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  • Writer's pictureNew York Theatre Salon

Portraits of Religion in Modern Theatre

New York Theatre Salon In collaboration with New York Stage and Film


Portraits of Religion in Modern Theatre

There are an estimated 4,200 religions worldwide, and although American theater focuses on telling stories about followers of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, some important questions are to be asked. What kind of portrayals are we making in our theater stories, and are these holding truthful to realities of the people who follow them? While some playwrights choose to ridicule organized religion, others seem to focus on one specific belief or perspective of that belief.

Join us for our November panel where will explore the ways various religions are portrayed on stage, and hopefully draw closer to what it means to represent religious faith, its doctrines, and their followers on the theatrical stage.

Panelists will include:

Majkin Holmquist

Will Arbery

Kareem Fahmy

Kim Snyder


Majkin Holmquist is a playwright originally from the Smoky Valley region in central Kansas where she was co-founder of The Next Stage Theatre Company. Her plays include The Vegetable Man, Tent Revival, Quickmatch, The Dog Pack Play, Stargazers, and Skinflint. Other credits include The Quonsets (co-written with Alex Lubischer, Yale Cabaret), Broken Melodies (WVIT Women in Theatre Festival), and Styx Songs (contributing writer, Yale Cabaret). She has taught at the O’Neill Playwriting Program at New Haven’s Cooperative Arts High School and at the Yale School of Drama. She holds a BA in Secondary English Education from Bethany College and an MFA in Playwriting from the Yale School of Drama.

Will Arbery is a playwright from Texas + Wyoming + seven sisters. His plays include Heroes of the Fourth Turning (Playwrights Horizons), Plano (Clubbed Thumb), Evanston Salt Costs Climbing (New Neighborhood), Wheelchair (3 Hole Press). He’s currently under commission from Playwrights Horizons and Shadowcatcher Entertainment. He’s a member of New Dramatists, The Working Farm at SPACE on Ryder Farm, P73’s Interstate 73, Colt Coeur, Youngblood, and an alum of Clubbed Thumb’s Early Career Writers Group. His plays have been developed at Clubbed Thumb, Playwrights Horizons, NYTW, The Vineyard, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Ojai Playwrights Conference, Cape Cod Theater Project, The New Group, EST/Youngblood, The Bushwick Starr, Alliance/Kendeda, and Tofte Lake Center. Dance work: Pioneer Works, MCA Chicago, Watermill Center. MFA: Northwestern. BA: Kenyon College.

Kareem Fahmy is a Canadian-born director and playwright of Egyptian descent. He has directed a number of world premiere productions including James Scruggs’s 3/Fifths (3LD, New York Times Top 5 Must-See Shows), Sevan K. Greene’s This Time (Sheen Center, New York Times Critics’ Pick), Bess Welden’s Refuge*Malja (Portland Stage), Adam Kraar’s Alternating Currents (Working Theater), Nikkole Salter’s Indian Head (Luna Stage), and Victor Lesniewski’s Couriers and Contrabands (TBG Theatre, also co-creator).

His plays, which include A Distinct Society, The Triumphant, Pareidolia, The In-Between, and an adaptation of the acclaimed Egyptian novel The Yacoubian Building have been developed or presented at The Atlantic Theater Company, Target Margin Theater, The Lark, Fault Line Theater, and Noor Theater. Kareem has been a fellow or resident artist at the Sundance Theatre Lab, Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Phil Killian Directing Fellow), Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center (National Directors Fellow), Second Stage (Van Lier Directing Fellow), Soho Rep (Writer/Director Lab), Lincoln Center (Directors Lab), The New Museum (Artist-in-Residence), and New York Theater Workshop (Emerging Artist Fellow & Usual Suspect). He has developed new plays at theaters around the country, including MCC, Ensemble Studio Theatre, New Dramatists, The Civilians, Geva Theatre, Pioneer Theatre, Silk Road Rising, and Berkeley Rep. He is a founder of Maia Directors, a consulting group for organizations and artists engaging with stories from the Middle East and beyond. MFA: Columbia University.

Kareem lives in New York City with his husband, acclaimed fiction writer John McManus.

Kim Snyder was born in Casablanca, Morocco to a French Moroccan Mother (Sephardic Jew) and a Native American Father (Episcopal), from Pine Ridge South Dakota. In her pursuit to explore the human condition, the fusion of culture brings about a unique perspective to her voice.

Kim has been an actress and in the business for over 20 years. She attended the LaGuardia HS of Performing Arts and studied with Sanford Meisner and Phil Gushee at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City. Kim’s roots are in the theater and progressed onto film and TV. She was Murielle, in “Crave” at La Ma Ma, and Gloria in the NY production of “Women Behind Bars” directed and produced by Tom Eyen and Ron Link. Kim was involved in the downtown NYC, theater scene, and performed at “Home”, Theater Funambules, and The Public Theater, to name a few. Her TV credits include Leslie Bordeaux, in “As the World Turns”, Molly Brant, in the TNT production of the “The Broken Chain”, herself on “Nitecap” opposite Robin Leach and Rae Dawn Chong and a variety of episodic, voice-overs and commercials. Kim completed shooting the film “Natives” that was in the SWSW Film festival in Austen, Texas and "Night Goers" by E. A. Yates.

Kim wrote and directed “Rainbow Dancing”, about the sacredness and dangerous effects of tobacco, commissioned by and produced at the American Indian Community House (AICH). Her play “Quiet Wind”, made the semi-finals in the New York New Works Theater Festival.

Kim’s poetry is published in, Four Winds, Spiritual Health Magazine and Yellow Medicine Review. She has written articles for the Native American paper Talking Stick.

She is currently developing her play “Dying to Live (DTL)” and attends Columbia University School of General Studies where DTL was initially developed.

Kim lives in Jersey City with her daughter Jessie Skye.

(RSVP is currently sold out!)

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