Connecting Cultures documents and celebrates the unique experiences of Muslim youth and other underrepresented communities in and around Louisville, Kentucky.

This project is funded in part through the generosity of the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Check out a short preview of Zaynab's Night of Destiny, the culmination of our Connecting Cultures project! Follow along with Zaynab and her goat Issa as they embark on a magical journey of self-discovery across the Sahara Desert.

Meet the Team

Meet Denmo Ibrahim: Playwright

Denmo Ibrahim is a first-generation Egyptian-American actor, playwright, and screenwriter.

A Sundance Theatre Lab Finalist, the SF Chronicle called her “a tower of strength in the Bay Area theatre scene.” 

Meet Ahmed Ashour: Assistant Director, Dramaturg, and Cultural Consultant

Ahmed is a Bahrain-born, Egypt-grown theatre-maker, writer, and thinker. He's also a recipient of the prestigious and highly-selective Crown Prince of Bahrain International Scholarship.

Meet Zeina Salame: Director

Zeina Salame has deep roots in educational theatre, theatre for young audiences, and community based/applied theatre work.

She is also a director, actor, and scholar with a PhD in Theatre Arts from the University of Oregon.

Meet Hend Al-Mansour: Visual Artist

Hend Al-Mansour is a Minnesotan immigrant from Saudi Arabia. Her work unfolds across painting, screen-printing, drawing, installation and 2D animation.

Influenced by Islamic art and architecture, she tells stories about powerful Arab women.

In 2019, CTC was awarded $225,000 by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art (DDFIA) to expand our Connecting Cultures theatre residency into a three-year, multifaceted, multi-generational instrument for sharing, understanding, and overcoming perceptions of difference. This project culminates with the creation of an audio immersive play commission called "Zaynab's Night of Destiny", which will premiere in 2021.

With Connecting Cultures, theatre gives people from communities viewed as “different,” particularly the Muslim community, the tools to find their voices, document their stories, and see their experiences brought to life in original plays performed across the region. These performances will invite audiences to see themselves in the human struggles and triumphs that transcend labels, stereotypes, and “otherness.”

Introducing: Zaynab's Night of Destiny

“Seeing people for who they are, what they value, and how they fit into the tapestry of American identities begins with moments of personal connection.”

Charlie Sexton, CTC Artistic Director