TO THE DEATH OF MY OWN FAMILY
A Full-Length Drama
Video is from the one-woman performance on tour in India.
It is now a multi-cultural, multi-cast of characters.
TO THE DEATH OF MY OWN FAMILY is an intensely dramatic nonlinear play about an Afghan-American woman who returns to Afghanistan to help her father escape, only to witness the carnage of her entire family. Upon her return to the U.S., she is detained, interrogated, and forced to justify her journey in order to reclaim her citizenship. We then learn about a deeper, darker secret that has shadowed the family for many years, but which they do not want to confront until they are forced to confront each other in the face of death. In this haunting multi-character version, it developed from a one-woman show in which time is suspended and no one in the audience knows how long they are in the theater. In actual time, it runs about 1:30 minutes with no intermission , but like a moment of deep emotion, no clock is running.
"I was moved by the theatricality of the structure- seamlessly shifting from past to present, from the US to Afghanistan, the depth of the familial relationships, and the way that the text balances the intimate and the global."' Aaron Malkin, Literary Director, New York Theatre Workshop - 2021
"... Poignant, thought-provoking ... and moving play." Helena Pennington, Literary Dept. Manhattan Theatre Club - 2021
"It's a gripping piece, and I found the layers of interrogation and Nadeema's memories compelling." Kate Moore Heaney, Long Wharf Theatre, New Haven, Ct - 2021"
“Nadeema’s story is certainly one worth telling ... A harrowing, honest narrative,” Jack Phillips Moore, Director, New Artists & Dramaturgy Pipeline, The Public, NYC - 2019
“Deeply felt, highly theatrical portrait of a family separated by war”, Lizzie Stern, Literary Manager, Playwrights Horizons, NYC - 2018.
“Haunting and heart-wrenching ...” Marissa Wolf, Crowded Fired Theater, San Francisco, after seeing the play at the SF Theater Festival - July, 2009.
“Yes, I did do a one-person show in LA called “To The Death Of My Own Family” for The Lonestar Ensemble. It was a very intense experience…to go inside the true story of the soul of this woman who basically recounts the death of all of her family members in an effort to get out of a holding room by the U.S. Government (who suspects her to be a terrorist). It was brutal/exhilarating to go that “place” emotionally every Friday and Saturday night for weeks. It was an honor to be true to the playwright in portraying this strong woman’s story and it was a powerful piece that I hoped touched the lives of those who saw it. I truly believe that art is one of the many ways to spread knowledge in hopes that the knowledge will slowly abolish hatred and inspire peace in this world.” Sonal Shah
A Special Thanks
For your help in understanding the culture and language of Afghanistan
Freshta Tori Jan
Zahra and Rona Mirzai and Family
Click image for video trailer.