satire that constantly upends expectations and calls into question how we inherently view one another based upon a person’s name or skin color,” Mousseau explained. “And with increasing violence and harmful rhetoric in public spaces arising in response to America’s shifting demographics, the play is as urgent today as ever.”
INVASION!’s satirical comedy centers on a name: Abulkasem. What is introduced as an amorphous word of many meanings spirals and shape-shifts into a kaleidoscopic range of identities. Abulkasem is an uncle visiting from Lebanon, a renowned theater director, an asylum-seeking apple picker, the world’s most dangerous terrorist. In a whirlwind of interconnected vignettes, we search for the answer. Who is Abulkasem?
With biting comedy and multilayered storytelling, INVASION! confronts prejudices about identity, race, and language.
The multinational company of actors, all making their Ancram debuts, are Ali Andre Ali, Abuzar Farrukh, Sophie Zmorrod Laruelle, and Ahmad Maher.
The production team includes lighting designer Jess Elliott, costume designer Rashidah Nelson, scenic designer Sarah Edkins and sound designer Brendan Doyle, Hannah Schiffer wil stage Manage.
INVASION! is underwritten by Gerry Fultz and Claudia Perles.
Tickets are $40 each, available at www.ancramoperahouse.org or by calling (518) 329-0114
INVASION! is generously sponsored by Claudia Perles and Gerry Futz.
by Jonas Hassen Khemiri
Translated from the original Swedish by Rachel Willson-Broyles
Directed by Jeffrey Mousseau
Featuring Ali Andre Ali, Abuzar Farrukh, Sophie Zmorrod Laruelle, and Ahmad Maher
Stage Manager Hannah Schiffer
Dramaturg: Vanessa Baer
Assistant Director: Celeste Gimonet
Lighting Design: Jess Elliott
Costume Design: Rashidah Nelson
Scenic Design: Sarah Edkins
Sound Design: Brendan Doyle
Friday, August 5 at 8 pm
Saturday, August 6 at 8 pm
Sunday, August 7 at 3 pm
Thursday, August 11 at 8 pm
Friday, August 12 at 8 pm
Saturday, August 13 at 8 pm
Sunday, August 14 at 3 pm
Thursday, August 18 at 8 pm
Friday, August 19 at 8 pm
Saturday, August 20 at 8 pm
Sunday, August 21 at 3 pm
at the Ancram Opera House
1330 County Route 7, Ancram, NY 12502
Tickets are $40 available at ancramoperahouse.org
About the Playwright
Jonas Hassen Khemiri is an award-winning Swedish novelist and playwright. He is the author of five novels, six plays, and a collection of essays and short stories. Khemiri’s novels have been translated into over thirty languages. His plays have been performed by over a hundred international companies on stages from Stockholm to Berlin to New York to London.
About the Director
Jeffrey Mousseau, is a theatre director, producer and educator and co-director of Ancram Opera House in Columbia County, NY, where his acclaimed October 2021 production of An Iliad with actor MaConnia Chesser has been remounted and currently on stage (through July 3) at Shakespeare and Company in Lenox, MA.
For Ancram Opera House, he has also helmed Homebody by Tony Kushner (Berkshire Theatre Critics Award, Outstanding Solo Performance); Young Jean Lee’s We’re Gonna Die; the American premiere of In Praise of Elephants by Kevin Dyer; a site-specific new work, Performing Olana, on the grounds of Olana, Hudson River School painter Frederic Church’s historic home near Hudson, NY; and two Barbara Wiechmann plays, Aunt Leaf which also toured to Aguascalientes, Mexico, and the premiere of a music-theatre adaptation of The Snow Queen.
Locally, his work has also been seen at Stageworks/Hudson and Hudson Opera House. Other directing credits include The Kennedy Center in Washington, HERE Arts Center in NYC where he is an alum of the HERE Artist Residency Program, numerous productions as founding artistic director of the Elliot & IRNE award-winning Coyote Theatre in Boston, American Southwest Theater, Provincetown Rep, and Florida Studio Theatre.
In addition to his tenure at The Coyote Theatre in Boston, he has served as general manager of the Consortium of Asian American Theaters & Artists; curator of the performance series, Start HERE: Innovative Theater for Young People, at HERE, NYC; program director at Tribeca Performing Arts Center, NYC; and producing director of the Smithsonian Computerworld Awards held annually at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC.
As a guest artist, he has lectured or directed at Brandeis University, Emerson College, University at Albany and Siena College.
ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR
Rachel Willson-Broyles became interested in Sweden and the Swedish language at an early age. She majored in Scandinavian Studies at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota, and received her BA there in 2002. She started translating while a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she received a Ph.D. in Scandinavian Studies in 2013. Rachel lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota. www.rachelwillsonbroyles.com
ABOUT THE CAST
Ali Andre Ali (Actor A) is an actor and musician of Palestinian and Irish descent based in New York City. Some of his credits include One Night (Target Margin), American Dreams (Working Theater), 10,000 Balconies (TheatreSquared) and the Eh Dah? Questions for My Father Hour Forum (Hypokrit/Next Door @NYTW). TV: “Ramy.” As a musician he writes and performs with his music duo fajjr+ali. Their latest album Insecurities will be available on all major streaming platforms on August 12th. ww.aliandreali.com | @aliandreali
Abuzar Farrukh (Actor B) is an actor, born and raised in Lahore, Pakistan. Abuzar is absolutely honored to be making his Ancram Opera House debut. Select credits: Disgraced (Chester Theatre Company), Refugee (Joakim Interfest, Serbia), Mitigating Damages (Castillo Theatre), Much Ado About Nothing (Brown Box Theatre Project). He holds a BA in Theatre from UMass Amherst, where he was the recipient of the Ed Golden Acting Award. A special thank you to Jeffrey Mousseau & Paul Ricciardi for this opportunity.
Sophie Zmorrod Laruelle (Actor C): Theatre: Hamlet in Machine Learning Hamlet (The Brick/MetaPhys Ed), Scheherazade in Marjana and the Forty Thieves (Target Margin), Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Everybody, The Winter’s Tale, White Noise (Brown/Trinity Rep), The María Irene Fornés Marathon (The Public), The Protest (Cherry Lane), Ocean Filibuster (Pearl D’Amour) and James Joyce’s The Dead (The Hangar). Film/TV: For Life (ABC/Hulu). Currently pursuing her MFA in Acting from Brown/Trinity Rep. BA cum laude from Columbia University in Music. www.sophielaruelle.com. @sophiezlaruelle.
Ahmad Maher (Actor D) is an Egyptian born NYC based actor who has performed in a variety of countries such as Egypt, Sweden and the United States. Ahmad is a graduate of the American Academy of the Dramatic Arts and was selected to be part of the Academy Company 2021/22. Selected NYC credits include Brian in Good Things Happen (Lenfest Center for the Arts), Louis XVI in Marie Antoinette (AADA Company) & Man 5 in Jesus, Son of Man (Everson Museum of Art). Ahmad is incredibly grateful for his family and friends for their continuous support.
The 2022 season at the Ancram Opera House is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.
Ancram Center is located on unceded, ancestral lands of the Muh-he-con-ne-ok, the Peoples of the Waters That Are Never Still, and overlooks the Roeliff Jansen Kill, which was once called the Sonkippog (cooling water). We pay tribute to and honor the history of those who precede us here.
ABOUT THE ANCRAM OPERA HOUSE
Located in southern Columbia County, the Ancram Opera House presents a mix of contemporary theatre, alternative cabaret, and community programs. Located in a converted former grange hall, AOH offers audiences a unique opportunity to directly engage, up close, with visionary theatre artists at the top of their field who are rarely seen in our region. For more information visit www.ancramoperahouse.org.