Rehan Ansari: Unburdened

Rehan Ansari: Unburdened

Saturday, November 19, 2016
6 to 8pm

Rehan Ansari,  Unburdened , 2010-2016. Stills taken from performance at Meet Factory, Prague, 2016.

Rehan Ansari, Unburdened, 2010-2016. Stills taken from performance at Meet Factory, Prague, 2016.

The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation presented a staged reading of Rehan Ansari's play Unburdened, which was featured in Enacting Stillness as an installation of performance ephemera at The 8th Floor. The play is set during the period of President Obama's first inauguration. A journalist from Toronto travels to Karachi, where he becomes consumed with our collective inability to truly comprehend what it is to live inside a war. He glimpses the enemy's point of view: we see an argument for militancy that has a global audience. The audience observes the protagonist's struggles through his partner's eyes as he feverishly communicates with her over the phone and Skype. In Karachi, he stays with his elderly aunt and uncle who have lived with a terrible secret over the course of their 60-year relationship that began amidst the Partition of India.

To read a copy of Unburdened, please click here.

Staged reading directed by Rehan Ansari.


Rehan Ansari
is a Brooklyn-based writer. Born in Karachi and a graduate of Vassar College, Ansari was working as a journalist in New York during 9/11 and in Mumbai during the attacks of 2008. He traveled to Pakistan in the aftermath of both events and Unburdened is based on his experiences. His work has appeared in The Brooklyn RailThe Globe & Mail, and as a weekly columnist for Mid-day Mumbai. He was Editor of The Independent Press Association-New York and Foreign Editor of the Daily News & Analysis in Mumbai. Ansari's play Damme This is the Oriental Scene for You! (adapted from the writings of G.V. Desani) was staged at Theatre Passe Muraille in Toronto. He is currently working on a novel.

Charlie Gillette (Katherine)is an actor and filmmaker based in New York City. She has performed at the Royal Court and Gate Theatre in London and The Richard Burton Theatre and Caird Studio in Cardiff. She has been featured in various short and feature films, which have screened in festivals around the world. She holds a BA in Film from Barnard College and a MA in Acting from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in the UK. Her  film work has been featured in Paper Magazine, Bullett Media, Pitchfork, Women & Hollywood, The Athena Film Festival,, Everyday Feminism, The Hollywood Reporter, and Upworthy. Most recently, she wrote, produced and starred in the feature film These Things Never Last. You can learn more about Gillette and her work at

Michael Kingsbaker (Saad) has been performing professionally for over 30 years.  He serves as Co-Artistic Director at The Shelter, where he has also performed in This Is A Play About Artists (NY Fringe), directed Cul De Sac (Cherry Lane), and co-moderates their Sunday Workshop. Elsewhere he has worked with Curious Theatre, The Arvada Center, Rising Phoenix, Vertigo Theatre, IRT, TSchreiber Studios, Looking Glass, and The National Black Theater.  He was Meisner trained by Maggie Flanagan and is a memeber of the 2013 Labyrinth Theatre Intensive Ensemble, the activist group Artist 4 Change, and The Actors Gym (in Los Angeles).  Recently, Kingsbaker was seen on stage in Denver as Ethan in Sex with Strangers and will be seen in the upcoming films Brighton Beach and Welcome to Acapulco.

Max Rosenak (Robin) is an actor, writer, director, and educator based in New York City. He is currently in post-production for a documentary he's writing and directing entitled We Found David Rosenak. As an actor Rosenak has appeared in several films including La Mission, opposite Benjamin Bratt (2009 Sundance Film Selection), and the upcoming indie The Last Summer. He has performed regionally at the American Conservatory Theater, Huntington Theater, Intiman Theater, Marin Theatre Company, Magic Theater, and the Olney Theatre Center, among others. In January 2017, he will perform in Twelfth Night at the Pittsburgh Public Theater. In New York, he's appeared at 59E59 Theatre, New Ohio Theatre, and InterArt Theatre. Last Fall, he was granted a residency to perform his solo show at the IRT/New Ohio Theater in the Village and he is also a proud company member of the Williams Project, CollaborationTown, and the (Blank) Space. Rosenak has a private coaching practice and has taught at the American Conservatory Theatre, 52nd Street Project, Olney Theatre Summer Institute, Boston University Summer Theatre Institute, and A Noise Within. He received a BFA from Boston University and his MFA from the American Conservatory Theatre.

Mia Darrow Tarley (Attiya and Nazia) is an actor living in New York City. Tarley graduated from Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. She attended the William E. Macaulay Honors College of the City University of New York and currently studies with The Barrow Group and Kimball Studio. She also writes songs, makes music videos, and collects vintage clothing. She is grateful to be a part of this important work.