The following was sent to the Bloomingtonian:
Constellation Stage & Screen presents
American Fast by Kareem Fahmy
On Stage March 23 – April 8 | Ted Jones Playhouse
Bloomington, IN – “It’s freaking lovely. I can’t wait to see it get all the glory it deserves.” – New Play Exchange
This spring, Constellation Stage & Screen is bringing a riveting new sports drama to Bloomington audiences! Since its premiere on January 3rd, 2023, at the Artists Repertory Theater in Portland, Oregon, American Fast has been met with rave reviews. Constellation’s production of this contemporary drama will run from March 23 through April 8 at the Ted Jones Playhouse. American Fast will also include “Pay What You Will Thursdays,” allowing audiences to see live theater for as little as $5 per ticket.
American Fast follows the story of college basketball superstar Khady Salama, who dreams of leading her team to the NCAA Championship. But in her senior year, March Madness coincides with Ramadan and she’s promised her devout mother that she’ll fast. When her story goes public, Khady unexpectedly becomes a role model for young Muslim women everywhere, with just one small problem…she’s lying about fasting. As the tournament unfolds, Khady is forced to grapple with her faith, family, and what it means to win at all costs.
Constellation is thrilled to be working with Canadian playwright Kareem Fahmy, “a leading voice in the American Middle Eastern theater,” on this production. Earlier this year, Constellation awarded Fahmy with the 2022 Woodward/Newman Playwriting Award for American Fast. The Woodward/Newman Award is an exclusive honor offered by Constellation Stage & Screen, started through the direct support of Joanne Woodward, Newman’s Own Foundation, and the Newman family, celebrating Paul Newman & Joanne Woodward’s tremendous history of work on stage and screen. It presents the best unpublished play of the year with a cash prize of $3,000 and a full production as part of Constellation’s Mainstage season. After Constellation’s production, American Fast will continue its rolling world premiere at City Theatre in Pittsburgh and InterAct Theatre in Philadelphia. Be the first to see it on the Constellation stage!
American Fast brings together a strong cast of professional actors from across the country, all of whom are making their Constellation debuts. Victoria Nassif stars in the leading role as Khady, with Haneen Arafat, Austin Michael Young, and TayLar starring as Suzan, Gabe, and Coach respectively.
Director Reena Dutt recently served as Assistant Director on the Broadway production of The Collaboration. She is an independent producer and an alum of the San Francisco Film Society/Kenneth Rainin Producing Fellowship, Trans Atlantic Partners, and Film Independent’s Project Involve. Dutt is also the founder of Painted Tree Productions and co-founder of Off-Chance Productions. Reena is joined by a talented creative team, including Tabitha Burton (Stage Manager), Xinyuan Li (Scenic Designer), Azra King-Abadi (Lighting Designer), Kathryn Rohe (Costume Designer), M. Glenn Schuster (Sound Designer), Aubrey Krueger (Props Master), Barb Steininger (Lead Props Artisan), and Katie Ayers (Assistant Stage Manager).
American Fast is supported, in part, through Constellation’s Fund for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. To learn more about Constellation’s DEI efforts visit seeconstellation.org/about/dei. To help make live theater more accessible, Constellation is offering Pay What You Will Thursdays for every Mainstage production at the Waldron Arts Center and Ted Jones Playhouse. On Thursday evenings for these productions, audience members can pay as little as $5 to see a Constellation show. For all other performances, tickets start at $35 for adults and $20 for students. Tickets for American Fast are on sale now and available through Constellation’s website (seeconstellation.org) and box office (812-336-9300, open M-F 12-5pm).
Also relevant for those who love all things basketball is Constellation’s upcoming screening of the classic 90’s underdog story, Love & Basketball, a perfect pairing for American Fast. Quincy McCall and Monica Wright grew up in the same neighborhood and have known each other since childhood. As they grow into adulthood, they fall in love, but they also share another all-consuming passion: basketball. They eventually follow separate career paths through high school and college basketball and, they hope, into stardom in big-league professional ball. The screening will take place at the Waldron Rose Firebay (122 S Walnut St) on Saturday, March 4 at 7:30 PM. Tickets for the film screening are $8 in advance and $12 at the door (on sale now at SeeConstellation.org).
American Fast is going to be a slam dunk. It’s time to score seats for the show!