Fellow feminists might think they need to brace themselves for some sort of thought experiment of sexism vs. cultural sensitivity to grapple with a play that delves into polygamy, as both the title and promotional materials about Twice, Thrice, Frice suggest. This sister says—have no fear! Expect instead to find in Twice, Thrice, Frice some of the best female characters you’ve seen on screen or stage in decade/s! More, you get to marvel that these poster women for female power were drawn so exquisitely by a man—playwright Fouad Teymour. Teymour might not identify as a feminist—this is unknown to this writer—but he sure could teach younger women who balk at the word feminist a thing or two.
Best yet, there are only three roles in this story and they are all women, each strong in their own way. Catherine Dildilian is Amira, an Iraqi born yuppie, replete with an Alexa that she has renamed Delilah. Marielle Issa is Samara, a religious woman whom believers might experience as pious on some level, while non-believers are likely to think she is just another self-serving hypocrite cloaking herself in religion. Wherever you land vis-à-vis these two poles, you’d have to nonetheless agree that this is one woman, an aspiring MBA, who knows how to get her way. And then there is Annalise Raziq as loving and lovable Khadija, whom we root for at every turn, perhaps mistakenly taking her for an underdog. Think again!
Like Many Silk Road Rising Productions, TWICE, THRICE, FRICE Is Rooted in an Islamic Mindset
Many in the Silk Road Rising audience may have spent some time lingering in the theological debates about polygamy and women’s piety that opens this play. It both is and isn’t about how Sharia-sanctioned polygamy is just plain old adultery when it takes root on American soil. Rather, this well-crafted play is about betrayal, survival, and finding the courage to make your way in the world.
That Teymour amply seasons this script with belly-laugh inducing bon mots makes it even more the satisfying meal for your mind and spirits that it is. In this writer’s view, these three talented actresses under the direction of International Voices Project’s Patrizia Lombardi Acerra give every line pitch perfect affect and flawless timing.
You don’t have to be a feminist to like this play. However, if you don’t share playwright Teymour’s obvious deep respect for women, you might feel out of place in this audience and should stay away.
Note: This is now added to the Picture this Post round up of BEST PLAYS IN CHICAGO, where it will remain until the end of the run. Click here to read – Top Picks for Theater in Chicago NOW – Chicago Plays PICTURE THIS POST Loves.
Catherine Dildilian as Amira,
Marielle Issa as Samara,
Annalise Raziq as Khadija.
Understudies include Tina El Gamal,
Alyssa Fantel, and Talia Langman
Fouad Teymour (Playwright),
Patrizia Acerra (Director),
Corey Pond (Associate Producer),
Andy Lynn (Production Manager),
S.G. Heller* (Stage Manager),
José Manuel Diaz Soto (Scenic Designer),
Noël Huntzinger (Costume Designer),
Lindsey Lyddan (Lighting Designer),
Andrew Hopson (Sound Design and Original Music),
Jonathan Berg-Einhorn (Properties Designer),
Jon Beal (Fight Choreographer),
Andrew Glasenhardt (Technical Director),
Marina Bergenstock (Assistant Director/Dramaturg),
Benjamin Carne (Master Electrician),
Jordan Affeldt (Assistant Stage Manager),
Allyson Leisure (Assistant Costume Designer)
and Spencer Fritz (Dresser/Stage Hand).
Thru November 10, 2019
Silk Road Rising
77 W. Washington St, Lower Level
Chicago, IL 60602