CRIMINAL QUEERNESS FESTIVAL
JUNE 22-26 2021
This is not a memorized script, this is a well-rehearsed story
By Dima Mikhayel Matta
Directed by Em Weinstein
(First directed by Yara Bou Nassar)
Starring Dima Mikhayel Matta
Queerness is a construct. So is language, and so is this play. Nothing about this performance is reliable, the performer questions gender, memory, sex, identity, and her relationship with Beirut but gives no answers to comfort you or herself. A refusal to romanticize, a resistance against orientalization, she is left with deconstructions that she cannot put back together. This is the story of a failed relationship, with a partner, with a city, and an attempt to carry this knowledge without breaking.
Dima Mikhayel Matta (she/they) is a Beirut-based writer and actress. Matta, a Fulbright scholar, holds an MFA in creative writing from Rutgers University in 2013. They have been acting for the stage since 2006. In 2014, they founded Cliffhangers, the first bilingual storytelling platform in Lebanon, and host monthly storytelling events along with parallel events such as storytelling workshops and performances. Their first play, “This is not a memorized script, this is a well-rehearsed story,” directed by Yara Bou Nassar, an autobiographical play on queerness and their relationship with the city toured in London, New York, and Belfast, and premiered in Beirut in February 2020. They are currently working on their second play.
Em Weinstein is a writer and director for film, theater, and television, currently staffed on Amazon’s A League of Their Own series. Em has made two award winning short films that have played at festivals worldwide. Most recently, their film IN FRANCE MICHELLE IS A MAN’S NAME won the Grand Jury Prizes for Best Narrative Short at Slamdance in February 2021. While getting their MFA at Yale School of Drama, Em directed numerous plays such as the first workshop production of SLAVE PLAY by Jeremy O. Harris. Em has written, directed and developed work with companies such as Rattlestick Theater, Shakespeare & Company, Two River Theater, New York Theater Workshop, Working Theater, New Georges and the Museum of Ice Cream. Em is part of the AFI Directing Workshop for Women Class of 2021. Em is nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns. www.emweinstein.com.