Shaheed: The Dream and Death of Benazir Bhutto
nytheatre.com q&a preview by Anna Khaja
March 1, 2013
What is your job on this show?
What is your show about?
In 2007, Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto returned from exile to unite a nation bitterly divided. Taking place minutes before her assassination, Shaheed explores Pakistan’s complex relationship with the U.S., the depths of religious fundamentalism, and a people’s struggle to reclaim their nation, freedom, and faith.
Are there boundaries as to what kind of theatre you will take part in?
I think there are kinds of theater that I'm better suited for than others, but I secretly dream of trying every style possible - especially if it were to challenge me and push my limits. I probably wouldn't do musical theater, for the audience's sake...but I wish I could.
Complete this sentence: My show is the only one opening in NYC this winter that...?
is about Islam, democracy and the true and beautiful meaning of the word "jihad."
Is there a particular moment in this show that you really love or look forward to? Without giving away surprises, what happens in that moment and why does it jazz you?
I think there are many moments that the audience does not expect. The play is about Benazir Bhutto, yes...but, ultimately, I hope it is about much more.
Which famous person would you most like to get a fan letter from: Meryl Streep, Lindsay Lohan, Steven Spielberg, Philip Seymour Hoffman?
A tie between Meryl and Philip.
Can theater bring about societal change? Why or why not?
I sure hope so. People (not just corporations) create societal change. Culture is a mirror for the people...reflecting, refracting, reenforcing messages, ideas, struggles of the time. And theater is still an essential part of Culture.