ACTOR & PLAYWRIGHT

SEVAN K. GREENE

London & NYC

Bio

NYC/London-based playwright & actor.

Welcome to my official site where you can find out all the current projects going on for both my acting and writing projects. Please take a look around and reach out and say hello.

In brief, I moved to NYC in 2007 and soon after started my professional acting career as an AEA and SAG-AFTRA union actor appearing on stage in the Lortel Award-Winning Betrayed, HERE’s production of Betty Shamieh’s The Strangest, Yusef El-Guindi’s Language Rooms, and NYTW’s Aftermath. I also did some short stints on TV and film in The Dictator, Blue Bloods, and Damages. You can find out more by clicking on the Acting links in the menu above.

In 2010 I embarked on a writing career as well starting with my tenure in The Public Theater’s 2011 Emerging Writers Group. Since then my work has been seen at The Flea Theatre, Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte, NOOR Theatre’s HIGHLIGHT series, The Public Theater’s SPOTLIGHT series, Ugly Rhino, and Mixed Phoenix. You can find out more by clicking on the Writing links in the menu above.

In 2013 I decided to move to London to establish my career there as well. Since I arrive I have performed at The Camden Fringe, The Space, RichMix, and my work has been seen at Theatre503, Arcola, The Bush Theatre, Vertical Line Theatre, Birmingham Theatre Exchange, and The Camden Fringe.

I am currently working in both cities as an actor and a writer.

News

 

Nothing new in the production pipeline, but I have begun working on developing several new projects:

  1. A new musical with director Adam Lenson and composer Theo Jamieson about people with multiple chemical sensitivities.
  2. A new musical with director Adam Lenson and a yet-to-be-named composer about Stockholm Syndrome.
  3. An adaptation of an old French novel with director Sean Turner.

Look to this space for more news later!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acting

SGreeneResumeUK

Acting Media

 

Production Photos

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April 25, 2013 - New York, NY: From left Gayton Scott, Ayub Khan Din, and Sevan Greene get notes from director Scott Elliott at a rehearsal from Bunty Berman Presents at the Row Theater on 41st street and 9th Ave. Due to a last minute injury, Din was cast as an actor in the play. CREDIT: Stephen Yang for the Wall Street Journal<br />NY.AyubKhanDin<br /><br /><br />Published Credit: Stephen Yang for The Wall Street Journal
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Writing

 

I am a playwright/actor dedicated to exploring stories of the marginalized and unheard. Through ideas of identity, I want to dissect what someone is willing to sacrifice to preserve or transform themselves to secure their way of life or to fit into a dominant culture. My characters are diverse covering the Ethnic Other and the Cultural Majority through stories ranging from the Armenian Genocide and Indian Hijra communities to hoarders in Boston and even Lucifer himself. I am dedicated to expanding the landscape and canon of contemporary theatre through stories that are new, risky, and that bring new truths by re-familiarizing the familiar through the unfamiliar. I want to examine how truth and untruth, reality and falsehood, reason and unreason battle it out in the game of life. I am especially focused on exploring Middle Eastern identities in native and Western countries as they are affected by diasporas, revolutions, and everyday contemporary life.

Fellowships:

  • Member of The Bush Theatre inaugural 2015 Emerging Writers Group
  • Member of The Public Theater’s 2011 Emerging Writers Group
  • Rising Circle Theatre Collective’s 2010 InkTANK Writer’s Lab

Prizes:

  • 2016 Princess Grace Award Semi-Finalist – I Am Not Mine
  • 2015 Princess Grace Award Semi-Finalist – Sam-21
  • 2014 William Saroyan Prize Armenian Commendation Finalist – In the Name of Silence
  • 2014 William Saroyan Human Rights/Social Justice Prize Finalist – I Am Not Mine
  • 2014 Princess Grace Playwriting Award Semi-Finalist – Forgotten Bread
  • 2014 Papatango prize short list – Stuff
  • 2014 Invertigo Identity commission short list
  • William Saroyan 2010 & 2012 Playwriting Prize Finalist – DOON & Forgotten Bread
  • PlayPenn 2012 & 2013 Conference Finalist – babel In the Name of Silence
  • 2011 ATC New Voices Festival Finalist and Winner – Narrow Daylight

Other:

  • NYTW 2011/2012 Teaching Artist at the Khalil Gibran Academy
  • Co-founder and performer in NYC’s only Middle Eastern Sketch Group: Sketchy Arabs

Sevan’s work has been seen at:

  • The Sheen Center
  • Theatre Royal Stratford East
  • Tamasha
  • Theatre503
  • Rich Mix
  • Arcola Theatre
  • The Public Theatre’s SPOTLIGHT series
  • New York Theatre Workshop
  • The Lark
  • Ghost Dog Productions
  • Greenbelt Festival
  • Vertical Line Theatre
  • Birmingham Theatre Exchange
  • Noor Theatre’s HIGHLIGHT series
  • The Arab-American Comedy Festival
  • The Kraine Theatre in Under Consideration
  • Access Theatre’s Access Works
  • Tiny Rhino 10-minute Play Festival
  • aMios’ SHOTZ festival
  • Mixed Phoenix Theatre
  • |the claque|

 

Plays

Forgotten Bread

5M, 5W (with a possible expanded cast of 15M, 14W) – “History is not the past. It is the stories we tell about the past.” – Grace Lee Boggs. An ode to the Armenian Genocide, Forgotten Bread is the volatile, and sometimes humorous, journey of a Lost Son trying to uncover his family’s past and reclaim his cultural identity. Past and Present collide and melt into one another as he descends further down the rabbit hole of life, death, and survival pushed along by family secrets and historical truths. How can you undo the forced memory loss of survivors guilt to find your place in a world that has forgotten your people?

DOON

5M, 5W – family drama/comedy focusing on three generations of a Lebanese-Armenian family in New Jersey trying to heal old wounds while opening new ones on the eve of their patriarch’s funeral. Not all goes as planned when the prodigal son returns and cultural obligations give way to personal agendas.

Say Something

4M, 2W – Joe is a terrorist. Or – is he? At least he looks like one. Or – does he? He’s an angry young man. Or – no – wait – yes he is. But when his anger gets the best of him not even his “urban” cousin, Thumper, or fiancé, USAID legal assistant Anna, can stop him from going too far. Throw in a couple of Homeland Security agents and their booze-induced fashionista roommate Lyda and he’s in for a hell of a weekend. But he’s an American, so he’ll be fine. Or – will he?

Narrow Daylight

1M, 4W – Reeling from the death of her husband and the recent loss of her son in the Iraq war, Susan Davis is confronted with a surprise visitor at her doorstep – a young Iraqi girl named Lena who is more connected to her son than she could ever imagine. Not even her best friend, cookie-baking Jesus-loving Gloria and her wise ass daughter Anne-Marie, can avoid the tides of change as West meets East in sleepy Panama City, FL.

babel

2M, 1W – Luke and Issa have found a friendship in the middle of an occupation war. Along with Issa’s twin sister, Hayat, the three find comfort, security and a sense of family again. But as the insurgency grows, their triangle is tested to the limits. What is the price of friendship forged in wartime? And how far will they go to find their freedom?

In the Name of Silence

3M, 2W – When a children’s burial site is unearthed in 1993, Garo is forced to face the sins of his past by his curious granddaughter Ani in a journey that returns them to Lebanon and Turkey jumping to 1931 and 1916 as he searches for a sister he lost to the Turkification processes during the Armenian Genocide. But with The Virgin Mary and St. Joseph close by will he be able to hide all the truths and still find forgiveness and peace?

The Nihilism of WHOOSH

2M, 2W, 1 M/W – When Gaz starts acting a little weird, his roommate Anthony calls on Gaz’s long-time best friends, Therry and Steffy, to help him with an intervention to win his friend back. But Gaz doesn’t think there’s a problem. What’s not normal about listening to the neighbors have sex every day and talkswaying at 2AM? And so what if he likes hanging out with the Riverside Park transsexual prostitute in the afternoon? This new comedy explores what happens when we internalize the spirit of New York City and it begins to eat its way out. WARNING: This is not an NYC apartment play about white infertile middle-aged married couples on the verge of divorce as one or both bend their sexual preferences while living on the Upper West Side.

  • April 2012 Lark Round Table reading.

This Time

2M, 3W – In the sultry heat of 1960s Cairo, a clandestine love affair blooms between a married Egyptian woman and a Canadian professor ten years her junior. In a wintry Toronto house in the 1990s, an aging mother’s memories encroach on her recently divorced daughter’s attempts to restart her life. The past closes in, threatening to overwhelm the present. But what is real and what is illusion? Inspired by the memoirs of a Muslim woman who fought for her independence at a turning point in Egypt’s modern history, This Time is a lush new play about regret, romance, and familial responsibility.

STUFF

1M, 3W – Widowed Edith is a hoarder. She doesn’t think there’s a problem, but when the city of Boston sends her an order to clean-up or vacate, she is forced to come to terms with some harsh realizations. Unfortunately, that includes the well-intentioned, but meddling, Dr. Laziak who drags Ruth’s estranged children into the situation: Beth, a volatile self-abuser, and David, a socially awkward germaphobe. She’s got a week and all the odds are against her.

  • Shortlisted for the 2014 Papatango Prize.

Lucifer ex Machina

5M, 1W, 3 M/W – For every 1000 years since his fall from grace, Lucifer has come to purgatory for a parole hearing of sorts. And for the last 3000 hearings he has been sent back to hell. But he’s found a loophole this time: A key witness who has been missing for two thousand years. Lucifer intends to prove his innocence even if it means the total destruction of the Heavens. You think you know the story behind Lucifer’s fall? Family drama and Christian mythology come to a violent head in a play that explores how we define religious truth, familial obligation, and what the price of blind faith is.

  • Excerpt presented at Vertical Line Theatre’s LineUp

The Greene Card: The Unbelievable, Yet Completely True, Story of a Brown Boy in a White World

2M, 2W – Sevan must escape the ravages of the Gulf War for a chance at the American dream. Armed with a box of bootleg cassettes and his obsession with all things West, this brown boy stumbles on his journey to become his true self: a white American. He’s already got a New Kids on the block T-shirt – how hard can it be? From the raucous parlors of African-American Florida to the uptight racist salons of white New York City, Sevan learns that it takes more than an encyclopedic knowledge of The Little Mermaid to be part of their world. Sevan Greene performs his story supported by a full band and ‘black-up’ singers. Drawn from the experience of his own harrowing reality, The Greene Card asks why it’s easier to survive warfare, than to live as an immigrant.

I Am Not Mine

2M, 2W – Do revolutions truly change anything? After 13 years, Abdul-Rahim is released from captivity. Driven by the memory of his wife, he must find his two children, Qila and Mar, now young adults struggling to survive in the bleakest of conditions. But the past cannot leave the present behind and screams for revenge: A blood oath must be paid by the parent or the child. Inspired by the Syrian Civil War and Greek Tragedies, this new play examines the unforeseen aftermath of the Arab Spring revolutions.

Fear in a Handful of Dust

2M – A visceral look at the violent reality of WW1 trenches as seen through the eyes of two unlikely soldiers: Simon, an ex-pat raised in India, and Buck, a nationalist Irishman. This new play unveils the hidden and forgotten troops of the war and their personal struggles in a time of great upheaval and change. How can you survive the war when you’re not sure if you can survive your trenchmate?

bi

2M, 1W – A new cabaret-play about cultural obligations, religious trappings, and sexual awakenings in a Western world. Featuring pop, gospel, and musical theatre songs, bi explores how it’s possible to feel alone in a city of 8 million people as you try to figure out what you are and who you want, so you can decide what you want and who you are. How does an Arab-Asian, Muslim-Christian bisexual fit in a world where the odds are against him?

Nahda: five visions of an Arab awakening

4M, 5W – Who is the Arab today? Five visions explore modern Middle Eastern identities in the West: the confusion of second generation children of refugees; the struggle of British-Muslim soldiers killing their cultural siblings; the consumerist obsession with cultural food fetishism; and the politics of baby-naming in a post-911 world.

  • Presented at The Bush Theatre (July 2015) as part of the Shubbak Festival.
  • Presented in Noor Theatre’s inaugural 2015 HIGHLIGHT series. Noor is the theatre-in-residence at the New York Theatre Workshop.

Sam-21

3M, 2W – A searingly brutal examination of sexual awakening in people with disabilities. A family’s fight against normalcy is brought into question when a cure for Down’s Syndrome is announced. To what lengths will a mother go through to ensure her son has a ‘normal’ life? Can a loving, but absent, father keep pretending his son is just like everyone else? And when an older brother ushers you into manhood in the most misguided way what will be the aftermath of your newfound knowledge? Sam has all the possibilities and all the odds stacked against him. It’s too bad no one has asked what he wants.

  • 2016 Princess Grace Award Semi-Finalist

Short Plays

Unexpected-Beautiful

1M, 1W – It’s Christmas Eve and things are not so great for Daphne or Phineas. A chance encounter between the two on a late night empty subway car turns into a soul-bearing session, each surprising the other with their confessions. They’ve internalized New York City and it’s fighting to eat its way out of them, but it seems they might have found what they need in each other. Maybe.

  • Presented in The Ghostlight’s 2011 Holiday Stucco hosted by Horse Trade Theater at The Krain Theatre.
  • Presented at Access Theatre as a part of 2011 Access Short Works.
  • Presented at Ghost Dog Productions’ New Writing Showcase – January 2014

A Jedi Shall not Know Love; A Sith Shall Know Even Less

1M, 1W – Cosmo is a sci-fi loving con-fanatic geek. His girlfriend Shironi is an advertising shark who loves her Louboutins. So how on earth have they been together so many years? A misstep on Shironi’s part at Comic-Con threatens to pull them apart. Can their relationship really live steadily in their differences alone? Or is a little Wookie love all they really need.

  • Presented in Ugly Rhino Productions’ TinyRhino Valentine’s Day Festival.

Star-Burst

2M, 1W – It’s the end of the world for childhood best friends Abel, Cass, and Dex. Sneaking a moment away the night of their high school graduation, the three sit in a field to recall their highs and lows. What they discover is the secrets we sometimes keep from those we love most. The transition to being an adult is never a smooth ride.

  • Presented in aMios’ June SHOTZ festival.

Shhh…

3M/W – In the wake of wiretapping scandals, Shhh… explores the worker bees behind the well-intentioned espionage of superpower governments. But what happens when your conscience interferes with your directive?

  • Presented in aMios’ 2013 June SHOTZ festival.

The Remorse of Judas

2M, 1W – What really happened the night before Jesus was crucified? For centuries, Judas has been demonized and accused of betraying one of the greatest figures in Christian mythology and human history. But what if the truth is something we never imagine? Using The Gospel of Judas as a jumping off point, this short play exposes the truth of Judas’ crime.

Trafalgar Dreams

2M – Gideon has dragged his cousin Max to Trafalgar Square hoping to recreate a family photo moment in honor of his father. But it’s been 20 minutes and there’s no sight of a single pigeon. Max is tired and Gideon is unraveling. How do you connect to a cultural past you’ve spent years divorcing yourself from?

  • Written for Theatre503’s Rapid Write Response: Occupied (performed April 20/21, 2014.

Absentia

1M, 1W – What happens in the moment right before life-changing decisions? Absentia is about tearing apart those traditional life milestones in favor of preserving our daily life. Joss and Suze are in that moment and need to decide whether they are ready to change. Will they survive each other let alone this moment?

Intifadaat

5W – ‘I am with the uprising…’ Inspired by the work of Yalda Younes, Diala Haidar, Farah Barqawi and Sally Zohney, this choreo-poem examines the unheard voices of the Arab Spring women: their losses, their victories, their struggles. Using traditional Middle Eastern aurality, Intifadat reveals a side of the Arab revolutions we haven’t seen through 5 generations of women bucking tradition and fighting against the Middle Eastern patriarchy.

Burden

1M, 1W –It’s a night they can never forget. But one of them doesn’t remember it right. While the other wishes they could just forget it. Emma and Drew are about to have a reckoning and the truth won’t be a welcome revelation.

Brother’s Keeper

2M – Two brothers reunite after their father passes to say goodbye to their childhood home. But what surfaces are false memories and the truth of a brother’s bond.

McArabia

2M/1W – Forget about drones, and troops, and insurgencies. The real danger is about to drop right into the land of the crescent and the moon. There’s no stopping the commodity food fetishism of the world’s largest fast food chain. But how do you negotiate the Westernization of an identity with the feeding of the hungry?

  • Presented in RCSSD’s New Writing Night #4 May 2015.

Screenplays

NYB

NYB follows the electric 48hour journey of 6 “brown” people whose extraordinary lives converge as they confront issues of ethnicity, freedom, and self-discovery amidst the vibrant pulse of contemporary New York City.

(in parentheses)

Three friends looking to recapture the strength of their bonds reunite for one last road trip, but test the limits of their friendship as secrets are revealed and lives changed forever.

Writing Media

 

  • McArabia
    • McArabia

    • Watch Video

  • Fear in a Handful of Dust
    • Fear in a Handful of Dust

    • Watch Video

  • The Altared Saints
    • The Altared Saints

    • Watch Video

  • Star-Burst
    • Star-Burst

    • Watch Video

  • The Greene Card Promo
    • The Greene Card Promo

    • Watch Video

  • Unexpected-Beautiful
    • Unexpected-Beautiful

    • Watch Video

  • Absentia
    • Absentia

    • Watch Video

  • Brothers Keeper
    • Brothers Keeper

    • Watch Video

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Feature Articles/Interviews

NO VEILS, NO HEADSCARVES – REIMAGINING THE MIDDLE EASTERN PLAY  – Culturebot

StageBuddy Interview for This Time

INTIMATELY with emerging playwright Sevan K. Greene – Female Arts

Cabaret Play The Greene Card tackles Racism – Desi Blitz

The LGBTQ Arts and Culture Review Interview

The New Current Interview Series

Daily brink interview

The Armenian Mirror Spectator

Kanjy Blog Interview

Writing Reviews

This Time

The Sheen Center/Rising Circle Theatre Collective, New York City
dir. Kareem Fahmy

‘This Time is a skillfully constructed, beautifully acted play…Mr. Greene proves adept at the balancing act, showing a subtle touch that lets the audience fill in the details.’ – The New York Times Critics Pick

This Time announces the arrival of Greene as a wonderful writer of complex, sexually aware female characters. It will be interesting to see what he does next because his ability to combine and contrast political and personal choices is not only worthy of admiration, but also something we need to see much more of.’StageBuddy

This Time reveals itself a full-fledged tragedy, succeeding as an achingly human story.’   – Howlround

…the play’s sweep is staggering…the thematic material is rich…This Time is an impressive feat.’ – The Front Row Center ★★★★

Too often, it seems, modern playwrights are challenged with creating a strong enough arc to engage an audience for two acts, instead relying on one long act. That is not the case with This Time. Greene’s storytelling is compelling and fresh, with engaging narratives.’ – OffOffLine

It is also exciting to see an off Broadway play that not only champions stories by and featuring artists of color, but also a play that centers on strong female characters.’ – Theatre is Easy

‘This Time may not provide easy answers, but it offers a compelling meditation on family, love, and identity.’ – Culture Catch

The Mysteries

The Flea Theatre, New York City
dir. Ed Iskandar

The New York Times Critics Pick
Time Out New York
New York Theatre

The Greene Card: The Unbelievable, Yet Completely True, Story of a Brown Boy in a White World

The Space, London
dir. Daniel Huntley Solon

‘A heart-warming, engrossing show from a strong new addition to London’s theatre scene.’ everything theatre ★★★★

 ‘The Greene Card was one of the best pieces of theatre I have seen in a long while.  It is truly deserving of a transfer to a bigger venue, so that the talent involved, and the issues discussed can move as many people as possible, not only in terms of emotional reaction, but also in the desire to change the face of heteronormative theatre that is all too familiar and tired.’ – postscript journal ★★★★

‘This is a fascinating story…hopefully he’ll stick around in London and share more with us. It’s a well-considered choice for a transfer.’views from the gods ★★★★

Fear in a Handful of Dust

Cog ARTSpace
dir. Jonny Collis

Fear In A Handful of Dust is as painfully brutal as it is heartbreakingly beautiful. . .it is one of those rare theatrical experiences that leaves audiences in awe and is the type of play that etches itself to your memory.’ – the new current ★★★★★

 ‘. . .beautifully written. . .a powerful narrative which re-transports the viewer away from the European front line of 1916 and into colonial India. This play is both simple in narrative structure and complex in its effect; sad and hopeful, tragic and comedic. It’s a perfect hour long exploration of human nature. . .’ – londontheatre1 ★★★★★

 ‘Greene is a man who chooses his words carefully, and sure enough, Fear in a Handful of Dust captures that bleakness well. However, there’s also a beauty in this work – you can’t fail to be moved by the basic humanity that rests at its core.’ – views from the gods  ★★★★

‘A powerful and indescribable monolith to the human spirit. Surprising and brutal.’ – grump gay critic ★★★★

Despite the subject matter, this play crackles with snappy dialogue and humour, inviting you to consider the terrible sacrifices made by so many men 100 years ago.‘ – everything theatre ★★★★

‘The brilliance of this play is to show two men trapped in a nightmare they cannot get out of and they know it.’ – theatre bubble ★★★★

‘…where Sevan Greene’s intense, grittily believable two-hander succeeds in distinguishing itself is in its intimacy.’ – exuent ★★★★

‘An original stance on a war we often feel we know well.’  ginger hibiscus ★★★★

Narrow Daylight (workshop production)

The Actors Theatre of Charlotte, North Carloina
dir. Peter Smeal

‘Playwright Sevan Kaloustian Greene captures what real grief can look like and reflects it back to the audience.’ – artsalamode

‘…a tough, topical situation treated with a deft blend of comedy and explosive drama.’ creative loafing – charlotte

‘…tightly and efficiently constructed, credibly characterized, evoking sympathy without pleading for it.’the charlotte observer

Narrow Daylight skillfully channels contemporary life through the universal themes of love, loss, reconciliation, and family.’ – cvnc

‘…a play that adds an exciting new voice to our modern stage.’ – Matt Casper, Charlotte Viewpoint

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Literary

New York

currently seeking new American literary representation

 

In the meantime please address all requests to Nick Quinn. Thanks so much!

London

The Agency (London) Ltd
ATTN: Nick Quinn
24, Pottery Lane
London W11 4LZ
tel : 020-7727-1346
nquinn@theagency.co.uk

Acting

Roth & Associates, East, Inc.
ATTN: Wayne Scherzer
250 West 85th St. Suite 15E
New York , NY 10024
tel: 212-579-1746
RothEast@gmail.com