A surprising new play about how families fall apart—and find each other again—amidst turbulent global and social change.
In 2003, newly-wed Layal and her family prepare to immigrate from Baghdad, Iraq, to a Chicago suburb. Seventeen years later, Layal’s life looks unimaginably different from what she had envisioned two decades prior, as she and her siblings explore queerness, face their grief, and discover what it takes to make home in a new place. Don’t miss this moving, powerful new play’s world premiere on the Owen Stage—fresh from Goodman’s New Stages and Future Labs programs.
Martin Yousif Zebari, Playwright
Martin Yousif Zebari (he/they) is an Iraqi-born, Assyrian-American actor and playwright based in Chicago. His play Layalina has received two workshops and staged readings as part of Goodman Theatre's Future Labs and National Queer Theatre's Criminal Queerness Festival. As an actor, they have appeared in Yasmina’s Necklace and The Winter’s Tale (Goodman Theatre); For the Right Reasons (Atlantic Theatre Company); Close to Home (Amphibian Stage); Mosque4Mosque (National Queer Theatre); Unpitied/Lost and Guided (The Angle Project); Guards at the Taj (Steppenwolf Theatre); Mary Stuart (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); The Hard Problem (Court Theatre); Human Terrain (Broken Nose Theatre); A Christmas Carol (Milwaukee Repertory Theatre); Macbeth, Comedy of Errors, Failure: A Love Story and The Magical Mind of Billy Shakespeare (Illinois Shakespeare Festival); and has appeared on NBC’s Chicago Med. He holds a BFA in Acting from the Arts University of Bournemouth, England and is represented by Stewart Talent Chicago. MartinYousifZebari.com
Sivan Battat, Director
Sivan Battat is a director whose New York credits include assistant directing Trouble in Mind on Broadway, Who the Fuck is Ahmed (Lincoln Performing Arts Centre); She He Me (National Queer Theater); Baba Karam &McArabia (Atlantic Middle Eastern Mixfest); Pie Shop Play (Corkscrew Theater Festival); and East o’, West o’!, (ANTFest, Ars Nova). Regional credits include Edessa of Baghdad (B-Street Theatre); His Majesty, Herself (Adventure Theatre MTC); The Night Traveller (Cutting Ball Theater); Close to Home (Uprising Theatre); and Coexistence My Ass (Harvard University/Tour). They are the Associate Artistic Director of Noor Theatre, the Roundabout Directing Fellow, the Musical Directing Fellow with the Drama League and a member of Theatre Communications Group’s Rising Leaders of Color. SivanBattat.com