Written by Ping Chong and Sara Zatz, with Ryan Conarro
Directed by Ping Chong
Beyond Sacred is an interview-based theatre production by Ping Chong + Company and LaGuardia Performing Arts Center exploring the diverse experiences of Muslim communities within New York City. The five participants in Beyond Sacred vary in many ways, but share the common experience of coming of age in a post-9/11 New York City, at a time of increasing Islamophobia. Participants come from a range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds and include men and women that reflect a wide range of Muslim identities, including those who have converted to Islam, those who were raised Muslim, but have since left the faith, those who identify as “culturally” Muslim, and those who are observant on a daily basis. Beyond Sacred was developed through a community-engaged process wherein Ping Chong + Company extensively interviewed local Muslim residents. These interviews become the basis of a script, performed by the interviewees, that weaves together personal, historical, and political narratives. The goal of Beyond Sacred is to use theater and personal testimony to foster greater understanding among Muslim and non-Muslim communities in New York.