Production tells story of a Muslim woman’s journey
Written by Stephanie Dickrell, sctimes.com
COLD SPRING — A unique, touring production that attempts to dispel stereotypes of Muslims in America made a stop at the Cold Spring branch of the Great River Regional Library Tuesday night.
About 40 audience members were treated to a performance of “Hijab Tube,” a production of Minneapolis’ Mixed Blood Theatre. The library has hosted other Mixed Blood productions.
This is the third year “Hijab Tube” has toured the state. It has made stops in Central Minnesota, as well as Iowa, Canada and Nebraska. The tour continues through May 6. The family show has been performed at colleges, community centers, and middle and high schools.
“The reaction (of audiences) has been tremendous,” said Artistic Director Jack Reuler. The majority of attendees around the region had been learning some basics about Islam. For other audience members, it meant seeing themselves — another Muslim person — on stage.
“When they see this play, they see themselves reflected in a positive light,” he said.
The short play follows a 20-year-old Muslim woman’s journey of identity, exploring what it means to be a Muslim in general and what it means to her.
She’s a second-generation immigrant who takes a comparative religion class at her university. She decides to take on the idea of wearing a hijab, a head covering. Her family doesn’t follow the tradition. But the play looks at a variety of ways that Islam and Muslims are seen in America.
The playwright’s premise is that Islam can be separated from the dogma of a certain country’s politics, Reuler said.
“Islam in American really holds the promise of hope,” Reuler said. The play attempts to debunk some myths and draw comparisons and similarities between the Judeo-Christian and Muslim traditions.
“It’s far more of a cultural play than a religious play,” he said.
The cast of the play comes from Muslim families whose roots are in Iran, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia — but all were born in the U.S.
After the play, they stick around to hold a brief question-and-answer session. There are questions about how a mosque works, the role of an Iman and the difference between Islam and a Muslim.
“Having a conversation is really the start,” said Sarah Siadat, who plays the main character Rubiya. She said the sessions afterward are her favorite part.
Barb Omann, an English teacher at Rocori High School, encourages her students to attend out-of-school activities with a global perspective like “Hijab Tube,” and gives them extra credit for doing so.
Andrea Overman, a Rocori 10th-grader, is doing a school report on Malcom X, who converted to Islam. She came to get a different perspective.
“I wanted to get a perspective other than his,” she said.
Original post: Production tells story of a Muslim woman’s journey