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“Noura” An Intense Family Portrait– Bay Area Premiere at MTC

The January 20th performances of the artfully-chosen cast of Noura, an evocative work by Arab-American Playwright Heather Raffo, kept the audience riveted to this story of a displaced Iraqi female architect attempting to recreate herself in America and the family welcoming her into their home for Christmas. You ‘re not likely to find much to laugh about in this dramatic presentation, but you are likely to tap deeply into the emotional upheaval of family/friend dynamics depicted in this latest production at Marin Theatre Company (in partnership with Golden Thread Productions) as directed by Kate Bergstrom with Assistant Director Ahmed Ashour. The pathos and angst of a highly educated, blended Christian and Muslim family and their friends – past and present – takes the audience on an intensely intimate and emotional journey.

The strength of this script was shown through the standout performances of Denmo Ibrahim as Noura and Mattico David as her husband, Tareq, coming face-to-face with their past through present relationships with friends Rafa’a (Abraham Makany) and Maryam (Maya Nazzal). Clearly a talented young Valentino Bertolucci Herrera (11 years of age, performing as Yazen, the son of Noura and Tareq) needs only time (and a mic) to show his acting ability to its fullest.

This production was enhanced by Production Assistant, Brigid Ridge, the set, as designed by Adam Rigg, with carpentry by Mike Ferrell and Scenic Artists Olivia Carter and Jenny Yang with Scenic Change by Emily Ritchie; props by Rachel Hurado Osburn and Liam Rudisill; the lighting as designed by Kate Boyd with assistance from Danny Osburn; costumes as designed by Anna Oliver and wardrobe by Noelle Clary . The cultural authenticity was enhanced by consultant Torange Yeghiazarian and Dramaturg Nakissa Etemad. The Dialect Coach was Lynne Soffer. Electricians included Assistant Master Electrician Matt Sykes with Grey DePol, John Fiorentino, Robert Mattos, Krys Swan, and Lissete Vega.
Graphic Designer: Jeff Berlin
Review by Elle Alexa Simon and Flora Lynn Isaacson, Critic SFBATCC.

Noura began January 9 and is scheduled to run through February 2, 2020, with performances Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30pm and Matinees at 2:00pm on Saturdays and Sundays at the Boyer Theatre, 397 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley. (There is no intermission during the 1 hour-40-minute performance.) Tickets can be purchased at the box office (telephone 415/388-5208) or online: https://www.marintheatre.org/productions/sovereignty#schedule-and-prices

Coming up next at MTC will be LOVE by Kate Cortesi, March 5 through 29, 2020.