Taroon once served as an interpreter for the U.S. military in Afghanistan. Now that the Americans are withdrawing — along with their promises of protection — Taroon spends his days in hiding, a target of the increasingly powerful Taliban. On the day his son is born, he must choose between staying concealed in his sister’s apartment or risking his life to see his child.

Run time is approximately 90 minutes.

View the digital program.

at Northlight Theatre
9501 Skokie Boulevard, Skokie, IL 60077

A breathless thriller, meticulously rendered!

- Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago Sun-Times

by Catey Sullivan

‘Selling Kabul’ a breathless thriller, meticulously rendered by Northlight

In many ways, Sylvia Khoury’s 2022 Pulitzer finalist “Selling Kabul” is a thriller of Hitchcockian, gnaw-your-nails off intensity. The playwright structured a breathless, airtight plot where every moment of dialogue — and even seemingly innocuous bits of sound design — fits precisely into an intricate, meticulously rendered puzzle that shocks and surprises right up until the last piece falls into place.

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Chicago Theatre Review

by Colin Douglas

Northlight’s newest production is a must-see suspenseful journey for both the characters and the audience. The story plays out in real time, taking place in scenic designer Joseph Johnson’s detailed, claustrophobic apartment setting. The authentic costumes designed by David Arevalo and Mariah Bennett’s specific props, including an important working TV and a laptop computer and router, make this story feel particularly realistic. Hamid has gently guided his gifted and likable cast in telling this gripping story. While entertaining us, Sylvia Khoury’s tension-filled drama puts names and faces to the horrific reality that’s still taking place in a faraway land.

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NewCity Chicago

by Noel Schecter

The story itself is compelling, with the characters inhabiting a complicated and ever-changing world where sometimes a wanted man finds it necessary to dress himself in fatigues under a chador. It matters greatly here whom you trust, and Taroon was a fool to trust America. In post-war Afghanistan it is the heroes who suffer the greatest.

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Broadway World

by Zac Thriffiley

The play now receives a deservedly provocative production at Northlight Theatre in Skokie, running through February 25.

Altogether, Northlight has mounted a moving production of SELLING KABUL worthy of the play’s many accolades. For now, at least, it is the closest many can come to understanding the life-or-death conflict many Afghans face, a conflict that has no sign of ending anytime soon.

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Third Coast Review

by Lauren Katz

Northlight Theatre’s Selling Kabul Is Full of Suspense and Gut-Wrenching Intrigue

Directed by Hamid Dehghani, Selling Kabul is fast-paced and bubbles with tension. Khoury writes a smart script—slowly revealing key bits of information as the story unfolds. Just when you think things cannot possibly get worse, another gut-wrenching reveal slams to the surface that turns everything on its head.

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Cast

owais-ahmed
Owais Ahmed

Taroon

Owais is honored to be telling the story of the Afghan people. Owais is a proud native Chicagoan and is represented by DDO Artists Agency. Most recently he was seen off-Broadway in Heartland at 59E59. Theatre credits include: Guards at the Taj (Milwaukee Rep), Small Mouth Sounds (Alliance Theatre), The Invisible Hand (Steep Theatre, Jeff Award Recipient), Airness (Geva Theatre),  The Hard Problem (Court Theatre), Orange (Mixed Blood Theatre), The Qualms (Steppenwolf Theatre). Film/TV credits: Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice (Dir. Zack Snyder), Age Of Ice (Dir. Emile Edwin Smith), & Empire (Dir. John Singleton). Chicago Fire (NBC, Dir. Reza Tabrizi). Please check out and consider donating to LearnAfghan.org

ahmad-karnal
Ahmad Kamal

Jawid

Ahmad has worked as an actor and fight choreographer with numerous theater companies around the country, with credits including Holiday (Arena Stage); Hotter Than Egypt (ACT/Marin Theater Company); Pilgrims Musa & Sheri, The Return (Mosaic); Oslo (Round House); Richard III (Shakespeare Theatre Co); Gloria, Kiss (Wooly Mammoth); The Invisible Hand (Olney); 4,380 Nights (Signature) and many others.

aila-peck
Aila Ayilam Peck

Afiya

Aila Ayilam Peck is grateful to be returning to Northlight to collaborate with this incredible team of artists.  Chicago theatre credits include: Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley (Northlight), A Distinct Society (Writer’s Theatre), Hatefuck (First Floor Theatre), Shakuntala (Goodman Future Labs), Night Watch (Raven Theatre), This Wide Night, Five Mile Lake (Shattered Globe), Birdland (Steep), The Royal Society of Antarctica (The Gift), 1984 (Steppenwolf for Young Adults).  Regional credits include: House of Joy (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis), Brahman/I, Proof (Kitchen Theatre), The Who and the What (Huntington Theatre), A Doll’s House, Twelfth Night, Macbeth (American Player’s Theatre). She is a proud graduate of School at Steppenwolf and University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She is represented by Gray Talent Group. “Stories are a communal currency of humanity.” — Tahir Shah

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Shadee Vossoughi

Leyla

Shadee Vossoughi is thrilled to be making her Northlight Theatre debut. Shadee is a Chicago-based actor, writer, and improviser originally from Portland, OR. Most recently she was seen in Sanaz Toossi’s Wish You Were Here at Yale Repertory Theatre. Notable collaborations include work with Goodman Theatre, Writers Theatre, First Floor Theater, Silk Road Rising, The Second City, iO Theatre, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. TV/Film credits include: Redwood HighwayThe Bear (FX), The Big Leap (Fox). Training: B.F.A., Southern Oregon University; NBCUniversal Bob Curry Fellowship at The Second City. She is represented by Stewart Talent. @shadeev

Production Team

Hamid Dehghani

Director

Hamid Dehghani is an Iranian director, playwright, and actor. He is proud of his past collaborations with Northlight Theatre, serving as the Artistic Fellow, performing as an actor in Andy Warhol in Iran, and now as a director. Select directing credits: English (upcoming, Goodman Theatre/ Guthrie Theatre); Baba (Amphibian Stage); Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (WIRTZ Center of Performing Arts); Reportage of a Room, Story in a Box, Picnic (Collectively devised at Grass Studio Theatre), Eurydice, A Moment of Silence (Northwestern University); Sohrab’s Transgression (Entezami Theater/Iran). From the Environs of Milad (Iranshahr Theater/ Iran), Nathan and Tabileth (Khourshid Hall/ Iran). Hamid holds an MFA in Directing from Northwestern University.

Joe Johnson

Set Design

Joe Johnson (Set Design) is a set designer based in Chicago, Illinois, having received his MFA from Northwestern University. Recent Chicago credits include Marys Seacole (Griffin Theatre Co.) Extra Yarn (Lifeline Theatre) Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Madkap Productions) and Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo and Legally Blonde (Northwestern University). Other credits include Suor Angleica / Schicchi and Beauty and the Beast (Bay View Music Festival) and Disney’s Descendants (Stages Theatre Co.) Joe’s scenography for Karel Čapek’s The White Plague was one of 8 internationally selected works to exhibit in the Prague Quadrennial Design Project for an online gallery in 2020. You can see more of Joe’s work on his website joethomasjohnson.com or on Instagram @joethomasjohnson.

David Arevalo

Costume Design

David Arevalo (Costume Design) is a Texas born, Queer, Mexican, costume designer, maker, and artist. His work centers personal authenticity and the languages of bodies, materials, and storytelling. He is proud to make his Northlight debut with this beautiful production of Selling Kabul. Upcoming designs: Laughs in Spanish at Stages in Houston, TX, and Riding the Currents of the Wilding Wind, a theatrical concert at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco. Previous credits: Private Lives at the Arizona Theatre Company and Don’t Let the Pigeon Sing Up Late! with The Kennedy Center and Washington National Opera. He holds an MFA in Stage Design from Northwestern University and is an assistant professor and head of the MFA program in Costume Technology at the University of Texas at Austin.

Maximo Grano De Oro

Lighting Design

Maximo Grano De Oro (Lighting Design) is a Lighting Designer for theater, opera, and dance originally from New Jersey. He received his BFA in Lighting Design from Rutgers Mason Gross and his MFA from Northwestern University, where he is currently an adjunct faculty member.  Recent design credits include Macbeth, Much Ado about Nothing, The Tempest (Commonwealth Shakespeare Company), Everybody, Sweat, As You Like It, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, In His HandsResiliencia (Northwestern Wirtz Center), The Magic Flute, The Medium (Northwestern Opera). Web: Maximolightingdesign.com

Jeffrey Levin

Sound Design

Jeffrey makes his Northlight debut. Selected Chicago credits: Photograph 51 (Court Theatre); Tiny Beautiful Things (Victory Gardens). A Shayna Maidel (TimeLine Theatre Company); Grey House (A Red Orchid Theatre, Jeff Award and Jeff nomination respectively); Kill Move Paradise (TimeLine Theatre Company); The Brothers Size (Steppenwolf); Hookman (Steep Theatre Company); and The Hairy Ape (Oracle Theatre, Jeff Award). Regional: The Great Leap (Asolo Repertory Theatre), Scapino (Gulfshore Playhouse); Touring productions include Mad Hatter Gin and Tea PartyLittle Mermaid Cocktail ExperienceSleepy HollowDining in the Dark, and Genie’s Bazaar (fever originals). Jeffrey teaches music composition for sound designers at DePaul University. Mr. Levin is the recipient of the Edes Foundation Prize for Emerging Artists, The Michael Philippi Prize, and several Joseph Jefferson Award Nominations and wins. He holds an MM in music and composition from DePaul University and a BMus in music and composition from Columbia College Chicago.

Rita Vreeland

Production Stage Manager

Rita Vreeland has been a frequent stage manager at Northlight since 2007, with Selling Kabul marking her 43rd production here. Other favorite recent projects include Ernest Shackleton Loves Me at Porchlight Music Theatre, A Christmas Carol at Drury Lane, The Luckiest at Raven Theatre, three years of The Polar Express Train Ride, and productions at Mercury Theatre, Victory Gardens, Route 66 Theatre Company, Theatre at the Center, and The Galway International Arts Festival in Galway, Ireland. She is the proud wife of actor Tom Hickey and mom to ten-year-old Charlie, and this year she celebrated her 22nd anniversary as a member of Actors’ Equity Association. Thank you for supporting live theatre!

Sahar Sediqi

Cultural Consultant & Dramaturg

Awesta Zarif

Cultural Consultant & Dramaturg

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Accessible Performances

February 16 at 7:30 pm: Open Captions

February 17 at 2:30 pm: Audio Description and Open Captions

 

SENSORY GUIDE

This guide holds many different accessibility tools to make your experience at our show as comfortable as possible. Please be aware that not every element of this guide will be useful to each individual, therefore, please feel free to pick and choose which accessibility tools would be most beneficial to you. The guide includes a synopsis of the show, sensory warnings, and photos of what to expect when you arrive at the theater.

Selling Kabul Sensory Guide

For more information or questions about Captioning or Audio Description please contact Kristen Waagner: 847.324.1615 or access@northlight.irg

Visit our Accessibility Page for more information for our whole season.