From left: Pirronne Yousefzadeh, Megan Sandberg-Zakian, Kareem Fahmy, and Evren Odcikin
Maia Directors is a consulting service for organizations and artists engaging with stories from the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia (MENASA).
We are advocates for the inclusion of MENASA artists and stories as a vital part of the American cultural conversation. By making this work visible, we make it possible.
Current and former clients include Actors Theatre of Louisville, California Shakespeare Theater, Playwrights Horizon, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Big Bridge Theatre Consortium, Pan Asian Rep, and StoryWorks, among others.
Casting and additional personnel support
Script development and dramaturgical support
Outreach and communication advising
If you are interested in our services, please email email@example.com.
“Working with Maia Directors to identify playwrights and artistic collaborators of Middle Eastern descent has been a fantastic experience. Their collective knowledge, vision and network enabled our StoryWorks team to tell vital stories with accuracy and authenticity.” —Jenna Welch, StoryWorks
“Having Maia Directors serve as consultants in the casting process for House of Joy was invaluable. We benefited short-term from really nuanced and thoughtful information and we will also benefit long-term from having a wider network of MENASA actors to consider for future projects.” —LeeAnn Dowd, Cal Shakes
We believe that increasing the visibility of MENASA stories is critical to deepening our national empathy.
We believe in the importance of centering the voices of artists who identify as part of the MENASA-American community in telling these stories.
We believe that the American theatre must reject cultural conflation, and lift up the complicated and intersectional reality of MENASA communities.
We believe that our work in the American theatre is part of a larger movement towards inclusion and equity. We are an anti-racist organization, and hold ourselves and the institutions we collaborate with accountable towards that ideal.
Maia (Arabic): Water
Mayeh (Farsi): Melodic contour, the movement of a melody
Ma’ayan (Hebrew): Spring, brook
Maya (Turkish): Leaven, yeast
Maya (Hindi / Sanskrit): Magic, illusion
Μαῖα (Greek and Roman): Maia is one of the Pleiades and the mother of Hermes, the messenger of the Gods. In ancient Roman religion and myth, Maia embodied the concept of growth, related to maius/maior meaning "larger, greater."
Like our community, the word Maia contains multitudes. Contested and debated, with many spellings and infinite variations, Maia contains a river of song, of rising and growing, always complex but always generous, nurturing, and forward-moving.