READ THE HOTTER THAN EGYPT PROGRAM


This passionate play follows American couple Paul and Jean as they travel to Cairo for their 24th wedding anniversary. Long-dormant troubles within the marriage start to percolate, and their two Egyptian tour guides, newly engaged Maha and Seif, become drawn into the crisis. This dramedy set in the aftermath of the Egyptian revolution explores the uneven power dynamics between these Western tourists and the locals.Dreams and relationships are put to the test when old connections lead to new temptations in this brand new piece by El Guindi, whom the Los Angeles Times calls "undeniably gifted." Selected by MTC’s new Associate Artistic Director Nakissa Etemad, Yussef El Guindi’s Hotter Than Egypt will receive its world premiere in a co-production with ACT in Seattle.


 


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Cast

  • Paul Morgan Stetler*

    Paul Morgan Stetler*

    Paul

    Paul Morgan Stetler (he/him) is making his MTC debut. He last appeared as John Procter in A Contemporary Theatre’s production of The Crucible, directed by John Langs. Other ACT productions include Female of The SpeciesEurydiceThe Trip to BountifulBorn YesterdayWintertime and Grand Magic. Additionally, he has appeared in leading roles at Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle Shakespeare Company, Village Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, New Century Theatre Company and numerous regional theatres across the country. Paul is the creator and curator of Letters Aloud, a literary reading series that has delighted audiences across the country as a way of connecting them to a rapidly disappearing form of communication — the written letter. He holds a BA in English Literature at Cal State Northridge and an MFA in Theatre Arts from Penn State University

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  • Wasim No'mani*

    Wasim No'mani*

    Seif

    Born of immigrated Iraqi parents pursuing their higher education in theatre, Wasim No’mani (he/him) spent his developing and formative years meandering through sets, stages and theaters throughout the U.S. with big immigrant dreams of seriously playing pretend for a profession. He currently resides in Los Angeles where he is unemployed as a working actor. Eager and exhilarated to make his debut at MTC and his third appearance on the A Contemporary Theatre (ACT) stage under the tutelage of John Langs’ direction (OsloPeople of the Book) after a two-year absence due to… well, you already know. He’s treaded the boards of various theaters along the Western coast in productions such as: Water by the Spoonfuland Happiest Song Plays Last (Profile Theatre, Portland); Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train (CoHo Productions, Portland); Last Days of Judas Iscariot (The Hudson Mainstage, Los Angeles); Buffalo Soldier (El Portal, Los Angeles). You also may have seen him on the little screen; (FOX’S Touch; CBS’ Seal Team; Paramount’s Yellowstone; and the largest crowd-funded show in history, The Chosen). Wasim thanks his friends and family for their unreasonably enduring support and is indebted to the entire ACT family for their warmth and continuing hospitality. He proudly praises Mr. El Guindi for this play and his entire body of work. 

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  • Naseem Etemad*

    Naseem Etemad*

    Maha

    Naseem Etemad (she/her) is a Los Angeles-based Iranian-American actor who is making her MTC debut in Hotter Than Egypt. After earning her BA from San Francisco State University for Theater Performance, her credits include several original works often rooted in MENA stories and voices through roles like Maryam in the short film Strength and Fortune directed by Eimanne El Zein, Tamer in Boulder CO’s Local Theater Company’s production of Wisdom From Everything, and Samar in The Pear Theater’s production of Veils. She is a Resident Artist with Golden Thread Productions in San Francisco and has an ongoing ensemble role in the Venture Maidens Dungeons & Dragons Podcast as Fittonia Silvertale.

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  • Jen Taylor*

    Jen Taylor*

    Jean

    Hotter Than Egypt marks the first role at MTC for Jen Taylor (she/her). Previously at A Contemporary Theatre, Dangerous LiaisonsYankee Tavern and A Christmas Carol. Some of Jen’s favorite roles include Daisy in The Adding Machine, Cathy in Orange Flower Water, and Molly in Holy Days (New Century Theatre Company), Lily Bart in House of Mirth and Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice (Book-It Repertory Theatre), Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion and Beatrice in Much Ado about Nothing (Seattle Shakespeare Company), Roxane in Cyrano and Viola in Twelfth Night (Portland Center Stage). She is a voice actor in radio, television, audiobooks, and numerous video games. She is perhaps best known as the voice of Cortana in the Halo video game series, and the new Halo TV show airing soon on Paramount+. Welcome back to the theatre! 

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  • Ahmad Kamal*

    Ahmad Kamal*

    Boatman/Museum Guard/Doorman

    Ahmad Kamal (he/him) is delighted to be making his debut at MTC and A Contemporary Theatre, and to take part in Yussef El Guindi’s exciting world premiere! A resident of Washington DC, Ahmad has worked as an actor and fight choreographer with numerous theater companies, including Signature Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Mosaic Theater Company, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, and many more. He holds a BFA from The University of Virginia and an MA from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. 

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Creative Team

  • Yussef El Guindi

    Yussef El Guindi

    Playwright

    Born in Egypt, raised in London and now based in Seattle, Yussef El Guindi’s work frequently examines the collision of ethnicities, cultures and politics that face immigrants, Arab-Americans and Muslim Americans in particular. El Guindi (he/him) holds an MFA in playwriting from CarnegieMellon University, and has worked as a playwright at Silk Road Rising, literary manager for Golden Thread Productions, and playwright-in-residence at Duke University. He is the recipient of many honors, including the Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award, the Stranger’s Genius Award, and the 2010 Middle East America Distinguished Playwright Award. He recently won the American Blues Theater’s Blue Ink Playwriting award for his play Refugee Rhapsody. El Guindi’s past productions include People of the Book at ACT in Seattle; Language Roomsat Pony World Theatre in Seattle and Broken Nose Theatre in Chicago; Hostages at Radial Theater Project in Seattle; The Talented Ones at Artists Repertory Theatre in Portland (Santa Barbara Independent Indy Awards); Threesome at Portland Center Stage, ACT, and at 59E59 (winner of a Portland Drammy for Best Original Script); Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World (2011 Gregory Award) also at ACT, Center Repertory Company at Walnut Creek, CA, and at Mosaic Theater Company (DC). Our Enemies: Lively Scenes of Love and Combat was produced by Silk Road Rising and won the M. Elizabeth Osborn award. His plays Back of the Throat (winner of L.A. Weekly’s Excellence in Playwriting Award for 2006), Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New WorldJihad Jones and the Kalashnikov BabesSuch a Beautiful Voice is Sayeda and Karima’s City have been published by Dramatists Play Service. Ten Acrobats in an Amazing Leap of FaithCollaboratorThreesomeThe Talented Ones, and Hostages have been published by Broadway Play Publishing Inc. Also upcoming from Broadway Play Publishing Inc. is a collection of short plays entitled In A Clear Concise Arabic Tongue. Bloomsbury/ Methuen Drama published Selected Works by Yussef El Guindi. Currently a Core Company member at ACT in Seattle. 

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  • John Langs^

    John Langs^

    Director

    John Langs (he/him) has served as Artistic Director of A Contemporary Theatre (ACT) since 2016. He joined ACT in 2013 as Associate Artistic Director. Langs’ 16–year freelance career afforded him the opportunity to work with many prestigious theatre companies across the country. He has directed productions at Playwrights Horizons, Ensemble Studio Theater, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Lookingglass Theater Company in Chicago, Circle X in Los Angeles, The Resident Ensemble, New Century Theatre Company, Washington Ensemble Theatre, and Seattle Shakespeare Company. Langs received his directing degree from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Some of his favorite directing credits include The Shaggs Philosophy of the World (Los Angeles Drama Critic Circle Award for Best Original Musical), and Brothers Karamazov (seven LADCC Awards including Best Production of the year and Best Direction) and directing Kurt Beattie in King Lear. Langs received the first annual Seattle Gregory Award honoring excellence in direction for The Adding Machine. As a dedicated fan of original work, Langs has shepherded over a dozen projects to their premiere production. 

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  • Nakissa Etemad (she/her)

    Nakissa Etemad (she/her)

    Dramaturg, MTC Producer

    Nakissa Etemad (she/her) is thrilled to bring this world premiere co-production to the MTC community fresh from the first leg at A Contemporary Theatre in Seattle. Associate Artistic Director of Marin Theatre Company (MTC) and an Iranian American dramaturg, producer, Nakissa is also a French translator specializing in new BIPOC plays and musicals for over 25 years. She is a Resident Artist of Golden Thread Productions, Regional VP Metro Bay Area for Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA), and a member of MENA Theater Makers Alliance and the Anti-Racism Task Force of LMDA. She is thrilled to serve as dramaturg on this co-production of her choosing between ACT and MTC of this brilliant new play, which she worked on with El Guindi at the 2020 Colorado New Play Summit. Recent dramaturgy: Heather Raffo’s Noura (MTC/ Golden Thread), Marcus Gardley’s Play On! commission of King Lear (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), and recent world premiere productions with Marcus Gardley, Lauren Yee, Marisela Treviño Orta, Margo Hall, and Torange Yeghiazarian. She is a frequent collaborator on Golden Thread’s ReOrient Festivals of Short Plays and Bay Area Playwrights Festivals. Former positions: Festival Director for the 5th Annual New America Playwrights Fest, featuring Lynn Nottage, Naomi Iizuka and Polly Pen (San Jose Rep); Dramaturg and Literary Manager of The Wilma Theater, San Jose Rep, and San Diego Rep, and Exec. VP Freelance of LMDA. Recipient of the 2015 Elliott Hayes Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dramaturgy for The Lark’s four-city premieres of Gardley’s the road weeps, the well runs dry. Nakissa dedicates this show to Dr. Galen A. Etemad, the patriarch, inspiration, role model, and guiding light to his family and friends for 99 wonderful years. 

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  • Carey Wong+

    Carey Wong+

    Scenic Designer

    Carey Wong's (he/him) heatre credits include the Seattle Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Arizona Theatre Company, Center Stage Baltimore, Syracuse Stage, Intiman, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Village Theatre, Mixed Blood Theatre, Prince Music Theater, Hey City Theater and Spain’s Nearco Producciones. He has been Resident Designer for Portland Opera, Opera Memphis, and Wildwood Park for the Arts. Opera credits include Seattle Opera, Spoleto Festival USA, New York’s Valhalla Wagnerfest, Pittsburgh Opera, Vancouver Opera, San Francisco Opera Center, and the Beijing and Macao Music Festivals. Carey has designed 15 shows for A Contemporary Theatre. He was exhibition designer for “Beyond the Gate: A Tale of Portland’s Chinatowns” at the Portland Chinatown Museum, where a retrospective of his design work will be on view this spring. Upcoming projects include Afterwords at The 5th Avenue Theatre and Pelleas Et Melisande at Opera Southwest. BA, Yale College; Yale School of Drama. 

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  • Melanie Burgess+

    Costume Designer

    Melanie Burgess (she/her) is a Seattle-based Costume Designer. She has designed costumes for over 170 productions for: A Contemporary Theatre, Seattle Opera, Seattle Repertory Theatre, 5th Avenue Theatre, Intiman Theatre, Village Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Seattle Shakespeare Company, New Century Theatre Company, Seattle Theatre Company, Strawberry Theatre Workshop, Taproot Theatre, ArtsWest, Tacoma Actor’s Guild and The Empty Space Theatre. Regionally for: The Guthrie, Cincinnati Playhouse, Denver Center, Arizona Theatre Company, Minneapolis Children’s Theatre, Tantrum Theater, Idaho Theatre for Youth, Honolulu Theatre for Youth, and Hawaii Opera. Melanie received her MFA from the University of Washington. She is the recipient of the 1st Gregory Award in Seattle for Outstanding Costume Design 2010 and again in 2019. She is a professor of Costume Design at Cornish College of the Arts. melanietaylorburgess.com 

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  • Johanna Melamed+

    Sound Designer

    What a treat to design the sound for Hotter Than Egypt for MTC and A Contemporary Theatre. Recently Johanna designed the sound for eSe Teatro’s Fermin’s Great Book of Dreams and Book-It Repertory Theatre’s Canterville Ghost. Other sound designs for Macha Theatre Works, Thalia’s Umbrella, Seattle Shakespeare Company and The Chekhov Project. Special thanks to Robertson Witmer. Johanna has created multiple sound scores for visual and media artist Barbara Robertson, which have been seen in local museums and galleries, and internationally. 

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  • Jeff Rowlings

    Jeff Rowlings

    Lighting Designer

    Jeff Rowlings (he/him) is a local set and lighting designer and production manager. He currently also is the President of the Board for Mendocino Theatre Company. MTC designs include lights for Jazz and The Oldest Boy and sets and lights for Magic Forest Farm. He was Production Manager at American Conservatory Theater; Production Manager/Resident Designer at San Diego Rep; and Production Manager/Resident Designer at the Magic Theatre. Jeff co-founded Foghouse Productions which produced R. Buckminster Fuller: The History (and Mystery) of the Universe in San Francisco, Chicago and Seattle. Recent designs include lights for Dan Hoyle’s Talk To Your People; set and lights for Viola Davis’ west coast premiere of Paradise; lights for Aurora Theatre’s Detroit ’67 and Eureka Day; set and lights for Fogg Theatre’s The Cable Car Nymphomaniac; sets and lights for Mendocino Theatre Co’s Doll’s House Part 2, Ideation and Rumors.  It’s good to be back!

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  • Johanna Melamed

    Sound Designer

    What a treat to design the sound for Hotter Than Egypt for MTC and A Contemporary Theatre. Recently Johanna (she/her) designed the sound for eSe Teatro’s Fermin’s Great Book of Dreams and Book-It Repertory Theatre’s Canterville Ghost. Other sound designs for Macha Theatre Works, Thalia’s Umbrella, Seattle Shakespeare Company and The Chekhov Project. Johanna has created multiple sound scores for visual and media artist Barbara Robertson, which have been seen in local museums and galleries, and internationally. 

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  • Nihan Yesil

    Nihan Yesil

    Composer

    Nihan Yesil (they/them) is an award-winning composer, sound designer, and multimedia artist for film and stage. She started studying classical music at an early age. After her M.M. in Composition (UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance), she received her M.F.A. in Sound Design (UMKC Theatre). Her music has been performed in various venues, festivals, and artist residencies across the U.S. and Europe. Some of her latest work includes Noura (Marin Theatre Company), Kansas City: 1924 (foley editor, Kansas City Actors Theatre, available on Spotify), Turkish blockbuster Bizim İçin Şampiyon (available on Netflix). Nihan is very excited to be part of the creative team of this double production by A Contemporary Theatre in Seattle and Marin Theatre Company. 

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  • Ian Bond

    Ian Bond

    Intimacy Director and Fight Choreographer

    Ian Bond (he/him) is a Seattle-based fight and intimacy director, actor, and educator. His fight and intimacy direction has been seen at The 5th Avenue Theatre (Beauty and the Beast), University of Washington (Monstrosity), Washington Ensemble (Feathers and TeethIs God Is), Taproot Theatre (See How They Run), The Shattered Glass Project (Ghosts: An Original Festival of One Act Plays), Book-It Repertory (Behold the Dreamers), Seattle Shakespeare (Comedy of Errors), and now, ACT Theatre in Seattle. He has performed locally with Sound Theatre Company (Holiday of Errors), Seattle Children’s Theatre (The Diary of Anne Frank), Seattle Public Theatre (Bad Jews), Taproot Theatre (Jeeves IntervenesDiana of Dobson’s), Seattle Shakespeare Company (Titus AndronicusTroilus and Cressida), Book-It Repertory Theatre (American JunkieJane EyreThe Picture of Dorian GrayTreasure IslandFrankenstein), Washington Ensemble Theatre (Teh Internet is Serious BusinessThe Things Are Against Us), The Horse in Motion (Hamlet), and ACT (A Christmas Carol). Ian is also a co-founder of PNW Theatrical Intimacy, a motion capture artist who recently worked on the hit game Ghost of Tsushima, and a professional Game Master specializing in Dungeons & Dragons. www.ianbond.org

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  • Lynne Soffer

    Dialect Coach

    Lynne Soffer (she/her) has served as text, vocal and/or dialect coach on over 330 productions at SF Opera, Berkeley Repertory, A.C.T., California Shakespeare Theater, Magic Theatre, Word for Word, SF Mime Troupe, TheatreWorks, SF Conservatory of Music, San Jose Repertory, Old Globe (San Diego), Dallas Theater Center, Arizona Theatre Company, Arena Stage, Seattle Repertory and Denver Center, among others. Most recently she did her first 100% zoom coaching from her Bay Area home for the Seattle leg at A Contemporary Theatre of this premiere co-production of Hotter Than Egypt. Her film and television credits include 13 Reasons Why (Netflix), Fruitvale Station, Metro, Duets, The Land of Milk and Honey and America’s Most Wanted. Ms Soffer is also a professional actor and teacher.

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  • Michael Suenkel*

    Stage Manager

    Michael Suenkel (he/him) was the Production Stage Manager at Berkeley Repertory Theatre from 1994 until 2020. Nationally he has worked with the Public Theater, the Second Stage, and the New Victory in New York City, Yale Rep, the Pittsburgh Public Theater, South Coast Rep, and La Jolla Playhouse. Internationally he stage managed with the Hong Kong Arts Festival, the Juste Pour Rire Festival in Montreal, and the Birmingham Repertory Theatre and the Barbican Center in England.

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* Denotes member of Actors Equity Association
+ Member, United Scenic Artists
^ Member, Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers

Reviews

  • (Review of the MTC production)

    “Electric! Extraordinary scenes…an explosion waiting to detonate.

    In Yussef El Guindi’s play, a decades-long marriage unravels in a single day, a single conversation, a single incident. Yet a single incident is never just a single incident in El Guindi’s sharp yet expansive writing. A remark is a pressure point wired to a nerve center, a hairline fracture in eons of tectonic pressure that cracks all the way to the core. Director John Langs sets El Guindi’s writing alight, bringing such a range of stakes to a scene that you might feel you’ve lived a whole life in just a few minutes.”

    — Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle Read full review
  • Riveting, sometimes unsettling, and continuously comic-filled. Brilliantly crafted. 

    Yussef El Guindi continuously injects delicious one-liners that bite and tell their own comic truth, resulting in a highly engaging, fast-moving, thoroughly entertaining Hotter than Egypt that is every minute a dramedy from opening to end. Five 'E's—a Theatre Eddys best bet!”

    — TheatreEddys.com Read full review
  • "Yussef El Guindi’s new play deftly delves into a constellation of differences – not only cultural, but marital, economic, power, gender, and generational – some between cultures and some within.  The result is a lively dramedy that reveals the causes and consequences of the cracks in the American couple’s marriage. Depictions by each of the actors resonate with authenticity."

    — CordellReports.com Read full review
  • “Five Stars! As an observer of intimate relationships, Guindi’s insight and his ability to express it in remarkable dialogue is on a par with the likes of Harold Pinter or Edward Albee. The director has made sure that his actors have polished their work to an amazing degree. This is acting on the high wire and it is quite thrilling and involving. Guindi’s beautifully written dialogue often presents insights of such exquisite precision and ambiguity that we are forced to laugh, often and loudly. Excellence all the way around.”

    — Theatrestorm.com Read full review
  • "In Yussef El Guindi's dramatically taut play (with skilled direction by John Langs and wonderful performances from each member of his cast)… what's at stake for these characters (primarily their continued relationships) is deadly serious, yet the show is filled with laughs. El Guindi's language is so dynamic and his structure so well crafted that the tension builds slowly and inexorably toward a conclusion that will be tragic–in one way or another–for all of these characters."

    — TalkinBroadway.com Read full review
  • (Review of the ACT Seattle production)

    "THOUGHT-PROVOKING AND HILARIOUS.

    What [playwright Yussef] El Guindi has done here is to take a typical relationship comedy trope and mix it in with his standard cultural examinations to thought provoking and hilarious effect. 

    Probably the most interesting bit he uses is the language barrier and he uses it to a stunningly effective and funny level as when any of the local people are speaking English, they do so in their Arabic accents but when they speak Arabic, they drop any Arabic accent and simply speak English. It's kind of brilliant gag that is introduced early on and never failed to get a laugh and still be crystal clear as to what was happening.

    I give ACT's World Premiere of "Hotter Than Egypt" an exuberant YAY."

    — Broadway World Read full review
  • "There was never a dull moment in Hotter Than Egypt. It will have you laughing, sighing and questioning the characters' decisions. This performance will leave you pondering over its characters, their motives, the overarching themes of loyalty, and exploration of differences. Hotter Than Egypt is a profound yet comical analysis of the ethics of modern tourism, relationships, and morality." 

    — TeenTix.org Read full review

Learn More

Select a Performance

To begin your ticket purchase, select a performance from the calendar below:

December 2022
Sun Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
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