Ibrahim El- Husseini/Playwright: Comedy of Sorrows marks Ibrahim El-Husseini’s eighteenth play. Born in Sharkeya, Egypt in 1970, El-Husseini studied theatre arts at the prestigious Arts Academy in Cairo. Today he is known not only for his plays, but also for his poetry and theater criticism. His plays have been produced in Cairo and the Egyptian provinces, as well as in Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, the United Arab Emirates, and Iraq. In his dramatic writing, he experiments with the juxtaposition of heightened and colloquial text, music and poetry to explore the themes of freedom and social justice. He has won numerous awards including the Egyptian Higher Council for Culture award for his plays The Final Days of Akhenaton , Tattoo Birds, and The Piper, the Egypt’s Writers Union Award for Museum of Human Organs, the Gomhourya Newspaper Award for Garden of Assassins, and the Mohamed Taymour Award for Theatre Creativity for Seduction.  He has also written several short films and was co-founder and General Editor of the weekly newspaper Our Theatre. He has written essays and criticism for newspapers in Egypt as well as the Awan newspaper in Kuwait, where he received the Saad Al Sabah Award for theatre criticism.

Mohammed Albakry/Translator: A native of Egypt, Dr. Mohammed Albakry is Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics at Middle Tennessee State University. He is the recipient of a Fulbright fellowship to Morocco to research language policy in North Africa. His research and teaching interests are in the areas of corpus linguistics, discourse analysis, Anglophone Arab literature, the stylistics of literary translation, and language and identity in Africa and the Middle East. He has published peer-reviewed articles in English World-Wide, The Journal of Language & Literature, Middle Eastern Literatures, The International Journal of Arabic-English Studies, and others. He received his B.A. and M.A. Certificate from Alexandria University, Egypt, his M.A. from the University of Massachusetts, and his Ph.D. from Northern Arizona University.

Rebekah Maggor/Translator: Rebekah Maggor is a playwright, translator, director, and actress. She received her MFA through the American Repertory Theater Institute at Harvard University, her BA from Columbia University, and studied Arabic at Alexandria University in Egypt. Her work has had readings and productions at the American Repertory Theater, the New York Theater Workshop, the Old Vic in London, the Segal Theatre Center, and the Huntington Theatre Company. She has received commissions and fellowships from the Huntington Playwriting Fellows, the Catalyst Collaborative @ M.I.T., the Foundation for Jewish Culture, the Middle Eastern Theater Project, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. She has taught at Harvard University, Vanderbilt University, and is Assistant Professor in the Department of Theater and Dance at Rowan University.

Tracy Cameron Francis/Director: Tracy Cameron Francis is an Egyptian-American theatre director and interdisciplinary artist. She has directed and developed work with Red Bull Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Lark, LaMama Umbria (Italy), NY Arab American Comedy Festival, CultureHub (Lamama), Monarch Theatre Co., NY International Fringe, Falaki Theatre (Egypt), Alwan For the Arts, International Wow, EBE Ensemble-among others.  She has assisted directors: Sam Gold, Josh Fox, and Gia Forakis, shadowed the director on HBO’s “True Blood” and was a writing intern for Saturday Night Live.  Select credits include: “Broken Heart Story” (Ingenue Theatre), “The Screens” (Red Bull Theatre Revelation Reading Series), “The Maids” (Curious Frog Theatre), “Psalms of a Questionable Nature” (NY Int. Fringe Festival), “A Marriage Proposal” ( Falaki Theatre, Cairo, Egypt), , “800 HelpUwrite” (4th St. Theatre), “El Sebou” (Alwan for the Arts) , “Now Means Yesterday” (W Hotel Union Sq.). Francis has been invited to speak numerous conferences on international theatre  including “Cultural Diplomacy and Performance” ( Georgetown University),Arts in One World Conference (Brown U.) “The Re-Orient Forum” (Golden Thread Productions), and “Theatre In Conflict Zones Conference” (Lamama). Francis also devises original work merging dance, video and installation in site-specific locations. Core member of Theatre Without Borders, member of Lincoln Center Directors Lab and associate member of SDC. B.A. Fordham University Lincoln Center.

Rebecca Martinez/Production Manager, Movement collaborator:  Rebecca Martinez works as an actor, director, writer and choreographer.  A frequent traveler between Portland, OR and NYC, she recently directed “The standard girl opens one of Marosa’s books; she gets wet, and her brain loses its virginity” (Ingenue Theatre), choreographed The Brother/Sister Plays (Portland Playhouse), wrote, directed and performed in Mexico Lindo (La Luna Nueva Festival, Portland), and wrote and directed American Sueño (Teatro Milagro, Portland).  As a performer, Ms. Martinez has recently been seen in Things We Make (The Culture Project IMPACT Fest),Within Reach (Ingenue Theatre), American Realism (dir. Katherine Brook), El Quijote (Miracle Theatre), Gossamer (Oregon Children’s Theatre), Chasing Empire’s Soul (Artists Rep), Finding Penelope and On the Table (Sojourn Theatre).  Bilingual in English and Spanish, she has instructed numerous workshops and residencies in theatre and Latin American folkloric dance and is on the teaching artist roster for NJPAC.  Additionally, she proudly worked as Production Manager for the Working Theater’s 3rd Annual Directors Salon (NYC).  Rebecca is the incoming associate artistic director of Hybrid Theatre Works. She is also  an ensemble member of Sojourn Theatre and with them is collaborating with The TEAM to devise and perform in Waiting for You…commissioned by Kansas City Rep for February 2013.  Awards include the Portland TheaterDrammy Award (four-time recipient for ensemble acting and choreography) and the Lilla Jewel Award for Women Artists.

Mike Megliola/Lighting: 

Michael Megliola is a freelance lighting designer living and working in New York City. With experience in theatre, opera, dance, and repertory pieces.  A broad variety of production credits, from directing to assisting to graphic design, makes him uniquely sensitive to the needs and goals of a cohesive design team.  Michael is proud to design regularly for Chelsea Opera and for Eugene Lang College at The New School University, among others. He is an alumnus of the Lighting Design Internship at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Selected Design: “Pack of Lies”and “Follies” (St. Bart’s Players); “Sammy Gets Mugged” (DUTF 2012/HERE), “The Medium”, “Le Nozze di Figaro”, “Amahl…”, and “Suor Angelica”, (Chelsea Opera);  “The Legend of Julie Taymor…” (FringeNYC); “The Maids”, dir. Tracy Cameron Francis, (Curious Frog); The New School Spring/Fall Dance Performances 2007-2011; “Short Play Series”, dir. Tracy Cameron Francis, and “The Consequences” (Williamstown); “The House of Yes” and”Somewhere in Between” (Collaborative Stages); “Hell’s Kitchen The Musical” (Hudson Guild); “What is to be Dead?” (Castillo Theatre). Production Assistance: “God of Carnage” (Jacobs Theatre); “Mary Stuart” (Broadhurst Theatre).

Yin-Chiao Liao/Set: Yin-chiao was born and raised in Taiwan, received her BA in Theater at National Taiwan University, and her MFA at NYU, Tisch. After school, she is designing sets and short films in NYC. Before coming to NYC, she worked as a theater scenic designer in Taiwan. She enjoys working with people and suffering through the design process with them. Recent theater scenic designs include Restoration (dir. Mark Wing-Davey, NYU, Tisch), and She Stoops to Conquer (dir. Scott Evans, NYU, Tisch). Short film works include Hardbat (dir. Zack Schemberg), and Inaudible(dir. Tine Thomasen).

Julian Mesri/Sound:

Ryan Anthony Francis/Composition:

Lawrence Shrober/Production Stage Manager:

Jenney Shamash/Assistant Director:

Hillary Manning/Assistant Set Design:

Celeste Muniz/Assistant Lighting Design: ( See bio under Cast)