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I am Sami.

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Scan of  ID photo, 2018 (United States)

I am a Research-Practitioner in Performance & Theatre, an Adjunct Professor, and a US National Soccer Coach from Damascus, Syria. As a proud refugee who understands the importance of community, I have put my passion into arts, culture, community building, sports and facilitating environments that make space to celebrate diversity and intersectionality of experiences. 


My artistic work & projects explore practices of decolonization, shifting and redefining dominant narratives on ethnicity, identity, and the racialization of bodies by using performance as a vehicle for intended public dialogue. My methods are interdisciplinary, drawing from contemporary performance art, devised and physical theatre, documentary practices, ethnographic research, and choreography. 


My research focuses on the intersectionality of performance with presentation, representation of memory, trauma, and collective cultural consciousness, with my emphasis being on dis-orientalizing the narrative and the gaze. Additionally, I am a contributing author in Deconstructing the Myths of Islamic Art book and my chapter is titled "Deconstructing Myths via Performance Strategies: Experiences of a Contemporary Practitioner". 


Currently, I am an Adjunct Professor in Theatre & Performance at Columbia College Chicago, DePaul University, & School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Formerly I was a teaching artist & educator, for the Community Actors Program at Arts + Public Life at the University of Chicago, besides leading several workshops & delivering artists talks at several institutions National and International Institutions. Additionally, I have served as a cultural consultant as well as a dialect and language coach for productions at Silk Road Rising & Steppenwolf Theatre. 


I hold an MFA in studio practice with a focus on Performance Art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and an MFA in Theatre Directing from East 15 Acting School, UK as a Said Foundation Scholar. 

My credits biography is listed below:

Select directing & conceiving credits include:

Lemon & Oil (Pivot Arts Festival), Every Time I Step Towards Freedom (Defibrillator/Zhou B Art Center), Picnic Summit (Collaboraction’s Encounter), Ghosts of Freedom (Greenhouse Theatre: Trellis Residency), Frivolous Future (Art Institute of Chicago: Associates Night), Finding a Loving Motherland (Collaboraction’s Peacebook), Real News: Human Trash (Pop Magic Productions and Nasty Brutish & Short at Links Hall), Mihbaj (Theatre Royal Stratford East, London). In addition to several productions directed or conceived at an education level.

Select collaborations include:

New Normal a project by Jonas Becker (MCA Chicago), Atlas Unlimited a project by Karthik Pandian and Andros Zins-Browne (Logan Center Exhibitions), On a Shore Rested a Body with Armin Hayrapetian and Divyamaan Sahoo (New Blood at Links Hall).


Select performing credits include:

 16-1546 Living Coral (GP01) by David Levine (MCA Chicago), Atlas Unlimited: Entr’acte by Karthik Pandian and Andros Zins-Browne (Graham Foundation), and The Locketeer by Catherine Sullivan (Trap Door Theatre).

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