American as Curry Pie
By Aamera Siddiqui
Directed by Suzy Messerole & Meena Natarajan
We’ve all felt like we didn’t fit in, whether we grew up in our hometown or moved to a new country when we were 6. For Aamera Siddiqui, growing up as an immigrant in the United States was a balancing act between her Indian heritage and her American surroundings. Aamera’s world consisted of one country inside the four walls of her family’s home and another country outside those walls. Curried peas and hot dogs, Catholic school uniforms and colorful saris, Urdu and English all blended and bounced off one another to shape Aamera’s identity. Told with honesty and humor, writer/performer Aamera Siddiqui’s American as Curry Pie is one woman’s story about immigration, assimilation, and discovering what it means to be an American.
American as Curry Pie premiered at the History Theatre.
Draw Two Circles
By Aamera Siddiqui and Suzy Messerole
Directed by Meena Natarajan
Draw Two Circles tells the parallel journeys of two extremely different women growing up in very religious households, both of whom suffer consequences for living outside the limits established by their religions. They are white, South Asian, lesbian, straight, Catholic and Muslim and they’re each trying to live and love in multiple circles. Yet they spend most of their time somewhere in between—in a chasm created when identity, faith, family and societal expectations collide. Join them on a journey where encounters with Eve, Hajirah and other ‘cast out’ women of the Quran and the Bible intertwine with Bollywood, Queen songs and moments of redemption in an undying determination to somehow make it all work.
Draw Two Circles was performed at the 2008 Asian American Theatre Conference Showcase (excerpt), Illusion Theatre’s Fresh Ink Series (2006) and at Intermedia Arts (2005) as part of the Naked Stages Fellowship Showcase.
By Suzy Messerole
Performed by Suzy Messerole and Aamera Siddiqui
Directed by Randy Reyes
In Edinburgh, Scotland, two women are accused of “committing a species of venus nefanda” (sex with another woman) and their boarding school for girls is shut down. The main accuser is a young girl born in India to an Indian mother and Scottish father. Taken directly from the court records and trial proceedings, Venus Nefanda explores the intersections of racism and homophobia in the court case that became the inspiration for Lillian Hellman’s “The Children’s Hour.”
Performed at the 2009 Women Playwrights International Conference (excerpt) in Mumbai, India and at Pangea World Theatre Studios (2007).
By Stacey Parshall.
Directed by Suzy Messerole.
Performed by Jamila Anderson, LaDawn James, Aamera Siddiqui and Rebecca J. Wall.
When a teenage mother’s daily struggle to survive is pushed to the limit,she begins to sense the presence of a woman who once lived in her apartment – and the possibility of a paradise that it within her reach. Inspired by a Twin Cities tragedy, Shipside explores the intersections of poverty, motherhood and mental illness.
World premiere production, November 2007 at the Playwrights’ Center.
The Body Project
The Body Project is a performative investigation that delves into health, medicine, war, spirituality and the impact of cultural and societal expectations on how individuals experience their bodies.
World premiere production, June 2007 at the Center for Independent Artists.