After Sept. 11, 2001 many Americans became overly cautious around certain types of people. ARC Theatre’s production of “The Domestic Crusaders,” by Wajahat Ali, shows the audience the life of a Pakistani-American Muslim family after the Sept. 11 attacks on the twin towers.
What is the concept of the show?
It’s basically a showing of a Pakistani-American Muslim family. A day in their life. I won’t say a typical day, but a day in the life of a three-generation family of Pakistani-American Muslims.
The play is described as a comedy. What types of humor are included in the play?
It’s really just kind of different and incongruent. It’s a little bit of exaggeration at some times, perhaps, but (incongruent) is probably the (best way to describe it). Where you’re going one way and it takes you in a different direction.
How did the actors and actresses prepare for their roles?
They’re still preparing. They just auditioned. This is our second week of rehearsal, so they’re preparing right now. What are they doing? They’re learning things about the standard things in acting, beats, objectives, language, accents and the meaning of words. There’re a whole lot of words in there that are not words that are not English words at all. It’s a lot of that kind of work. It’s pretty intense that way. It’s fun because acting is fun, but you’ve also got to work a lot.
What has been the biggest challenge so far?
The language. Definitely the accents and those types of things. Knowing what they’re saying, and some words don’t translate to English in the same way, but I’m getting a lot of help from an ex-student here, Naveen Habib, and she is Pakistani-American Muslim. So, she’s in this world, she went through the same type of stuff. I’m getting a lot of help from her.
Do you think that some people could become offended by this play?
Definitely. People can get offended by anything, but yeah, definitely this (play). It’s a touchy situation and a touchy subject. We can’t keep stuff under the rug, so we have to talk about it. If (people) say that I shouldn’t have done this play I probably would question if they want me to go to their work and tell them what not to do at their job. It’s my job, and my job is to bring plays to our community among other things that are diverse and culture, and it also provides work for our students in a learning environment.
“The Domestic Crusaders” premieres on Nov. 30 and runs until Dec. 9, 2012 in Stage 2 (North Entrance to Theater Building).