BOOKED: LOST & GUIDED/THE DJINN

I was honored to work on two very unique projects that really stretched me as an actor this summer.

Lost and Guided written and directed by Irene Kapustina, Co-Founder and Artistic & Executive Director of The Angle Project, is an important piece about the immigrant and refugee experience that transcends its settings. Encouraging inclusion and empathy is extremely important, and this play does just that. It opened my eyes to what it really means to try to find your place in the world and a true home. I was so moved to hear about people's experiences after watching our readings in Portland, Maine, produced by the New England Arab American Organization (NEAAO)

 Salma as Rima in   Lost and Guided   at the Camden Opera House.

Salma as Rima in Lost and Guided at the Camden Opera House.

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Divya Mangwani's brand-spanking new play, The Djinn, allowed me to explore two different characters in Pakistan: a woman who may be suffering from dementia and...a djinn. Moving between the two roles was definitely amazing and a challenge to embody. Under Arpita Mukherjee's skillful direction, we workshopped the play and presented it at Rattlestick.

Producing Our Own Work

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Five years ago, I moved to NYC after producing my final show in DC. But for the last year and a half, I have been working with others in the community to create an artists coalition to promotion awareness, visibility and inclusion for those who identify as Middle Eastern, North African and South Asian (MENASA). What has been ruminating for the past year culminated in our first MENASA Cabaret through the Actors' Equity Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to educate and celebrate the talents within the MENASA community on Monday, April 2.

The night was incredible and filled with unique stories, monologues, songs and poetry from 20 artists. I even got to sing my dream role (Elphaba) in a fun and unique take on a Wicked Medley.

It was my honor to co-produce the event with fellow AEA members, Nandita Shenoy (AEA EEOC member), Thomas Dolan and Jonathan Raviv. Many thanks to Actors' Equity for their sponsorship and the Atlantic Theater Company for their venue sponsorship!

BOOKED: TAMAR - A TWO-GATED CITY

Shared from Broadway World:

Two-Time Helen Hayes Award Recipient Salma Shaw To Appear In TAMAR (THE TWO-GATED CITY) Reading At Marble Collegiate Church

by BWW News Desk Mar. 8, 2018  

Two-time Helen Hayes Award recipient Salma Shaw will appear in a staged reading of TAMAR (The Two-Gated City), a play with songs, by award-winning playwright Emma Goldman-Sherman, on Thursday, March 15, 6:45pm, presented at Marble Collegiate Church at 29th St and 5th Avenue.

TAMAR is derived from two Bible stories addressing rape culture, re-imagined from a female perspective. Keisha Kogan directs. Moderated discussion and Q&A to follow, led by Rev. Barbara Crafton.

Salma Shaw was recently seen developing new work with unique themes such as Monsoon Wedding (29h reading) and This Time (NYT Critic's Pick). She has also been seen at the Kennedy Center, Studio Theatre, Arena, Round House and extensively on TV: The Path; Blue Bloods; Divorce. The cast also features veteran actor Carole Forman and Kelsea Feder, both recently seen at Bernie Wohl Theatre.

Playwright Goldman-Sherman creates timeless yet relevant feminist work that provokes/engages on multiple levels to acknowledge/heal what our culture denies and/or refuses to address. She is the Resident Dramaturg at 29th Street Playwrights Collective where she runs the Write Now Workshop. Her work has been produced at Dixon Place (WHORTICULTURE), New Ohio, WP Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Source, Golden Thread, EST-LA, Canal Cafe Theatre, and others. Goldman-Sherman was awarded a Jane Chambers Award and a is 3-time finalist w/Cutting Ball's Risk is This Festival.

BOOKED: THE PATH

The trailer has just come out, and I am thrilled to share that I will be seen in the dramatic first episode of Season 3 of Hulu's "The Path." I shot with Aaron Paul as well as the rest of the series regular and recurring cast and crew, and it truly felt like a collaboration. The episode will be available for streaming on January 17. 2018.

Trailer below:

BOOKED: CHANDLER AND IN SILENCE

  Ah...set life...

Ah...set life...

I have the honor to work on two independent short films this summer: Chandler by Julia Kennelly and In Silence by Ruba Mansouri. Both projects, written and directed by women, share stories about coming of age and struggling with sexual identity. Women are powerful and should not be afraid to discuss all parts of their lives. Our society has to become comfortable with that. I'm looking at you, 2017!

PRAISE for Acquittal at Pan Asian Rep

  • “Salma Shaw is profound…The ensemble is beautifully shepherded by the director. They turn in outstanding performances. This is a riveting, uplifting production that is not to be missed.”Theater Pizzazz
  • “Perhaps the most heartbreaking character in the play is Marium (Salma Shaw).”The Broadway Blog
  • "Shaw, whose character is pregnant from a gang rape, is energetic and expressive. There is a really touching scene where the women, all with remarkable singing voices, give Marium the new-bride ceremony she never received in real life. It bonds the women in the cell the same way it bonds women around the world, and was really beautiful to behold." Stage Buddy

Booked: Acquittal (Barri)

I am thrilled to start working on the Off Broadway production of Acquittal by Shahid Nadeem. Working with an entirely female cast and director, I am also excited to explore my own heritage.

From Pan Asian Rep:

ACQUITTAL focuses on four women in a Pakistani prison during the 1980s and how they unite in solidarity to overcome injustice. The play was inspired by the playwright’s own imprisonment as young man.

Playwright Shahid Nadeem says of his play, “ACQUITTAL was written in 1987, while I was living in exile in London. It has a specific reference to the early 1980s, when General Zia-ul-Haq had implemented blatant discriminatory ‘Islamic’ laws, which galvanized the women’s movement in Pakistan.” Shahid Nadeem is now the Artistic Director of Ajoka Theatre in Pakistan.

FEATURES
Aizzah Fatima | Gulshan Mia | Salma Shaw | Shetal Shah

Stage Managers: Luis Santiago & Sabrina Morabito
Lighting Design: Leslie Smith | Set Design: You-Shin Chen
Costumes: Hyun Sook Kim | Sound Design: Sinan Refik Zafar

PERFORMANCES
June 10th-25th
(Opening Night on June 15th w/ a reception afterwards)
in Studio Theatre at Theatre Row
410 W. 42nd Street, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10036

Tickets are $62.25* for Opening Night and $42.25 for Regular Performances. To purchase tickets go to bit.ly/acquittal2017, or by calling (212) 239-6200, or by visiting the box office. (*includes theatre restoration fee)

Want to know more?
Go to www.panasianrep.org
and be sure to follow us @panasianrep
on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
#panasianrep #Acquittal2017

Booked: Cleveland Play House and NYTW

I had the incredible opportunity to work with the amazing folks at the Cleveland Play House on a series of monologues that were filmed and will be shown in schools. Hopefully, I'll be able to share some clips from that piece, but it was terrific to be able to rehearse and film the piece in one day and be able to discover the comedy and the truth in the moment. Loved it!

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I also spent April working at the New York Theatre Workshop on a new play by 2050 Fellow Francis Weiss Rabkin with music by Leslie Allison. Being in a room with very smart actors and creative team encouraged me to share and collaborate fully. And I discovered that I actually might have an inner writer within me! Or at least an inner script supervisor. :) I am very thankful to Francis and Leslie for letting me play with their creation.

Booked: Law & Order: SVU

After having a strong theater career in DC, I moved to New York and basically started over. During the past few years, I have pounded the pavement, forged new relationships with casting, found an acting family, and even managed to book six network roles. But when my unparalleled manager, Annette E. Alvarez, texted me: "U booked SVU!!!!" - my immediate response was, "OMG, OMG, OMG! I am a real New York actor!!!!!" 

Law & Order is a New York institution and has been a part of so many actors' careers that I admire. Though I know it is pursuing my passion that defines my success, a little validation doesn't hurt. Here's to lucky number 7!

Law & Order: SVU, Motherly Love, airs Wednesday, February 8, 2017, at 9pm ET.

Onwards and Upwards!

Four years in New York! I am celebrating:

  • Finding new shades of self as one of the leads in Kareem Fahmy and Sevan K. Greene's This Time, a NYT Critic's Pick
  • Fun TV work: Law & Order: SVU (NBC) (otherwise known as, Look! I am a real NYC actor!) and Shades of Blue (NBC)
  • Being told I was funny by Joy Behar, who wrote a new Italian-American comedy set in Queens that I read at Cherry Lane Theater and then breaking hearts in two readings of Abraham's Daughters by Emma Goldman-Sherman
  • Getting back to my musical roots in the 29h concert reading of Ocean in a Teacup, set in India
  • Strengthening my voice with Mike Maixner at Matt Farnsworth Voice and doing the one thing I adore: SINGING!
  • My tribe at AGR and studying with the gorgeous & generous Sarah Baskin
  • My wonderful team: Annette E. Alvarez of Multi-Ethnic Talent and Eddie Rabon of Take 3 Talent

Looking forward to a year hoping that we can all share in the creation of work that heals divides and gives us hope for the future.