Invasion! (Performance)

April 6–16, 2017

Leeds Theatre

Written by Jonas Hassen Khemiri. Translated by Rachel Willson-Broyles.

Directed by Ashley Teague ’17 MFA


Invasion! is a satirical comedy that swirls around one man: Abulkasem. Is he real? Is he a fiction made up by people that need him to exist? Who is Abulkasem?

As the play unfolds, the myth of Abulkasem leads us to distorted memories of a night out in New York, a schoolyard game gone too far, and dark corners of our political machinery. The play is a sharp satire of how the Western world has come to fear its own preconceived idea of the Arabic male identity. It is a biting look on how the media has built up the idea of an enemy threat that exists only in the eye of the beholder. Layers of misinformation, institutional bias, and years of half-remembered news stories are peeled away to show us some unsettling truths. This is play about Islamophobia, media spin, and our own prejudices and fears.

This year’s performance season at Brown Theatre grew out of ongoing conversations on campus at Brown University about issues of diversity and inclusion. Sock & Buskin, the student-faculty board that selects the Brown University Theatre season, wanted to represent this conversation through their choice of plays, writers, directors, and casting. The season aimed to reflect the strengths and the challenges that students face in making contemporary performances that embrace diversity and can effect social change. In this moment of heightened awareness of the great strengths that immigrants make to this country, and of the daily fears and challenges many immigrants now face, this play’s critical attack on lazy and unconsidered stereotypes of people born in other countries resounds with a new and urgent voice.

Brown University Theatre’s 2016-17 performance season is produced by the Brown University Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies and by Sock & Buskin, a student-faculty board that has an unbroken record of producing theatre at Brown University for over 100 years.

Produced by Sock & Buskin and Brown University Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies.