iMigrant Woman the cast

Adriana Belan (ALINA - July 25) is a Chicago actress, born in Eastern Europe (Romania), moved to the USA a few years ago. She has a Masters Degree in Marketing and had a passion for acting since childhood but decided to pursue it later on. She has done TV, a local skin commercial, and print and hair modeling. She studies with the Acting Studio Chicago and did improv at Second City,
Chicago. A former archery champion, Adriana loves to read, run, and listen to people. She has travelled extensively, speaks English, Spanish and Romanian.

Edie Pilar Monroy (ALYNA - July 26) is a born-and-bred New York actress now happily living in Los Angeles. She blends her diverse upbringing, travels, and life experiences with the depth of her psyche, creating powerful and truthful performances. She’s currently training at the renowned Groundlings Improv Theatre and is a graduate from the esteemed American Academy of Dramatic
Arts. Feel free to view her work at www.EdiePM.com

Raquel Appiah (DRASLA)
Raquel Appiah is a triple threat actress, presenter and producer. Born and bred in London and of Ghanaian heritage, Raquel is one of the UK's rising stars and has already appeared in several notable film, television, and theatre productions in her relatively short career. After securing her first stage role at the age of 15, Raquel further developed her craft at Identity Drama school. Before launching herself into a full time acting career, Raquel pursued her love of fashion by creating her own online
African fashion brand – www.nueki.com.

Rita Hight (FRIDA) is thrilled to be working for the first time with SRFF under the direction of Nora Armani. She has been acting, directing, singing, and doing narrations, commercials, film, and theater for over twenty years. Recently, she played Mother Courage in ShPiel- Performing Identity’s production of Mother Courage in Louisville, KY. Rita has performed at Bunbury Theatre, Chaffin’s
Dinner Theatre, Derby Dinner Playhouse, and Stage One Family Theatre, where she also works as a Disney Teaching Artist.

Samar El-Zein (FARIDA) is the founder and artistic director of The Kinetic Theater. An international actress, she studied with Jacques Le Coq, and received her Diploma in Physical Theater in Paris, after earning her Master's Degree in Theater at the University of Fine Arts of Beirut. She has performed on stage, screen & TV in the Middle East, France and USA. Samar uses her work as an actress to spread messages of peace, and human rights. Www.thekinetictheater.com

Nora Armani (director) is an actor, filmmaker, film curator and a published author
on identity and Soviet Cinema, Shakespearean acting, and poetry in various
anthologies. As an actor she has toured extensively worldwide in multiple
languages, winning awards and accolades. Her films have screened in the Official
selections of international festivals such as Cannes, Edinburgh and Rotterdam.
Nora is the Founding Artistic Director of SR Socially Relevant Film Festival NY now
in its 8th year, and holds two Masters Degrees, in Sociology from LSE (University
of London) and recently, in Theatre (& Film) from Hunter College, CUNY. Nora lives in New York City, also works in Paris, London and Yerevan. www.noraarmani.net.


iMigrant Woman a play in three beats brought from seven countries and three continents.

Following the successful online streaming of its seventh annual edition with a slate of 38 films, SR Socially Relevant™Film Festival NY organizes new interim events as part of its effort to promote socially relevant™work through different media. iMigrant Woman is the first such event, as a play performance. A retrospective of films under the banner SR for Black Voices from the festival's seven past editions in solidarity of Black Lives Matter, follows.

16 years after it was first published and staged, iMigrant Woman still speaks to our
Director Nora Armani
time, and connects people around the world in more than one way. "Three women, four stories are portrayed by five actresses, each from a different city, much like the characters in the play. The cast members hail from London, Chicago, Louisville KY, Los Angeles, and Princeton NJ. Ms. Acava Mmaka lives in Kenya, and I live in New York. 

"16 years ago was when I first met Nora Armani and I'm delighted she is directing my work and producing it today when the problem of migration has not been resolved in over a generation," says Valentina Acava Mmaka. "We often misuse language when it comes to imagining a society where everyone should feel represented. Words like integration, minority, or assimilation do not lead to a democratic egalitarian or inclusive society. Instead, they help create subgroups that politicians use to leverage power through control." To resolve this ambiguity, Acava Mmaka suggests using the word inclusion instead, and allowing its natural process to take place. "Inclusion means representation and full participation, it means creating the possibility to access the countless opportunities that otherness, through all its forms and manifestations, generates." She explains.

The work explores two important facets of the immigrant experience:  time and space through language. Language defines identity as a process in the making, where multiplicity and diversity become the foundation stones of who we are.

"The struggle the characters in iMigrant Woman undergo," says Acava Mmaka, "is not just the need to be recognized as part of the diverse, mobile, circular and liquid world, but to recognize and reaffirm themselves within the space and time they moved from and came into. They claim ownership of their stories despite the biases, exclusion, and oppression imposed upon them."


I Migrant Woman- July 25th & 26th

A cast from London, Chicago, Louisville, Princeton, and Los Angeles; a playwright from Kenya; and a director from New York, collaborate to bring you...

iMigrant Woman

Three women, four stories

As they seek a better life for themselves and their loved ones, three women run away from dire poverty, escape the ravages of war, and emerge with a new freedom of self-expression.
English translation from the original Italian by Nora Armani.

Adriana Belan (Chicago), Edie Pilar Monroy (Los Angeles), Raquel Appiah (London), Rita Hight (Louisville), Samar El-Zein (Princeton).

written by
Valentina Acava Mmaka

directed by
Nora Armani

There will be a Q&A with playwright Valentina Acava Mmaka (Kenya), director Nora Armani (New York), and the cast members.

Two LIVE performances on Zoom - July 25th & 26th, 2:00 PM.
Tickets $10 (to donate more if you wish, or to pay what you can, please go to 'Donation' in the ticket link. A link will be sent to you to join the Zoom session.

Join the LIVE YouTube chat with Nora Armani on Juhl Media on Monday July 20, 4:00 PM to hear more about the play and the current state of the arts & theatre.

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