The Talented Ones

Event Date: 

Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 8:00pm to Saturday, May 23, 2015 - 8:00pm
Thursday, May 28, 2015 - 8:00pm to Saturday, May 30, 2015 - 8:00pm
Saturday, May 30, 2015 - 2:00pm

Event Location: 

  • Hatlen Theater

Event Price: 

$17 General Admission

$13 UCSB Student/Faculty/Staff/Alumni, Senior


by Yussef El Guindi     directed by Risa Brainin


This black comedy examines the thwarted dreams of immigrants eager to make it in their adopted country. As converts to the American Dream, notions of success and failure become challenging and lethal. Omar is falling down in his attempts to make a success of his life, while his wife Cindy appears to be doing much better, and is becoming increasingly frustrated by Omar’s struggles. His American friend, Patrick, may be Cindy’s way out. Mixing realism with memory and dance, The Talented Ones dissects with increasing ferocity this couple’s marriage and aspirations. Contains strong language: for mature audiences only.

More about the LAUNCH PAD program >>


Yussef El Guindi’s most recent productions include THE RAMAYANA (co-adaptor) at ACT; and PILGRIMS MUSA AND SHERI IN THE NEW WORLD (winner of the Steinberg/ American Theater Critics Association’s New Play Award in 2012; Gregory Award 2011; Seattle Times’ “Footlight Award” for Best World Premiere Play) also at ACT in Seattle, and at Center Repertory Company (Walnut Creek, CA) 2013; and LANGUAGE ROOMS (Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award, as well as ACT’s New Play Award), co-produced by the Asian American Theater Company and Golden Thread Productions in San Francisco, at the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia (premier), and at the Los Angeles Theater Center,  where it was co-produced by Golden Thread Productions and the Latino Theater Company. Other productions: THE REVIEW, a short internet play performed via Skype with actors in Cairo and San Francisco, produced by Golden Thread Productions.  JIHAD JONES AND THE KALASHNIKOV BABES, produced at Golden Thread Productions in San Francisco, at InterAct Theater in Philadelphia, and at Kitchen Dog theater in Dallas, as part of the National New Play Network. It has also been performed at Theater Schmeater in Seattle, at Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater in Massachusetts, and at Cyrano’s Theatre Company in Anchorage. OUR ENEMIES: LIVELY SCENES OF LOVE AND COMBAT, produced by Silk Road Theatre Project in Chicago, where it was Jeff Nominated, and was among the six finalists for the 2009 American Theater Critics Associations Steinberg/ New Play Award. The American Theater Critics Association gave it the 2009 M. Elizabeth Osborn Award. BACK OF THE THROAT: winner of the 2004 Northwest Playwrights’ Competition held by Theater Schmeater. It won L.A. Weekly’s Excellence in Playwriting Award for 2006. It was also nominated for the 2006 American Theater Critics Associations Steinberg/ New Play Award.  It was first staged by San Francisco’s Thick Description and Golden Thread Productions; then later presented in various theaters around the country including The Flea Theater in New York. Another play of his, TEN ACROBATS IN AN AMAZING LEAP OF FAITH, staged by Silk Road Theatre Project, won the After Dark Award for Best New Play in Chicago in 2006.  His two-related one-acts, ACTS OF DESIRE, were staged by the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles. BACK OF THE THROAT, and the two related one-acts, now titled, SUCH A BEAUTIFUL VOICE IS SAYEDA’S and KARIMA’S CITY, have been published by Dramatists Play Service. The latter one-acts have also been included in The Best American Short Plays: 2004-2005, published by Applause Books. His play, TEN ACROBATS IN AN AMAZING LEAP OF FAITH, is included in Salaam/Peace: An Anthology of Middle-Eastern-American Playwrights, published by TCG in 2009. OUR ENEMIES: LIVELY SCENES OF LOVE AND COMBAT is published in the anthology Four Arab American Plays published by McFarland Books. PILGRIMS MUSA AND SHERI IN THE NEW WORLD was published in the September, 2012 issue of American Theatre Magazine. And LANGUAGE ROOMS is published in Rain City Projects’ anthology Manifesto Series #3. Yussef is the recipient of the 2010 Middle East America Distinguished Playwright Award.  He holds an MFA from Carnegie-Mellon University and was playwright-in-residence at Duke University. His new play, THREESOME will be produced by Portland Center Stage in their 2014-2015 season.

The department's productions are not targeted to children. | Please contact 805-893-3022 with special needs.
Season schedule subject to change.