Livestreaming a Conversation: NO SUMMARY: What Can the Wise Fool Nasrudin Teach Us?

Golden Thread Productions presents NO SUMMARY: What Can the Wise Fool Nasrudin Teach Us? livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 24 June 2022 at 11 am PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 1 pm CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 2 pm EDT (New York, UTC-4).

Golden Thread’s Fairytale Players program manager, Heather Rastovac Akbarzadehhosts a panel of arts, culture, and education professionals to discuss Golden Thread’s theater for young audiences program. In this particular moment of divisive politics, and as we struggle to emerge from a global pandemic, what possibilities emerge from bringing Middle Eastern storytelling to young audiences? Join Sarah Al-Kassab (Jordanian-American actor, producer, and costume designer), Sabria Hassan (program manager with the American Association of Yemeni Students and Professionals), and Angela Norton Tyler (teacher at Fruitvale Elementary School in Oakland, CA) as they discuss the production and reception of Fairytale Players’ 2022 tour of Nasrudin’s Magnificent Journey to Samarkand, written by Torange Yeghiazarian and directed by Sarah Al-Kassab.

Moderator
Heather Rastovac Akbarzadeh, Ph.D. (Golden Thread Fairytale Players program manager) is a community-engaged scholar, artist, and educator with two decades of experience as a dancer-choreographer, artistic director, curator, and dramaturg among the diasporic MENA/SWANA communities. Since 1997, she has performed in street performances, activist circuses, MENA/SWANA cultural events, and full evening dance works on concert stages. Heather earned her PhD in Performance Studies from UC Berkeley, where she completed a dissertation on diasporic Iranian dancers and performance artists. Following her doctoral studies, she was the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Dance Studies in the Department of Theater and Performance Studies at Stanford University (2016-2018) and the UC Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Asian American Studies at UC Davis (2018-2020) ). Heather’s diverse experience as an educator has included teaching performance theory and practice at UC Berkeley and Stanford University, creating dance curriculum and choreography for DanceVersity World Dance for Youth (Berkeley, CA), and performing in the Folklife-in-the-Schools program in her hometown of Seattle, WA.

Panelists
Sarah Al-Kassab is the director of Golden Thread’s 2022 Fairytale Players (FTP) production, Nasrudin’s Magnificent Journey to Samarkand, As well as this season’s FTP touring stage manager. Sarah is a first generation Jordanian-American actor, producer, and costume designer. Sarah has spent the last fifteen years as a self-producing San Francisco Bay Area interactive performance artist. She has over twenty years of experience in wardrobe styling, costume design, and construction for both large and independent theater houses, commercials, music videos, circus, and live events. Sarah enjoys being able to share Middle Eastern culture through costume and storytelling. She is thrilled to have been a core member of the Fairytale Players since 2007.

Sabria Hassan, an Oakland, CA native and an Oakland Unified School District alum, has been with the American Association of Yemeni Students and Professionals (AAYSP) since December 2019. As AAYSP’s Ta’alam program manager, Sabria has been building OUSD’s targeted literacy programs for Arab and Afghan students who have some of the lowest literacy rates in the district. Sabria graduated from Skyline High School in 2011 and graduated with a BA in History from San Francisco State University in 2017. A mother of two beautiful children, a wife, and an active community member, Sabria is determined to uplift and give back to a community she grew up in and eventually returned to serve. Sabria’s main focus is on the cultural makeup of the Yemeni-American community in relation to gender dynamics, political identity, and cases of marginalization within the public educational system.

Angela Norton Tyler is a Teacher on Special Assignment at Fruitvale Elementary School in the Oakland Unified School District. She has been involved in education as a college instructor, educational teacher leader (coach), elementary and middle school teacher, literacy coordinator, reading specialist, educational consultant, and business owner. Angela supports K-12 teachers in helping students become successful, proactive, life-long learners via programs, videos, classroom management tools, and lessons. Her Do Now SEL program brings Social Emotional Learning (SEL) into students’ lives and creates a calm safe, thoughtful, and learning environment.

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