Rona & Her Sketchy Friends
Created & Performed by RONA SIDDIQUI
“Follow a Follicle” from Salaam Medina: Tales of a Halfghan
Book, Music & Lyrics by RONA SIDDIQUI
Animation by MANIK CHOKSI
Directed by raja feather kelly
Featuring MEETU CHILANA, SHARONE SAYEGH, SHERZ ALETAHA, JAMEN NANTHAKUMAR, JONATHAN RAVIV & LOUIS SALLAN
Iran Mustache Crisis
Written, Directed, Edited & Performed by SADE NAMEI & ASSAL GHAWAMI
Curated by Vision Resident RONA SIDDIQUI
Originally Premiered: February 19, 2021
Run Time: 44 minutes
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ABOUT THE ARTISTS
RONA SIDDIQUI (Vision Resident, Curator) is a composer/lyricist based in NYC. She is a recipient of the Jonathan Larson Grant and Billie Burke Ziegfeld award. She was named one of Broadway Women’s Fund’s Women to Watch. Her show Salaam Medina: Tales of a Halfghan, an autobiographical comedy about growing up bi-ethnic in America, had a reading at Playwrights Horizons (dir. by raja feather kelly). Other musicals include One Good Day, Hip Hop Cinderella and The Tin. She is the recipient of the ASCAP Harold Adamson Lyric Award, the ASCAP Foundation Mary Rodgers/Lorenz Hart Award and ASCAP Foundation/Max Dreyfus Scholarship. She has written pieces for Wicked‘s 16th anniversary commemoration Flying Free, 24 Hour Musicals, Prospect Theater Company, The Civilians and has performed concerts of her work at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Feinstein’s/54 Below. Rona music directed the Off-Broadway Pulitzer Prize-winning A Strange Loop for which she received an Obie along with the cast and creative team (Playwrights Horizons). She has orchestrated for Broadway Records, Broadway Backwards, NAMT and Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera.
|SADE NAMEI is a member of Peydah Theatre company. She’s a comedian and actor. She recently appeared in Hook and Eye Theatre Company’s Echo and Narcissus. Previous stage work includes Eve Ensler’s Emotional Creature at the Signature Theatre (NYC) and Berkeley Rep, Against The Hillside at The O’Neill, In The Line at A.R.T. NY, Mika at The U.N., Leaves of Grass at The Cell, #Serials@theFlea, United Front (Primary Stages) and her one-woman show In Medias Res at the Brick Theater. She has also performed at the Argentinian Consulate and The Asia Society among others. TV/Films: New Amsterdam, Subways, Fatima and The Elegant Clockwork of the Universe. She works as a TV/film Farsi translator/dialect coach on The Blacklist, Madam Secretary, Limitless, Mr. Robot and Homeland.|
|ASSAL GHAWAMI is a multifaceted storyteller, trained actress and award-winning filmmaker who fell in love with theater when she was cast as child performer in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Born in Iran, raised in Germany, Ghawami is finally a full-fleshed permanent resident of Brooklyn, New York. Ghawami is a member of Alliance of Women Directors and has been featured at New Director Showcase at DGA. She is a recipient of the Maurice Kanbar Scholarship, Peter D Gould and Tisch School of the Arts Grants and has graduated from NYU Grad Film School. In recent years, Ghawami has directed and produced corporate videos for GUM Studios and produced alongside writer/director Abu Bakr Shawky’s Palme d’Or nominated feature film Yomeddine. In 2020 Ghawami reconnected with her love of performing and started a comedy improv group with collaborator Sade Namei named Iran Mustache Crisis.|
|MANIK CHOKSI Broadway: Great Comet, Off-Broadway: Indian Ink, Roundabout; Bunty Berman Presents (Lortel Nomination), New Group; Great Comet, Ars Nova; God Bless You Mr. Rosewater, Encores!; King Tot and D, Deb, Debbie, Deborah, Clubbed Thumb; Huck & Holden, Cherry Lane. Regional: Moby Dick, A.R.T.; Film/TV: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; New Amsterdam; Good Fight; Mindhunter; Elementary; Happyish; One Life To Live (Vimal Patel), Home, Passing Season. Composer: Those Lost Boys (workshop), The Ramayan (workshop) Ars Nova; Food Odyssey, 3LD; Education: The Juilliard School.|
|raja feather kelly is an Obie-winning choreographer, director, artistic director of the feath3r theory and Creative Associate at The Juilliard School. In 2020, kelly made his directorial debut at Second Stage Theatre with We’re Gonna Die. Since 2016, raja has choreographed extensively for Off-Broadway. Frequent collaborators include: Lileana Blain-Cruz, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Michael R. Jackson, Rona Siddiqui and Sarah Benson. Other credits include: GIRLS (Yale Rep), Lempicka (Williamstown Theatre Festival), The House That Will Not Stand (NYTW), If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka (Playwrights Horizons, choreography nominee for Lucille Lortel Award and Chita Rivera Award) and two Pulitzer drama winners: Fairview (Soho Rep, Berkeley Rep, TFANA; SDCF Callaway Award finalist for choreography) and A Strange Loop (Playwrights Horizons; Obie Award for choreography; 2019 SDCF Callaway Award finalist for choreography).|
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ABOUT THE VISION RESIDENCY
Designed to create more equitable and power-sharing curatorial practices, Ars Nova’s new Vision Residency invites seven artist-curators to create, develop and present their own work and work by artists they are inspired by or wish to amplify. Rona & Her Sketchy Friends is curated by Rona Siddiqui. Learn more about Rona and her vision HERE.