Review: Zayd Dohrn Plumbs Muslim-American Rifts in ‘The Profane’
By LAURA COLLINS-HUGHES, APRIL 10, 2017
Oh, poor Sam. He’s traveled all this way at Thanksgiving to meet his girlfriend’s parents, and her father won’t even shake his hand. Good-looking, polite, pre-med, Sam seems eminently presentable — but not to this family. He gets zero points for being smitten with their daughter Emina.
“Of all the guys you could have picked?” her sister Aisa (Francis Benhamou) says in “The Profane,” Zayd Dohrn’s approachably eloquent, frequently comic new drama at Playwrights Horizons. “You know this is Pa’s worst nightmare.”
Raif (Ali Reza Farahnakian), their father, is a famous novelist who came to the United States as a student, leaving the Islam of his youth behind. Naja (the extraordinary Heather Raffo), their mother, was a dancer. Everything about this immigrant couple — their spacious Greenwich Village apartment, teeming tastefully with books and art; their accents, by now standard American — suggests comfortable assimilation into an elite stratum of secular society.
These are not people who hoped that a child of theirs would fall in love with a son of conservative Muslims, yet Emina (Tala Ashe) has. Away at college, she has started to remake herself accordingly: No alcohol, and […]