WHO WE ARE
Maia Directors was founded in 2017 by four theatre directors of Middle Eastern and
North African descent: Kareem Fahmy, Evren Odcikin, Megan Sandberg-Zakian, and Pirronne Yousefzadeh.
We are based geographically across the U.S. from coast to coast, and our heritage is likewise spread across the MENASA region — from Egypt to Iran, Armenia to Turkey.
Along with our experience as artists of Middle Eastern and North African descent, we have decades of professional expertise in theatremaking, education, and advocacy. Our respective cultural backgrounds, educations, and theatrical experience position us well to offer nuanced and informed consultancy for many projects. We are also building a network of fellow artists with varying backgrounds and experience, so that, when necessary, we can connect artists and organizations engaging with MENASA stories with the right consultants.
Raised by Egyptian immigrants in French-speaking Canada, Kareem is a director, playwright, and developer of new work. He is currently the Phil Killian Directing Fellow at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, was a 2017-2018 National Directors Fellow, and is a New York Theatre Workshop Usual Suspect. He holds an MFA in theatre directing from Columbia University and lives in New York City
Born and raised in Turkey, Evren is a theater director, writer, and arts administrator. He serves as the Associate Artistic Director at Oregon Shakespeare Festival and a Founding Steering Committee member for the MENA Theatre Maker Alliance. As an immigrant, queer artist of Muslim background, he brings a multifaceted and layered approach to his work, especially as it relates to Middle Eastern narratives.
The daughter of an Armenian molecular biologist and a Jewish playwright, Megan is a freelance theatre director and the Director-in-Residence at Merrimack Repertory Theatre in Lowell, MA. She is passionate about the development of diverse new American plays and writers, and supporting theatres to work towards inclusion and equity on and off stage.
Pirronne is an Iranian-American director, writer, and educator, and was recently appointed as Geva Theatre Center’s Associate Artistic Director and Director of Engagement. Both in New York and regionally, she directs and devises new work that puts women and people of color at the center of the narrative. Pirronne also teaches and guest directs at Columbia, Fordham, Juilliard, NYU, and Yale School of Drama, among others.