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Invasion! - Full Length Play, Satire/Political Satire


Jonas Hassen Khemiri, Rachel Willson-Broyles

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Full Length Play, Satire/Political Satire

3m, 1f

ISBN: 9780573700675

Jonas Hassen Khemiri
Translated by Rachel Willson-Broyles
Directed and adapted for the New York stage by Erica Schmidt
"If you’ve ever wished somebody would write a razor-sharp play anatomizing lazy paranoia about the Middle East―somebody has." - The Village Voice
At once hilarious, disturbing, and poignant, this deeply subversive play deconstructs a threatening identity – the Arabic male – and forces us to confront our own cultural identity.
: Acting Edition
: Large Print
: Stage Manager

Minimum Fee: $75 per performance


Full Length Play

Satire/Political Satire


90 minutes

Time Period - Contemporary


Audience Participation/Interactive, No intermission, Physical Comedy, Play w/ Music, Stage Combat, Multimedia

Cutting Approved for Competition, Monologues, Scene work, Competition or audition material

Bare Stage/Simple Set

Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes


Gun Shots, Intense Adult Themes, Strong Language


Adult, Teen (Age 14 - 18)


College Theatre / Student, Community Theatre, Professional Theatre, Shoestring Budget, Outdoor, Large Stage, Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups


Obie, From Off-Broadway

Winner! 2011 Obie for Playwriting
A New York Times Critic's Pick!

Invasion! is a tornado of words, images and ideas, all centered around a magical name: Abulkasem. The play assaults our deepest prejudices about identity, race and language. At once hilarious, disturbing and poignant, this deeply subversive play deconstructs a threatening identity – the Arabic male – and forces us to confront our own cultural identity.


"CRITIC'S PICK! A slyly entertaining comedy with a sharp political edge... expresses confusion with remarkable clarity." - The New York Times

"If you’ve ever wished somebody would write a razor-sharp play anatomizing lazy paranoia about the Middle East―somebody has." - The VillageVoice

"A high-energy, often hectic experience, with theatrical and political ideas bouncing off each other like pinballs." - Backstage

"It's a stimulating, challenging, and rewarding ride." - NY Theatre

"Ask no more questions. Do not hesitate. This is without a doubt one of the best plays I have seen this entire season – and that includes Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway. It's an extremely intelligent, linguistically complex, politically charged, attention grabbing, rapid-fire tour de force for each of its 75 sharply written, cunningly directed, and superbly acted and deliciously well received minutes." - New York NearSay

"One of the best social commentaries in dramatic form of the past few years, and you owe it to yourself to see it as soon as you can." - CurtainUp

"in the hands of director Erica Schmidt and in the voices and interpretative moments of all four ensemble actors, this play is funny, sad, and thoroughly engaging." - Berkshire Fine Arts

"Playfulness and seriousness intermingle to disturbing - and awfully satisfying - effect." - Theater Mania

"Snarky and subversive, Invasion! hits home without pulling punches...truly remarkable production...whip-smart and deftly dealt production and a must see for anyone who's sick of America's political dead weight and the present dramatic doldrums." - Theasy.com

"exceptionally put together by the playwright who has entertainment as well as enlightenment of some very serious subject matter on his mind...the perfect production to wake you from those winter doldrums." - OscarMoore.com

"When you're in the hands of totally confident, committed theatre artists - well, there's nothing like it...The Play Company finds relatively unknown contemporary international playwrights with something to say. This is one of their best finds yet." - Lighting&Soundamerica

“Wonderful, fantastic, magnificent...a manic phantasmagoria...a real find... Please add this play to your repertoire.” - Süddeutsche Zeitung about the production at Münchner Kammerspiele (Munich Studio Theater)

Invasion! was originally produced for the stage in New York City by The Play Company, under founding producer Kate Loewald. It was directed by adapter Erica Schmidt.



3m, 1f


Cross gender casting, Reduced casting (Doubling Possible), Expandable casting, Flexible casting, Multicultural casting


N/A (Not a musical)

A - man, 40-50 years old; plays Actor 1, Lance, Guide, Journalist, Apple Picker
B - man, 20-25 years old; plays Arvind, Expert 1, Fanon-Lover
C - woman, 20-25 years old; plays Actor 2, Lara, Expert 2, Interpreter
D - man, 20-25 years old; plays Yousef, Alexandra, Eric, Expert 3, Anti-Nuclear Lady, Little Brother

Rental Materials


N/A (Not a musical)


N/A (Not a musical)

Jonas Hassen  Khemiri

Jonas Hassen Khemiri

Jonas Hassen Khemiri, born in Sweden in 1978, is the author of three novels and six plays. His first novel, One Eye Red, received the Borås Tidning award for best literary debut. His second novel, Montecore, won several literary awards including the Swedish Radio Award for best novel of the year and the PO Enquist Literary Prize for the most promising young European writer. Mr. Khemiri’s books ... view full profile

Rachel  Willson-Broyles

Rachel Willson-Broyles

Rachel Willson-Broyles is a freelance translator specializing in literature. She holds a BA in Scandinavian Studies from Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, MN; and a Ph.D. in the same field from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her translations include Jonas Hassen Khemiri's plays Invasion! and I Call My Brothers and his novel Montecore (Knopf, 2011). She lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota. view full profile

Now Playing
Alicia Coombes 4/23/2013 10:56 PM
Never believe that you know what's coming next - this play will surprise you at every turn.  Simultaneously playing off of fear and humor, Invasion! follows not a character, but a name:  Abulkasem.  Four actors jump into and out of character, playing experts on "Abulkasem" one minute, embodying a different interation of "Abulkasem" the next.  Abulkasem is an idea, a powerhouse, a player, a pawn.  The experts are fond of Abulkasem, then obsessed, then angry.  Who is Abulkasem?  The play never quite answers that question, but using short scenarios and a hip-hop sensibility, delves deeply into the ways we explore Middle Eastern ideas and people.  The play implicates the audience as the hunt for truth exposes more than what is hidden. Several heartbreaking monologues punctuate the fast-paced dialogue, tripping and turning on the language while stabbing the audience in the gut.  

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