Maha Chehlaoui, Executive Director

about-mahaMaha has a 10 year history of working within the NY Middle Eastern community to create artful entertainment while reaching a wider audience. In 2001, she co-founded Nibras, an Arab-American theater company for whom she directed “Sajjil: Record” (Best Ensemble, Fringe 2003), produced “Acts for Palestine” for which she directed “Macklubeh” by Sami Metwasi, and “Palestine” by Najla Said. Maha has worked with the NY Arab-American Comedy Festival since its inception in 2003, when the sketch she directed “Live! With Pascale and Chantal” went on to become a hit at the NYC International Fringe Festival a year later. She continued to manage, direct and perform in subsequent years and in 2009 served as Artistic Director of Sketch Nights, which led to her job as creative consultant on the first ever L.A. Middle Eastern Comedy Festival. Actor Credits (selected): Aftermath, New York Theatre Workshop; Betrayed, The Culture Project; Peer Gynt, The Guthrie (w/ Mark Rylance), Girl Blog From Iraq: Baghdad Burning, Barrow Street Theater/Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Stage Theater Award Nomination, Outstanding Ensemble), Othello, The Pioneer Theater; The Bomb, International WOW, Taming of the Shrew, La Mama (Andrei Serban). Maha earned her BA in Middle Eastern Studies from Tufts University and her MFA from Columbia University.
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