Future Labs Virtual Reading

STARTS 2/11/2021 Virtual Reading
Free, ticket reservation required

Layalina | Recorded Reading

By Martin Yousif Zebari, Directed by Azar Kazemi

In 2003, newly wed Layal plans a future with her family as they make plans to immigrate to the U.S. from Baghdad. 18 years later, just outside of Chicago, Layal’s life and responsibilities look unimaginably different from what she had envisioned two decades before. Martin Yousif Zebari’s surprising new play examines how families maintain their love in the midst of turbulent global and social change.

Please make a reservation to view this performance. After completing your reservation, you will receive a print-at-home ticket with details about how to stream the reading. It will be available to watch anytime February 11 - 17, 2021.

Runtime is 1 hour and 50 minutes , including a 10 minute intermission.

  • Martin Yousif Zebari / Playwright

    Martin Yousif Zebari (he/him) is an Iraqi-born, Assyrian-American multidisciplinary artist based in Chicago. In late 2020, he developed his play Layalina with Jackalope Theatre’s Playwrights Lab led by Calamity West. A ten-minute version of the same play appeared in Broken Nose Theatre’s Bechdel Fest at the Den Theatre in 2017. In 2018, he directed Michael Allen Harris’ For the Culture as part of the same festival and costume designed Broken Nose Theatre’s production of The Opportunities of Extinction. As an actor, he has worked with Goodman Theatre (Yasmina’s Necklace and The Winter’s Tale), National Queer Theatre (Mosque4Mosque), The Angle Project (Unpitied/Lost and Guided), Steppenwolf Theatre (Guards at the Taj), Chicago Shakespeare Theater (Mary Stuart), Court Theatre (The Hard Problem), Broken Nose Theatre (Human Terrain), Milwaukee Repertory Theatre (A Christmas Carol), Illinois Shakespeare Festival (MacbethComedy of ErrorsFailure: A Love Story and The Magical Mind of Billy Shakespeare) and has appeared on NBC’s Chicago Med. Martin holds a BFA in Acting from the Arts University of Bournemouth, England and is represented by Stewart Talent Chicago. 

    Martin Yousif Zebari
  • Azar Kazemi / Director

    Azar Kazemi (she/her) is first generation Persian-American and the Founding Artistic Director at The Blind Owl, a socially-charged theatre where the political and personal collide. She is thrilled to be working on another new play at the Goodman after directing The Wizards by Ricardo Gamboa as part of the New Stages Festival. Some of Azar’s Chicago directing credits include: the U.S. premiere of debbie tucker green's dirty butterfly; the Midwest premiere of Jack's Precious Moment by Samuel D. Hunter, Crave by Sarah Kane, and The Coming World by Christopher Shinn. Azar currently serves as the Associate Diversity Advisor at The Theatre School at DePaul where she also teaches classes in Theatre Studies. She is a graduate of DePaul University's MFA Directing program. Along with the Goodman, Azar has worked at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Victory Gardens, Jackalope Theatre, Silk Road Rising, American Theatre Company, Chicago Dramatists, and Chicago Shakespeare Theater. In New York City Azar worked at The New Group where she assistant directed three Off-Broadway productions, two under the direction of her mentor Ethan Hawke.

    Azar Kazemi









About Future Labs

Future Labs—Goodman Theatre’s newest artistic program to develop works authored and directed by Black, Indigenous, Latinx, AAPI, SWANA and other artists of color. Designed primarily for Chicago-based writers who have not had a play produced at the Goodman, Future Labs will feature up to nine workshops and presentations, slated to begin early 2021.

Support Future Labs

Future Labs is just one of Goodman Theatre's many new work development programs, which amplify bold new artistic voices. We gratefully ask for your support in these efforts through a contribution. YOU can help us to shape the future of American theater!


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