The Small, Dark Room (2013)

April 8, 9, 15 & 16, 2013

How much does—or should—our cultural backgrounds impact how we deal with issues such as depression, disability, abuse and suicide? In this world premiere production, six Americans of Asian and Middle Eastern descent shared true stories full of light, hope and transcendence that grappled with that very question. Created in collaboration with students from the University of Illinois at Chicago.



The Stories

Jeff: A Thai-Chinese man experiences a series of traumas and seeks insight and release through his Buddhist faith and bravely facing his past.
Maryam: A Palestinian college student relies on family support, a scientific mind, and a love of music to climb her way out of depression.
Tarak: A young Indian man loses his mother to suicide and now battles his own suicidal thoughts.
Warren: A Filipino-American man, after years of struggling with social awkwardness and depression, recognizes the gifts inherent in the mental health challenges he faces.
Ha-Tai-Cha-Nok: A Thai woman lives with debilitating psoriasis and in turn depression, finding salvation in the written word.
Manij: an Iranian refugee overcomes a lifelong cycle of violence to work with a new generation of women facing similar challenges.

Cast and Production Staff

Directed by: Reshmi Hazra
Adapted by: Norman Chen, Jialin (Camille) Li, Ana Sofia Lupu, Brighid O’Shaughnessy, Kruti Parikh, Gessa Suboc, & Chun-Shan (Sandie) Yi
Performed by: Gordon Chow, Wannapa Pimtong-Eubanks*, Kroydell Galima, Rula Gardenier, Susaan Jamshidi, Adam Poss*, & Scott Shimizu
Stage Manager: Deanna Fiorentino*
Production Manager: Jennifer Shine*
Lighting Designer: Mac Vaughey
Sound Designer: Matt Kiedrowski
Art Curator: Meredith Siemsen
Featured Artists: Chun-Shan (Sandie) Yi and Ghaith S. Jarew
Casting Associate: Stephanie Diaz*
*ETD Artistic Associate

The Small, Dark Room was made possible by Dentons, KB, the UIC Asian American Studies Program and the UIC AANAPISI Initiative, which is fully funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving-Institutions Program. This show is also partially supported by the Asian American Suicide Prevention Initiative (AASPI), The MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.


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