Raw and brutal, My Name is Inanna is a passionate, lyrical story that blends myth and contemporary realities. The main character, named after Inanna, the Sumerian goddess of love, justice, and civilization, is a modern Middle Eastern woman poet and activist in search of identity and freedom. She flees the political tyranny of her home country after having been imprisoned for several years. After receiving political asylum in the U.S., land of democracy and social equality, she discovers unexpected limits to her freedom of speech as a second-class citizen. Marginalized as a pink-collar immigrant woman in the new society, she endures gender inequality, bigotry, and destitution. Seeking a new identity and justice she struggles to find her own place in the new society.
For the first time ever, audiences worldwide will be able to live-stream a Red Tape Theatre production. Online viewers will be able to watch alongside in-person audience members for an unforgettable theatrical experience.
All tickets are FREE as part of the Free Theatre Movement. To guarantee a seat to sold-out performances, become a member.
OPENING OCTOBER 23rd and running through DECEMBER 11th.
Fridays at 8PM
Saturdays at 8PM
Sundays at 7PM
All audience members will be required to show proof of vaccination, and must remain masked at all times within the theatre. At this time, no refreshments will be available at the theatre. We will allow audience to bring their personal water bottles into the theatre.
All Performances at the THE READY, 4546 N Western Ave
This show is presented in associate with Medina Theatre Collective.
Cast & Creative Team
Cast: Maryam Abdi* (she/her), Nathaniel Andrew (he/him), Tamsen Glaser (she/they)
Playwright: Ezzat Goushegir (she/her)
Director: Ali-Reza Mirsajadi (he/they)
Artistic Director: Max Truax* (he/him)
Producer: Aaron Arbiter* (he/him)
Stage Manager: Sam Flipp (she/her)
SM Production Assistant: Lindsey Chidester (she/her)
Production Manager: Corey Bradberry (he/him)
Assistant Director: Mel Elkouz (they/them)
Video Producer: Anna H. Gelman (she/her)
Scenic Design: Valeriya Nedviga
Lighting Design: David Goodman-Edberg
Costume Designer: Izumi Inaba*
Sound Design: Tim McNulty
Movement/Rhythm Directors & Choreographers: Phaedra Dariwsh (she/her) & Kathie Cantone (she/her)
Dramaturg: Yasmin Zacaria Mikhaiel (she/they)
Intimacy Director: Amanda Pulcini (she/her)
Director of Accessibility: Brenda Scott Wlazlo (she/her)
COVID Compliance Officer: Emily Nichelson (she/her)
Marketing Director: Casey Chapman* (he/him)
Associate Marketing Manager & Webmaster: Joseph Ramski* (he/him)
*indicates Red Tape Company Member
Meet the Artists
Ezzat Goushegir (Playwright, she/her) is a playwright, fiction writer and poet who has staged her plays internationally; published, and received awards including those for Maryam’s Pregnancy and Behind the Curtain. Her plays have been translated into French, Arabic and Mandarin and produced by theater companies in the U.S., Europe, China and the Philippines. Among her many activities, she was a Fellow Writer in the Iowa City International Writing Program, a Writer-in-Residence at the University of Maryland, a co-director and dramaturg of a reading series at New Federal Theatre in New York. She has published several plays and short stories in English anthologies, and ten books in Persian including four volumes of her Memories in Diaspora this summer. In March 2011, she performed My Name is Inanna in Beijing China, where it had two productions at Trojan Theatre in November 2011 and The Penghao Theater in 2012. This play was selected for 9th international Women Playwrights Conference and was performed in August 2012 in Stockholm, Sweden. She currently teaches at DePaul University (SCPS) in Chicago.
Ali-Reza Mirsajadi (Director, they/he) is a director, scholar, and activist, whose work centers on minoritarian performance in the U.S. and MENA world. They are an Assistant Professor of Theatre Studies at The Theatre School at DePaul University, where they head the BFA directing concentration. Reza’s scholarship has been published (or is forthcoming) in Theatre Journal, Theatre Topics, TDR, HowlRound, The Methuen Drama Book of Trans Plays, and Rehearsing Racial Equity: A Critical Anthology on Anti-Racism and Repair in the Arts. They are co-editing and translating the forthcoming anthology, The Dance of Mares and other Plays from Post-Revolutionary Iran, alongside Dr. Nahid Ahmadian, and Reza is also working on a monograph, Performing the Polyseme: Theatre and Ambiguity in Contemporary Iran. New to Chicago, Reza is an artistic associate of the Medina Theatre Collective, and they are co-directing and musical directing the upcoming premiere of Christmas Mubarak at Silk Road Rising. They hold a Ph.D. in Theatre and Performance Studies from Tufts University.
Maryam Abdi (Ensmeble – Inanna, she/her) is an Iranian-American actor from Seattle, Washington. She started her professional theatre career in Chicago in 2017, but has worked and lived abroad in Cameroon, France, India, and Iran throughout her artistic career. Recent credits include: Trap Door Virtual Theatre, And Away We Stared, and Sasha in Decomposed Theatre Episode 5; George Fox University Virtual Theatre, Nadia in The Hijabis; The Gift Theatre, Laura/Bridesmaid in Kentucky (Jeff Award-Nominated); Firebrand Theatre, Barker/Ensemble in The Queen of the Mist (Jeff Award-Nominated); Pioneer Theatre (UT), Alais in Lion in Winter; Trap Door Theatre, Jane Fonda in Childhood Beauty, Into the Empty Sky (Jeff Award-Nominated), and Monsieur d’Eon is a Woman (Jeff Award-Nominated); Windy City Performs, Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz; Red Tape Theatre, Nanna in Round Heads and Pointed Heads (Jeff Award-Nominated); Remy Bumppo Theatre U/S in Frankenstein. Maryam is an ensemble member of Trap Door Theatre and Red Tape Theatre and an ensemble member with the Medina Théâtre Collective. She is proudly represented by DDO Artist’s Agency. Maryam became a licensed Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams in February, 2021.
Nathaniel Andrew (Ensemble, he/him/his) Nathaniel’s most recent theatre credits include Back in the Day (Urban Theater) Collage of a Dystopian Midwest (Bower Theatre) and Refrigerator (First Floor Theater). Film credits include Nerds Incognito (Junior Giant Productions) and Embers (Chaotic Good). Nathaniel is a graduate of The Academy at Black Box Acting. He looks forward to continuing to establish himself in the Chicago theatre community, and exploring more television and film projects.
Tamsen Glaser (Ensemble, she/her/hers) is a Chicago-based multidisciplinary artist and coach. Other Chicago acting credits include: Victory Gardens, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Haven Theater, and GreatWorks Theatre. She is the co-creator of the touring cabaret series You Be The Guy. Television credits include: Chicago Med, neXt, and Ripple Effects. She holds an MFA from the University of Washington School of Drama. Proudly represented by DDO Chicago. http://www.tamsenglaser.com. After what feels like a lifetime of being isolated from doing any work in-person, she couldn’t imagine a better community, show or movement to be welcomed into. It’s an honor and a privilege to be a part of this production.
Lindsey Chidester (SM Production Assistant, she/her) graduated from Central Michigan University in May 2021, with a BFA in Theatre Interpretation: Design/Technical Concentration. This is Lindsey’s first professional show! She is so excited to be apart of this production and work with so many incredible artists! Enjoy the show!
Corey Bradberry (Production Manager, he/his) is an award-winning Chicago-based director and producer, most recently directing Shipwrecked!: an Entertainment (Oil Lamp Theater) and the audio drama A White Whale, or: Moby Dick (A Theater in the Dark) which took top prize at the 2021 Atlanta Audio Fringe Festival. Other directing: A War of the Worlds, Three Stories Up (A Theater in the Dark); Murder! at the Strand (Earl and Rachel Smith Strand Theatre); The Crucible, Silent Sky (Univ. Southern Mississippi). Assistant Directing: National Touring Company (Second City), Native Guard and Candide (Alliance Theatre), Sweet Texas Reckoning (Artemisia), Perfect Arrangement and The Dancing Handkerchief (Theatrical Outfit). Education: M.F.A. Directing, B.A. Theatre & Performance Studies, Second City Advanced Directing Program. Corey has held teaching positions with Atlanta Children’s Theatre, Kennesaw State University, University of Southern Mississippi, and the Second City among others. Corey is a Kennedy Center National Directing Fellow.
coreybradberry.com IG: @corey.bradberry
Anna H Gelman (Video Producer, she/her) is a director, filmmaker, and arts administrator. As a director of devised performance, she has created multiple original pieces including Why Do You Always Wear Black?, (Organic Theater Co & Borderlight International Theater Festival), Mine Haha, MAY DAY (Rhino Fest) and the critically acclaimed I Am Going to Die Alone & I Am Not Afraid (Prop Thtr). As a filmmaker and photographer, Gelman has worked with About Face Theatre, Northern Illinois University, Chicago Danz Theatre Ensemble, The Hypocrites, Walkabout Theater, Honey & The 45s, Bright Trip, Gold Point Studio, and others. She is the creator of Project 28, and created 28 original short films in February 2021. By day, you can find her at Shattered Globe Theatre & The Neo-Futurists. You can see more of her work at ahgelman.com
Kathleen Cantone (Movement/Rhythm Director and Choreography, she/her) is pleased to be working with Red Tape Theater for the first time. Kat has a varied repertoire of folkloric and classical dance styles from her years of study, including Persian and Central Asian, Middle Eastern, North African, and Turkish. She has previously done dramaturgy and choreography for Chasing the Wind, by Cecilie Keenan and Nicholas Patricca, and choreography for The Sultan’s Dilemma, a play in Arabic directed by Hassan Amejal and Patrizia Acerra. Kat studied percussion with Ronnie Malley, Golnoosh Rasoulifar, Amir Etemadzadeh, Evaristo (Tito) Rodriguez, Wanees Zarour, and Işık Acet. She currently performs with the folkloric music and dance group Shalizar Ensemble, as well as the World Music Ensemble (Harper College) and the Middle East Music Ensemble (University of Chicago).
Yasmin Zacaria Mikhaiel (she/they) is a dramaturg, journalist, and oral historian with roots in and around Chicago. As a queer, fat, brown femme, they endeavor to amplify and archive stories that go lost/stolen/forgotten. Their dramaturgy centers care work and facilitating brave spaces for ensemble-made theatre and performance. Their writing and research explores possibility models for a more inclusive and sustainable theatre culture and industry. Mikhaiel holds a M.A. in Performance as Public Practice from The University of Texas at Austin and a B.F.A. in Dramaturgy/Criticism from DePaul University. They serve on committees for the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas and the Association for Theatre in Higher Education. They have also served as a Guest Respondent for the Kennedy Center College American Theater Festival (R3 Journalism, R5 Dramaturgy). Select bylines include American Theatre, The Austin Chronicle, Sightlines, The Chicago Reader, and Teen Vogue. Mikhaiel is the Chicago Reader’s Audience Engagement Manager and teaches at The Theatre School at DePaul University. Follow them on Twitter @yasminzacaria (dramaturgically it tracks).
RED TAPE THEATER / THE FREE THEATRE MOVEMENT
“The public interest is best served by the free exchange of ideas.” – John Kane
Red Tape believes that access to the arts is essential for our community’s ability to engage in a free exchange of ideas. As an art form, the immediacy of theatre provides a powerful platform for this exchange. We strive to remove the barriers that exist between our community and an increasingly commodified culture. Starting in January of 2018, we will offer all of our quality theatrical productions to the public free of charge.
Red Tape will be able to offer our work free of charge thanks to the generous support of our Members, each of whom makes an automated monthly donation in an amount of their choose (or a one-time donation). Each donation enables Red Tape to share our work with more people and to engage a growing community in discourse through the arts.
Simply put, we believe everyone should be able to see theatre without the financial stress of ticket price.
We are a theatre of free ideas. We are a theatre of free access. We are a free theatre.
TO GUARANTEE A SEAT TO SOLD-OUT PERFORMANCES, BECOME A MEMBER OF THE FREE THEATRE MOVEMENT NOW!