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THE STRANGEST – an Immersive Murder Mystery – is Coming to New York

Hi Everyone! Am so thrilled to be working with May Adrales on The Strangest. Info from the official press release is below.


The Strangest, directed by May Adrales (“Vietgone”), will run at the Fourth Street Theatre in New York City from March 11 – April 1. Sixteen performances only!

The Strangest invites audiences into an immersive theatrical experience in which they enter a traditional Arab storytelling café, where for centuries masters of the oral tradition wove tales of intrigue. The Strangest is an absurdist murder mystery loosely inspired by the unnamed Arab killed in Albert Camus’ classic novel, The Stranger. Experience French Algiers on the brink of revolution, and witness three Arab brothers vie for the love of the same woman. Their bitter rivalry ends only when one is gunned down by a French stranger. Written by Betty Shamieh (The Black Eyed, Roar, Fit for a Queen) and directed by May Adrales (Vietgone, Luce)

French Algeria was a hybrid of Eastern and Western cultures that fascinated some of the most important writers and artists of the twentieth century, including Albert Camus, Jean Genet, and Jean-Paul Sartre. In 1848, Algeria was made part of France. It was the first colonization of an Arab country since the Crusades, and hundreds of thousands of Europeans immigrated and settled there. The Algerian War for Independence began over a hundred years later in 1954. The Strangest evokes that cultural hybridity, mixing oral Arab storytelling techniques with Western theatrical practices of multi-character scenes in a way that illuminates the strengths and similarities of both those performance traditions.

In 2011, writer Betty Shamieh traveled to Aleppo, Syria to conduct research on storytelling cafes for The Strangest. Syria was chosen rather than Algeria not only because Shamieh understood the Levantine dialect, but also because it ironically was deemed safer and less likely to be touched by the events of the Arab Spring. She and her team arrived in Aleppo during the week when the first anti-government protests began. Not only were they able to document these legendary storytelling sites that are no longer standing, or have ceased to be cultural centers for the first time in centuries, but also a society on the verge of civil war and self-destruction.

The Strangest is a truly singular theatrical event that invites audiences to experience the centuries old live performance tradition of Arabic storytelling that predates Shakespeare, and to enter into a world that most New Yorkers might otherwise never be able to access, particularly at this time where it is much more difficult for Arab artists to perform in America.


The 16-show performance schedule for The Strangest is:

Saturday, March 11

7:30 PM (Preview)

Sunday, March 12

5:00 PM (Preview)

Tuesday, March 14

7:30 PM (Preview)

Wednesday, March 15


Friday, March 17

7:30 PM

Saturday, March 18

7:30 PM

Monday, March 20

7:30 PM

Tuesday, March 21

7:30 PM

Thursday, March 23

7:30 PM

Friday, March 24

7:30 PM

Saturday, March 25

7:30 PM

Sunday, March 26

5:00 PM

Tuesday, March 28

7:30 PM

Thursday, March 30

7:30 PM

Friday, March 31

7:30 PM

Saturday, April 1

2:00 PM


Regular Price: $25

Premium: $45 (Includes a reserved seat and a signed program)

For more info, please visit:

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