In its first few pages SUCH A BEAUTIFUL VOICE IS SAYEDA'S transports you to another world. Here, Islam hangs in the very air you breathe; spirits, or Jinns, may lurk near; flattering dresses and lipstick are evidence of infidelity; and a woman singing can bring dishonor and ruin to herself and her family. Lyrical and delicate, and suffused with moments of haunting theatricality, this exploration of the oppression of the human spirit is a perfect jewel of the one-act art. (3 men, 6 women, doubling possible.) KARIMA'S CITY. Karima's beloved city is changing around her. The seeds-and-nuts vendor, the fruit seller and the butcher who used to greet her each morning no longer do. Everywhere concrete monstrosities are rising, and the trees are vanishing. These changes are making Karima physically ill, and she can no longer keep silent. But whenever she speaks her mind, all manner of suffering befalls her. In a society that judges iconoclasts shameful, dangerous and a menace, it slowly becomes apparent that Karima's devastating fate has already been written. Touching on issues of enormous significance in the Islamic world, this finely wrought play bubbles with unexpected charm and humor as it leads to its inexorable conclusion. (6 to 7 actors can play the 25 roles.)
"[El Guindi] brings a poetically charged voice to the struggle by Muslim women to sound their own voices in this impressive pair of one acts." —LA Times. "…fascinating and compelling, powerful in their imagery, they engage with the beauty and passion of their startling, almost unimaginable reality…" —BackStage West (Critic's Pick). "…quietly splendid: a gossamer, lyrical little pair of tales highlighting the plight of modern Muslim women…something sure to haunt your thinking next time News at Ten uses those stock images of [them]…" —LA Alternative.
"…eminently convincing in their verity and yes, humor…we're able to laugh and sometimes cry with a couple of veiled beauties who have somehow managed to marshal their strength and fight oppression whenever they meet it…Both stories are poetic, compelling and powerful." —Park Labrea News/Beverly Press. "…the plays have a universal resonance, as though the women's battles with snotty co-workers, penny-pinching husbands and antidepressant medications were being waged in Cleveland." —LA Weekly.