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Barriers Desipina & Company


Barriers and Desipina programs are made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency; the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; the Asian Women's Giving Circle, the Nancy Quinn Fund (a project of ART/NY), Off Broadway Angels, and Dramatists Guild Fund.

Barriers played from Sept 7-18, 2011 in the Dorothy B. Williams Theatre.

Show Press

“Mirza has chosen her medium well–Barriers reaches out and grabs us–wrenches us–to teach us something valuable about the state of the world.”
“... You leave the theater sympathetic to fellow Americans who don’t feel much fellowship at the moment. ”
— New York Times

About the show

Barriers takes place four months after 9/11 and deals with the Chinese/Pakistani Abbas family, and the loss of their oldest son Nabhil at the World Trade Center. The Abbas's only daughter, Sunima, comes home to announce her pending engagement to a white man. However, Sunima’s news becomes lost in a mire of household problems and she gets trapped in the family loss they never dealt with.  As this multi-cultural family begins to fragment, we begin to piece together the past each one hides and the future they all share.  Originally mounted in at HERE and then subsequently co-produced with the Asian American Theater Company in San Francisco and Los Angeles in 2003, Barriers is returning the stage slightly reworked to look back on the ten-year anniversary of the World Trade Center Tragedy. 


Written by Rehana Lew Mirza

Directed by Colette Robert

Produced by Ying Le

Production Stage Manager: John Nehlich

Set/Costume Designer: Katherine Akiko Day

Sound Designer: Colin Whitely

Lighting Designer: Marie Yokoyama

Assistant Stage Manager: Ben Schaffer

Graphic Design: Nilou Moochhala


Pooja Kumar

Sunkrish Bala

Joe Petrilla*

Eileen Rivera*

Jon Norman Schneider*

Rajeev Varma

*These actors are appearing courtesy of Actors' Equity Assocation.

Equity Approved Showcase

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