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Birds Sing Differently Here

Following three sold out performances at the Guthrie Theater’s Dowling Studio in 2017, the Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project (IARP) is mounting a four-city tour of Birds Sing Differently Here this summer. Based on the true stories o f 13 Iraqi-Minnesotan refugees and immigrants, the acclaimed play weaves together stories of
sweetness, sorrow, grief and discovery along the way. The compelling theater piece is inventively performed in both English and Arabic, as Iraqi Voices Arts Collaborative participants come together with a cast of dynamic professional actors to tell a tale with a thousand olive pits and seven thousand praises; with tokens of love and a chilling escape from the desert of death.


Birds Sing Differently Here shares the ache of endings and the fullness of new opportunity. In conjunction with the performance, patrons will be able to engage in post-performance discussions with director Taous Khazem, cast members, and community representatives at each tour location.


Birds Sing Differently Here is directed by Khazem and created by Dylan Fresco, Khazem and 13 Iraqi Voices program participants: Nada Alabbasi, Sumaya Ameen, Ali Alshammaa, Hannaa Al-Azzawi, Mazin Chilab, Abdullah Flaija, Salwa Mohi Alden, Adel Najai, Arwa Naji, Dhifaf Sarhan, Ahmed Al Shaikhli, Bahaa Al Shaikhli, and Rawan Al Shaikhli. The diverse intergenerational cast includes six Iraqi community members (Nada Alabbasi, Ali Alshammaa, Hannaa Al-Azzawi, Adel Naji, Ahmed Al Shaikhli and Bahaa Al Shaikhli) and four professional actors (Ashawnti Ford, Dylan Fresco, Aamera Siddiqui and Mohammed Yabdri). Together, they offer a window into the personal lives of those committed to creating bridges of communication and understanding.