Peter Jay Sharp Theater
Presented by Playwrights Horizons
By Zayd Dohrn
Directed by Kip Fagan
Tala Ashe, Francis Benhamou, Ramsey Faragallah, Ali Reza Farahnakian, Lanna Joffrey, Heather Raffo, Babak Tafti
Scenic Design: Takeshi Kata
Costume Design: Jessica Pabst
Lighting Design: Matt Frey
Sound Design: Brandon Wolcott
Production Stage Manager: Shane Schnetzler
First Performance March 17, 2017
Opening April 9, 2017
Final Performance April 30, extended through May 7, 2017
Submit a review for The Profane
Safe in the liberal fortress of Manhattan, Raif Almedin (Mr. Farahnakian) is a first-generation immigrant who prides himself on his modern, enlightened views. But when his daughter (Ms. Ashe) falls for the son (Mr. Tafti) of a conservative Muslim family in White Plains, he discovers the threshold of his tolerance.
In Zayd Dohrn’s sharp and timely tale, two families are forced to confront each other’s religious beliefs and cultural traditions, and to face their own deep-seated prejudice.
Laura Collins-Hughes – New York Times
Directed with restraint by Kip Fagan and imbued with uncommon humanity by an impressive cast, “The Profane” is by turns warm and wary, combative and conciliatory. Religion is not truly its subject, interested though it is in what it means to be Muslim, or formerly Muslim, in the United States. And while all the characters are immigrants or children of immigrants, it is not principally concerned with the immigrant experience.
David Freedlander – The Daily Beast
Certainly, the situation here—of the collision between two parts of the immigrant experience—crackles with a kind of energy. It could use more exploration. But The Profane, even if it shakes off its slow start, is weighed down with too much weakness, especially the too often clunky dialogue and the seemingly tacked-on last scene to feel much like a proper home for its clever set-up.
Matthew Murray – Talkin’ Broadway
The Profane needs a lot more of that all the way around—Dohrn seems to want explosions without accelerant, which runs counter to generally accepted laws of dramatic physics. Were the entire play structured around, say, the families’ first meeting, with the tensions between them slowly becoming more obvious and contentious between courses, maybe it would work. But Dohrn gives us too much time to realize how little they have to fight about, and how unlikely they would be to come to blows over it anyway. That’s good news for them and the world around them, but it’s bad news for the enlightening, enlivening story that should be told—but never quite is.
Joe Dziemianowicz – NY Daily News
Imagine “Meet the Parents” but with two Muslim immigrant families and you’ll get something of a bead on author Zayd Dohrn’s timely and topical but frustratingly incomplete and unevenly acted play.
Robert Hofler – The Wrap
If you happen to be white, straight, male, and/or church-going, a trip to the theater these days can often turn into a masochistic endeavor. Every once in a while, however, a play from a subgenre pops up that can best be described as Minority Infighting. These plays have their unexpected pleasures, letting us know that, at heart, everyone has his or her issues with tolerance. Zayd Dohrn’s new play, “The Profane,” opening Sunday at Off Broadway’s Playwrights Horizons, looks at two very different Middle-Eastern immigrant families living in New York state.
Elyse Sommer – CurtainUp
To Zayd Dohrn’s credit, he continues to use the world around us to create timely plays that don’t rely on easy happy endings to complex beginnings. Kip Fagan too deserves credit for supervising a beautifully staged production and eliciting believable performances from the 7-member cast, all of whose roles are further clarified by costumer Jessica Pabst.