Ping Chong + Company is taking the stage at BRIC to explore Muslim identities in the U.S with Beyond Sacred this Saturday, April 29, 2017. Beyond Sacred is an interview- based theatre production which features a cast of five young men and women: Tiffany Yasmin Abdelghani, Ferdous Dehqan, Kadin Herring, Amir Khafagy and Maha Syed.
For Beyond Sacred Ping Chong + Company interviews local participants who in the process become the performers of their own stories. Their narratives of personal, historical and political accounts create their scripts – and their performances.
The protagonists represent a wide range of Muslim identities, including those who identify as “secular” or “culturally” Muslim, those who have converted to Islam, those who were raised Muslim, but have since left the faith and those who are daily observers. Despite their varied origins and practices, they share the common experience of growing up in a post 9/11 New York City and the rise of Islamophobia.
Beyond Sacred is part of Ping Chong + Company’s Undesirable Elements, an oral history project exploring issues of culture, identity and difference of individuals in their communities. Undesirable Elements is a performance of the spoken word that provides an open space to the needs and issues facing any community.
On the company’s webpage Ping Chong shares: “Undesirable Elements has taken me to places – geographic, psychic, and spiritual – that I never imagined and it continues to inspire me. I look forward to future encounters with the “undesirables” around the world.”
Ping Chong + Company, founded in 1975, is a New York based not-for-profit company. So far, Ping Chong and his collaborators have created over 50 works, and toured nationally and internationally. Committed to bringing their multidisciplinary creations to multicultural audiences, the company has received numerous honors and awards, including the National Medal of Arts awarded by President Obama.