Poster image courtesy Wajahat Ali

Poster image courtesy Wajahat Ali

The Domestic Crusaders

May 8–22, Sunnyvale Theatre

A Dramatic Comedy in English by Wajahat Ali

Directed by Ravi Bhatnagar

Produced by Diya Parial & Pratish Shah

What does it mean to be Muslim in a post 9/11 America?

Six members of a Pakistani-American Muslim family, spanning three generations, reunite at the family home to celebrate the youngest son’s 21st birthday. As the day unfolds, they spar about everything from Biryani to racism and from airport security checks to Middle Eastern politics. Much of it is what you would expect of the immigrant experience. But 9/11 has changed this Muslim family’s “American dream” forever.

The Domestic Crusaders has been staged Off-Broadway, at Berkeley Rep and at numerous other theatres across the United States and the world, garnering generous praise along the way.

2 hours | Ages 12+

Praise for The Domestic Crusaders

Wajahat Ali is writing about contemporary and essential matters, a source not only of laughter but, more importantly, of understanding.
— Yann Martel, Booker Prize-winning author of Life of Pi
This play is brilliant. Moving. Shapely. Clever. Funny.
— Toni Morrison, American novelist and Nobel Prize winner
(The term Crusaders) refers to hundreds of years of alleged inherent acrimony between the West and Islam....I wanted to reframe that within this multi-hyphenated Muslim-American family. These ‘crusaders’, instead of being blood-thirsty warmongers, are nuanced, hypocritical, self-involved, quirky people. Instead of Kalashnikovs and swords and missiles, we see them fighting with stinging barbs and wit and regrets and secrets—good old-fashioned drama and melodrama.
— Wajahat Ali, Journalist, Playwright and Author of The Domestic Crusaders
The Domestic Crusaders is exactly the sort of theater we need today. The gulf that separates cultures must be bridged and Art is one of our best hopes.
— Emma Thompson, Academy Award-winning Actress and Screenplay Writer
Ali’s sensitive treatment of the tensions and triumphs of the Muslim American community gives viewers a rare window into this often discussed but seldom heard member of the American mosaic. His debut play is destined to be a social and cultural phenomena.
— Dalia Mogahed, President Obama's Advisor on Faith
The Domestic Crusaders is fast, funny, whip-smart and both constantly surprising and deeply edifying. If you see only one irreverent, hilarious, profound, furious and big-hearted play about a Pakistani-American family living in a post-9-11 world, make it this one.
— Dave Eggers, Pulitzer Prize-nominated Author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and Zeitoun


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Sindu Singh as Khulsoom

Sindu Singh as Khulsoom

Sindu Singh has acted in multiple productions with various Bay Area theatre companies. She recently directed Mahesh Dattani's Dance Like a Man in which she essayed the character of Ratna. Her other notable roles include Naina Kumar in Basab Pradhan's adaptation of Ibsen's A Doll's House, Damyanti Rane in Mahesh Elkunchwar's Party, Bagheera in Harish Sunderam Agastya's Mowgli and I, Sarita in Vijay Tendulkar's Kamla, Hamida Begum in Asghar Wajahat's Jis Lahore Nahin Vekhya O Jammyai Nahin, Bhagwati in Divided Together, Sukanya Chakraborty's adaptation of Hayavadana for Stanford's Winter Repertory and the dual roles of Indal and Mahil in Swang Nautanki Mandali's Indal Haran performed by invitation at UT AustinShe lent her voice as narrator to Birbal and the Palace Thief, an innovative children's app for the iPad and iPhone. In 2013, Sindu founded 'Rangmanch', a South Asian theatre group for the Stanford University community, and for the group's maiden production, she directed Yoni ki Baat, the South Asian version of Eve Ensler's Vagina Monologues.  She regularly emcees cultural events and has featured in poetry recitations and dance narrations.

 

Basab Pradhan as Salman

Basab Pradhan as Salman

Basab Pradhan's interest in theatre started at a young age and continued all through his school and college years during which he acted in and directed dozens of plays. Most recently, Basab essayed the role of Jairaj in Dattani's Dance Like a Man.  He penned and directed a highly acclaimed South Asian adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House.  His other notable acting work has included the role of Devraj Sarthi in Rahul Varma's Bhopal, the evil Uncle in Mahesh Dattani's 30 Days in September, the Doctor in Mahesh Elkunchwar's Party, and the lead role of Rajiv in Sanjeev Desai's Go to Your Room, Mother!

 

Satish Ullal as Hakim

Satish Ullal as Hakim

Satish Ullal has been acting since he was 15 in school plays and in college where he was the Dramatics Secretary for the National College of Arts and Science. Having studied acting at Stanford with Kay Kostopoulos and FABA at Expression college, Satish has been active in the Bay Area theatre circuit, playing supporting roles in plays like Ishq Mein Risk, Go to Your Room, Mother! and Merchant on Venice. He has also modeled for several Bay Area Fortune 500 companies and played a supporting role in the feature film, Love Pyar Whatever. His goal in life is to one day be able to singularly dedicate himself to what he loves most – acting, singing and art.

 

Afroz Zain Algiers as Fatima

Afroz Zain Algiers as Fatima

Afroz Zain Algiers stumbled into theatre in her first year of college and has acted in and directed several plays since then. Most recently, she performed in and helped organize Yoni Ki Baat for Rangmanch, a South Asian theatre group at Stanford University. Her experience includes improv theatre and she is grateful for her improv troupe Rosie's Cabinet that runs weekly sessions for graduate students. Afroz is currently pursuing a PhD at the Stanford Global Projects Center and studies social identities and control on collaborative construction projects. She grabs every opportunity to travel and gets very excited about teaching, cooking elaborate meals, and community organizing.

 

Varun Maker as Sal

Varun Maker as Sal

Originally from New Delhi, Varun Maker is a theatre enthusiast who moved to the US nine years ago and to the Bay Area just five months ago. In this short period, The Domestic Crusaders will be his second play here after August: Osage County. Previously, Varun was in the Seattle cast of Everything But The Paper

Varun’s love for acting, however, began in childhood. He acted in one-act plays, street plays and inter-school theater competitions throughout his schooling years. He is excited that after his last two outings which were intense dramas, he will be essaying a comedic role in The Domestic Crusaders. Varun holds a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He currently lives in San Francisco and works as a Product Manager at Box in Redwood City.

 

Azam Khan as Ghafur

Azam Khan as Ghafur

Azam Khan’s interest in writing and the performing arts started in early childhood. He played an instrumental role in producing a few short films alongside students of the Academy of Arts.

Azam is currently a Content Marketing Strategist working with brands to operationalize content creation with storytelling as their core tenet. He is an expert in the gaming industry with over 300 publications under his belt. A dancer for over a decade and an avid participant in open mic and improv events, he now looks forward to pursuing his passion for acting under the mentorship of theatre veterans. 


Producers Diya Parial
Pratish Shah
Stage Managers Havish Ravipati
Prabhat Telidevara
Ezhil Nakkeeran
Set Design Sindu Singh
Subashinee Krishnamurthy
Sets Sonu Bains
Varun Kaundinya
Namita Sathyan
Sathish Shenoy
Sai Vaidyam
Costumes Kaveri Seth
Props Diya Parial
Sindu Singh
Lights Adhikesavan Suresh
Rover Spotts
Sound Anju Chugh
Pranav Jhumkhawala
Voiceovers Paul Costello
Dhira Khosla
Havish Ravipati
Phil Wiseman
Graphics Basab Pradhan
Photography Swagato Basumallick
Gaurav Mittal
Ticketing Sathish Shenoy
Anamika Shah
Marketing Maleeha Mahmood
Purva Maitra Sinha
Aditi Marathe
Ahmed Zaafran
Marketing Videos Shekhar Hemnani

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