Ancram Opera House presents INVASION! a satirical comedy by Jonas Hasse n Khemiri, translated by Rachel Willson-Broyles, and directed by Jeffrey Mousseau. All performances take place at AOH August 5 – 21, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, and Sundays at 3 pm.
“INVASION! is a subversive satire that constantly upends expectations and calls into question how we inherently view one another based upon a person’s name or skin color,” Mousseau explained. “And with increasing violence and harmful rhetoric in public spaces arising in response to America’s shifting demographics, the play is as urgent today as ever.”
INVASION!’s satirical comedy centers on a name: Abulkasem. What is introduced as an amorphous word of many meanings spirals and shape-shifts into a kaleidoscopic range of identities. Abulkasem is an uncle visiting from Lebanon, a renowned theater director, an asylum-seeking apple picker, the world’s most dangerous terrorist. In a whirlwind of interconnected vignettes, we search for the answer. Who is Abulkasem?
With biting comedy and multilayered storytelling, INVASION! confronts prejudices about identity, race, and language.
The multinational company of actors, all making their Ancram debuts, are Ali Andre Ali, Abuzar Farrukh, Sophie Zmorrod Laruelle, and Ahmad Maher.
Abuzar Farrukh is an actor, born and raised in Lahore, Pakistan. Abuzar is absolutely honored to be making his Ancram Opera House debut. Select credits: Disgraced (Chester Theatre Company), Refugee (Joakim Interfest, Serbia), Mitigating Damages (Castillo Theatre), Much Ado About Nothing (Brown Box Theatre Project). He holds a BA in Theatre from UMass Amherst, where he was the recipient of the Ed Golden Acting Award.
The production team includes lighting designer Jess Elliott, costume designer Rashidah Nelson, scenic designer Sarah Edkins and sound designer Brendan Doyle, Hannah Schiffer wil stage Manage.
INVASION! is underwritten by Gerry Fultz and Claudia Perles.
Tickets are $40 each, available at www.ancramoperahouse.org or by calling (518) 329-0114
INVASION! is generously sponsored by Claudia Perles and Gerry Futz.
Jeffrey Mousseau is a theatre director, producer and educator. For Ancram Opera House, his acclaimed October 2021 production of An Iliad with actor MaConnia Chesser has recently been remounted at Shakespeare and Company in Lenox, MA. For Ancram, he has also helmed Homebody by Tony Kushner (Berkshire Theatre Critics Award, Outstanding Solo Performance); Young Jean Lee’s We’re Gonna Die; the American premiere of In Praise of Elephants by Kevin Dyer; a site-specific new work, Performing Olana, on the grounds of Olana, Hudson River School painter Frederic Church’s historic home near Hudson, NY; and two Barbara Wiechmann plays, Aunt Leaf which also toured to Aguascalientes, Mexico, and the premiere of a music-theatre adaptation of The Snow Queen.
Locally, his work has also been seen at Stageworks/Hudson and Hudson Opera House. Other directing credits include The Kennedy Center in Washington, HERE Arts Center in NYC where he is an alum of the HERE Artist Residency Program, numerous productions as founding artistic director of the Elliot & IRNE award-winning Coyote Theatre in Boston, American Southwest Theater, Provincetown Rep, and Florida Studio Theatre.
In addition to his tenure at The Coyote Theatre in Boston, he has served as general manager of the Consortium of Asian American Theaters & Artists; curator of the performance series, Start HERE: Innovative Theater for Young People, at HERE, NYC; program director at Tribeca Performing Arts Center, NYC; and producing director of the Computerworld Smithsonian Awards at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC.
As a guest artist, he has lectured or directed at Brandeis University, Emerson College, University at Albany and Siena College.