For the last five years, playwright Rohina Malik has performed her one woman play, "Unveiled." The play focuses on the lives of five Muslim women in the wake of 9/11. She attests her play touches audience members regardless of their background.
“One after another young, white male college students kept coming up to me personally and saying, thank you so much, it was eye opening,” Malik said about a recent experience performing at an college in Ohio.
Malik will perform "Unveiled" this Saturday at 8 p.m. at Washington University’s Edison Theater. The piece will be performed as part of a season that features conversations and plays related to veiling, occurring at both the Edison Theater and the Mustard Seed Theater at Fontbonne University.
Malik intends to hold a post-show dialogue about the performance. She said dialogues open the space for positive and negative reactions but that she believes there’s something to be gained from either response.
Malik said the performance was planned well before the protests in Ferguson over the shooting death of Michael Brown but feels her piece touches on issues relevant to the St. Louis community.
“Even though what happened in Ferguson didn’t happen to a Muslim, often people who have experienced racial profiling and experienced police brutality and experienced racism from police see my show and talk about it,” Malik said.
Malik wrote the piece after 9/11 when she felt compelled to write a play that dealt with issues of race, religion, and stereotypes. Her piece debuted at the 16th Street Theater in Berwyn, IL , just outside Chicago, and quickly sold out its initial two week run. Although the piece is five years old, Malik maintains its relevancy, as she's performed it across the country.
“We need to keep having conversations about racism in this country. We need it so badly,” said Malik.