KST Blog

Owning Our Future. Thriving Where we Live. Sharing Pittsburgh with the World.

Kelly Strayhorn Theater brings Adil Mansoor’s Amm(i)gone to New York City. January 12-14, 2023!

EAST LIBERTY, PA — As part of its recently released Owning Our Future, Thriving Where We Live strategic direction, Kelly Strayhorn Theater is thrilled to announce a special New York City presentation of theater artist Adil Mansoor’s solo performance work Amm(i)goneThursday and Friday, January 12-13 at 8:00pm and Saturday, January 14, 2023 at 11:00am. Performances are presented in collaboration with The Performance Project @ University Settlement and take place in Speyer Hall at University Settlement’s 184 Eldridge Street flagship building on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Tickets are sold at a Pay What Moves You sliding scale from $20 – $35.

Amm(i)gone, an adaptation of Sophocles’ Antigone, is an apology to and from a mother. Creator and performer Adil Mansoor explores queerness, the afterlife, and obligation using canonical texts, teachings from the Quran, and audio conversations between him and his mother.

KST co-commissioned Amm(i)gone in collaboration with The Theater Offensive in Boston, MA and the National Performance Network in New Orleans, LA and began developing the work with Mansoor in 2019. KST presented Amm(i)gone for a two-week run at KST’s Alloy Studios in April 2021 and remounted the work for the Theater Communications Group conference in a special co-presentation with The Andy Warhol Museum in June 2021. Now, in bringing the piece to New York during the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) conference, KST hopes to extend the life of the project with new engagements around the US and internationally.

KST Executive Director, Joseph Hall elaborates…

Owning our Future. Thriving Where We Live is about reaffirming KST’s position as a Black and queer centered organization, and building a future that includes a more concrete foundation for our vision. We will accomplish that through a number of strategies related to our spaces, our capacity, our money, and our story. Adil exemplifies the type of artist who KST strives to support. In bringing Amm(i)gone to New York City during APAP, we are telling our story to our national and international colleagues and creating an opportunity for exposure that most Pittsburgh based artists don’t get to experience.”

KST Programming Director, Ben Pryor expands…

“In the decade prior to my tenure at KST I created and directed American Realness, a festival of contemporary performance in New York that coincided with APAP conference. The festival annually welcomed over 200 performing arts professionals from 16 countries and 22 American cities and served as a launch pad for new national and international touring opportunities for the artists presented. Our goal in bringing Amm(i)gone to NYC is to have it seen by colleagues who can extend the life of the work with future presentations at their institutions around the world.”

theater artist Adil Mansoor adds…

“I am delighted to be able to share my work in this professional context. Kelly Strayhorn Theater has encouraged me, affirmed me, challenged me, supported me, and welcomed me home. I will never have enough words to express what this place has meant for me and my life.”

Thursday and Friday evening performances will be followed by a small reception for attendees. These performances are not open for critical review, however interviews or other stories about the work, the artist, and Kelly Strayhorn Theater are welcome. Speyer Hall at University Settlement is ADA accessible and Kelly Strayhorn Theater is happy to further address any accommodations that will enrich your visit. Please reach out to our Box Office team in advance of your visit: 412.363.3000 x213 or boxoffice@kelly-strayhorn.org to let us know.

Since discovering his queerness, Mansoor’s mother has turned towards her faith in an attempt to save her son in the afterlife. In an effort towards healing, Mansoor has invited his mother to join him as dramaturg and co-conspirator. In reading, discussing, and translating various adaptations of the source play, together they mine Greek tragedy, Islamic traditions, and their own memories to create an original performance locating love across faith. Can prayer substantiate care? Can care manifest as artistic methodology and inquiry? Can Mansoor and his mother contend with Antigone’s fate?

Artistic and Production Team:
Creator and Performer: Adil Mansoor
Media Systems Designer: Joseph Amodei
Projections Designer: Davine Byon
Assistant Director and Administrative Support: Pria Dahiya
Co-Director: Lyam B. Gabel
Stage Manager: Leslie Huynh
Sound Designer: Aaron Landgraf
Video Designer: Bleue Liverpool
Scenic / Lights: Xotchil Alyss Musser

“Alif Lam Meem”
Co-composed by Shahzad Ismaily and Aya Abdelaziz
Vocals by Aya Abdelaziz
Arranged by Aaron Langraf

Developed with:
Creative Consultant: Sharlene Bamboat
Slide Film Consultant: Caldwell Linker
Translation Consultant: Ned Moore
Video Narration: Abid Mansoor and Luke Niebler
Photo Embroidery: Rebecca Harrison
In-process Stage Manager: Pixie Colbert
Virtual In-process Stage Manager: Ferdinand Moscat
Virtual In-process Board Operator: Erin Roussel

Amm(i)gone is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation & Development Fund Project co-commissioned by Kelly Strayhorn Theater in partnership with The Theater Offensive and NPN/VAN. The Creation & Development Fund is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency). For more information, visit www.npnweb.orgAmm(i)gone is additionally supported by the Frank-Ratchye Fund for Art @ the Frontier; the Point Foundation’s Andrew A. Isen Internship; The Heinz Endowments’ Small Arts Initiative; Opportunity Fund; PNC Charitable Trust; A. W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation; Arts, Equity, Reimagined Fund; and Dreams of Hope.

Adil Mansoor is a theatre maker and educator centering the stories of queer folks and people of color. He has developed new work with New York Theatre Workshop, New Dramatists, The Poetry Project, Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, Kelly Strayhorn Theater, The Theater Offensive, NYU Tisch, and PearlArts Studios.

In addition to his own practice, Mansoor also directs new and contemporary plays including “Daddies” by Paul Kruse (Audible), “Gloria” by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (Hatch), “Kentucky” by Leah Nanako Winkler (Pittsburgh Playhouse), and “Plano” by Will Arbery (Quantum). Mansoor is a founding member of Pittsburgh’s Hatch Arts Collective and the former Artistic Director of Dreams of Hope, an LGBTQA+ youth arts organization. As an educator, he has worked with Sarah Lawrence, Middlebury College, The Mori Art Museum, The Warhol and others.

Mansoor has been an NYTW 2050 Directing Fellow, a Gerri Kay New Voices Fellow with Quantum Theater, and an Art of Practice Fellow and Community Leader with Sundance. He was part of the inaugural Artist Caucus gathered by Baltimore Center Stage, Long Wharf, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, and Woolly Mammoth. Mansoor received his MFA in Directing from Carnegie Mellon. adilmansoor.com

KST is a home for creative experimentation, community dialogue, and collective action rooted in the liberation of Black and queer people. We welcome our home to all who uplift Black, Indigenous, people of color, and queer voices. We will continue centering historically resilient folks. We focus our services on Black women, LGBTQIA+, People of color, and emerging artists. kelly-strayhorn.org

The Performance Project @ University Settlement engages young local artists and emerging professional artists with opportunities to connect, create and publicly present new work. Our neighborhoods have no shortage of creative leaders from all walks of life, at every stage in their development. The shortage lies in the opportunities available. This is where we are excited and ready to support these leaders. universitysettlement.org/programs/arts/performance-project/