Alliance/Kendeda Week: Memorial: A Verbatim Play

Fri, Mar 10
Rehearsal Hall A

The Alliance Theatre presents the four finalists of its 2023 Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition in free, staged readings during Alliance/Kendeda Week celebrating new works.  


By Adam Ashraf Elsayigh from Brooklyn College and Arianna Gayle Stucki from The Juilliard School
Directed by Tinashe Kajese-Bolden

Memorial is a verbatim play that centers on the experience of survivors of the mosque shootings that occurred on March 15, 2019, in Christchurch, New Zealand. Using embodied rituals and practices, as well as projection and found sound, Memorial chronicles the impact of the terrorist attack through the words of five Christchurch citizens.

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Adam Ashraf Elsayigh was born in Cairo, Egypt When soon thereafter, Adam’s parents relocated the family to Dubai, Adam grew up in a religious Muslim household with American cable TV, going to a British school in a Gulf state where over 90% of the population were migrant workers. This upbringing at the cross-section of cultures is at the core of the artist Adam is. 

Today, Adam is a a writer, theatermaker, and dramaturg who writes and develops plays that interrogate the intersections of queerness, immigration, and colonialism. Adam’s plays (including Drowning in Cairo, Revelation, Memorial, and Jamestown/ Williamsburg) have been developed and seen at New York Theater Workshop, The Lark, The Tisch School of the Arts, The LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, and Golden Thread Productions. Adam is a fellow at Georgetown University's Laboratory for Global Performance and an Alliance/Kendeda Award Finalist. He holds a BA in Theater and Dramaturgy from NYU Abu Dhabi and is an MFA Candidate in Playwriting at Brooklyn College. Learn more about what Adam is up to at

Arianna Gayle Stucki is an actor and playwright, born into a large nonconformist Mormon family in Utah, USA. Arianna received her Bachelors in Theatre Arts from NYU Abu Dhabi, traveling to 20+ countries to witness the myriad ways of being in this great globe, and to celebrate how different cultures express story, belief, and what it means to be human.  She has recently graduated with her Masters of Fine Arts in Acting from the Juilliard School, and is currently in the first National Tour of Aaron Sorkin’s (and Harper Lee’s) To Kill a Mockingbird, playing the role of Mayella Ewell.  Her plays have been seen at New York Theatre Workshop, The Lark, The Juilliard School, Tisch School of the Arts, and LaGuardia Performing Arts Center; and streamed throughout the world including NYU Abu Dhabi and Kampala International Theatre Festival.

Arianna’s guiding question in all of her life’s work is how we may encounter difference without fear; a question she’d never have the courage to continually ask without her idiosyncratic family, her global community, her artistic homes, her mother, and particularly those that come to listen.  Thank you all. Onwards. 

Tinashe Kajese-Bolden Award-Winning Director, Actor, Producer. She is the BOLD Artistic Director Fellow at the Alliance Theater and driven to create stories that celebrate our differences while building community. Tinashe is a Princess Grace 2019 Award Winner for Directing, and Map Fund Award recipient to develop her devised new work All Smiles for Theater for the Very Young, centering the experience of children on the Autism Spectrum. Recent theatre directing productions include School Girls (Or the African Mean Girls Play) at Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre, Ghost at The Alliance Theater, Native Gardens (Virginia Stage Company), Pipeline (Horizon Theater), Nick’s Flamingo Grill (World Premiere at The Alliance Theatre, Hertz Stage), Eclipsed (Synchronicity Theatre, Best Director Suzi Bass Award). Upcoming projects: Lydia Diamond’s Toni Stone at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre and The Alliance Theatre, and Candrice Jone’s Flex at Theatrical Outfit for their 2021-22 Season. As a director and actor, she has worked On + Off Broadway, including The Imperial Theatre, Primary Stages, 59E59 Theatre, Classical Theatre of Harlem; and regionally at Yale Rep, Woolly Mammoth Theater Co, Cincinnati Playhouse, The Geva Theatre, CTG’s Kirk Douglas Theatre, among others, as well as recurring roles on TV/Film (Suicide Squad, Marvel’s Hawkeye, CW’s Valor, Dynasty, HBO’s Henrietta Lacks and currently filming Season 2 of Ava Duverney’s Cherish the Day.) She proudly serves on the ARTS-ATL Artist Advisory Council “My mission is the pursuit of what connects our different communities and how we create art that serves that.”



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