Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Northlight Theatre's Selling Kabul January 25 – February 25, 2024

ChiIL Mama’s ChiIL Picks List: 

Adult Shows With Family Themes On Our Radar

Northlight Theatre continues 2023-2024 season with

Selling Kabul

By Sylvia Khoury

Directed by Hamid Dehghani

January 25 – February 25, 2024

Northlight Theatre, under the direction of Artistic Director BJ Jones and Executive Director Timothy J. Evans, continues its 2023–2024 season with the suspenseful 2022 Pulitzer Prize Finalist Selling Kabul by Sylvia Khoury, directed by recent Northlight Artistic Fellow Hamid Dehghani. The production runs January 25 – February 25, 2024, at Northlight Theatre, 9501 Skokie Blvd in Skokie. I'll be out for the press opening February 2, so check back soon for my full review. 

The 2022 Pulitzer Prize Finalist is a suspenseful drama about family and sacrifice. Taroon once served as an interpreter for the U.S. military in Afghanistan. Now that the Americans have withdrawn — along with their promises of protection — Taroon spends his days in hiding, a target of the increasingly powerful Taliban.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 safe but trapped in his sister’s apartment or risking his life to see his child.

The cast of Selling Kabul includes Owais Ahmed (Taroon), Ahmad Karnal (Jawid), Aila Ayilam Peck (Afiya), and Shadee Vossoughi (Leyla).

The creative team includes Joseph Johnson (set design), David Arevalo (costume design), Maximo Grano de Oro (light design), Josh Schmidt (sound design), Mariah Bennett (props design). Juan Barrera López is the assistant director, Awesta Zarif and Sahar Sediqi are the Cultural Consultants, and Rita M. Vreeland is the stage manager.

About the Artists

Hamid Dehghani (Director) is a director, playwright, and actor, recently seen in Northlight’s Andy Warhol in Iran. He was born and raised in Iran and considers Buraki-ye Olya his hometown. Select acting credits in Iran: Barren (Iran International Fadjr Theatre Festival); Afsooskhar, The Archbishop’s Ceiling (Khourshid Theatre); Equus (Farabi Hall- best acting award at IIFUT); Charlie (Molavi Theatre), Rhinocéros (University of Tehran); The Legend of Nimrooz (Fooladshahr Theatre). Select short film: Jade Farei (best short film at Tehran International Short Film Festival); Yek Bar Se; Occasion; Unbreakable Mirrors; Night Story Of The Boulevard; Who is Going All This Way; Monologue C473; and To Die in Place of Another One. Select directing: From the Environs of Milad, Sohrab’s Transgression (original scripts); A Moment of Silence, Eurydice, and Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (Northwestern). In 2020, he co-founded Grass Studio Theatre. 

Owais Ahmed (Taroon) has appeared in Guards at the Taj (Milwaukee Rep), Small Mouth Sounds (Alliance Theatre), Heartland (Geva Theatre), The Invisible Hand (Steep Theatre, Jeff Award Recipient), The Hard Problem (Court Theatre), Orange (Mixed Blood Theatre), and The Qualms (Steppenwolf Theatre). Film/TV credits include: 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). 

Ahmad Kamal (Jawid) is a resident of Washington DC and has worked as an actor and fight choreographer with numerous theater companies, including Signature Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Mosaic Theater Company, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, and many more. He holds a BFA from The University of Virginia and an MA from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

Aila Ayilam Peck (Afiya) returns to Northlight where she previously appeared in Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley. Other Chicago credits include: Night Watch (Raven), A Distinct Society (Writers); Hatefuck (First Floor); Shakuntala (Goodman Future Labs); 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, A One-Hijra Stand-Up Comedy Show, Proof (Kitchen Theatre); The Who And The What (Huntington Theatre); A Doll’s House, Twelfth Night, Macbeth (American Players Theatre). She is a proud graduate of the School at Steppenwolf and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Shadee Vossoughi (Leyla) is 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 Highway, The Bear (FX), The Big Leap (Fox). Training: B.F.A., Southern Oregon University; NBCUniversal Bob Curry Fellowship at The Second City.


Previews begin January 25, 2024

Regular run: February 3-25, 2024


Owais Ahmed (Taroon), Ahmad Karnal (Jawid), Aila Ayilam Peck (Afiya), and Shadee Vossoughi (Leyla)


Tuesdays: 7:30pm (January 30 only)

Wednesdays: 1:00pm and 7:30pm

Thursdays: 7:30pm 

Fridays: 7:30pm

Saturdays: 2:30pm (except January 27) and 7:30pm

Sundays: 2:30pm and 7:00pm (January 28 only)

An Open Captioned and Relaxed/Sensory Friendly performance will be held on February 16 at 7:30pm. An Open Captioned and Audio Described/Touch Tour performance will be held on February 17 at 2:30pm.

Location: Northlight Theatre is located at the North Shore

Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd,


Tickets: Previews: $39-$74

Regular run: $49-$89

Student tickets are $15, any performance (subject to availability)

Box Office: The Box Office is located at 9501 Skokie Blvd, Skokie.

847.673.6300; northlight.org

Up-to-date Covid-19 related policies can be found at northlight.org/health-safety.

Northlight Theatre aspires to promote change of perspective and encourage compassion by exploring the depth of our humanity across a bold spectrum of theatrical experiences, reflecting our community to the world and the world to our community.

Founded in 1974, the organization has mounted over 240 productions, including more than 45 world premieres. Northlight has earned 217 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations and 36 Awards, as well as 11 Edgerton Foundation for New Play Awards. As one of the area’s premier theatre companies, Northlight is a regional magnet for critical and professional acclaim, as well as talent of the highest quality.

Northlight is supported in part by generous contributions from the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation; BMO Harris Bank; Bulley and Andrews; Byline Bank; The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation; CoBank; ComEd, An Exelon Company; Eckenhoff Saunders; Evanston Arts Council; Evanston Community Foundation; Lloyd A. Fry Foundation; Full Circle Foundation; The Gross Foundation; Gruman Butkus Associates; Hagerty Consulting; John R. Halligan Fund; Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; Illinois Humanities; Katten Muchin Roseman LLP; Kirkland & Ellis Foundation; The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation;  Modestus Bauer Foundation; National Endowment for the Arts; Niles Township; NorthShore University HealthSystems; Northwestern University; The Offield Family Foundation; PNC Bank; Polsinelli; Pritzker Foundation; Ralla Klepak Trust for the Performing Arts; Room & Board; Sanborn Family Foundation; The Saints Foundation; Dr. Scholl Foundation; The Shubert Foundation, Inc.; The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust; The Sullivan Family Foundation; and Tom Stringer Design Partners.

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