Hayat Shah is a young American in love for the first time. His normal life of school, baseball, and video games had previously been distinguished only by his Pakistani heritage and by the frequent chill between his parents, who fight over things he is too young to understand. Then Mina arrives, and everything changes. Based on Ayad Akhtar’s brilliant first novel, American Dervish.
Mark is an award winning international theater director whose work has appeared in over 100 major theaters throughout Europe and the United States. He began his tenure as Artistic Director with the 2010/11 Season by bringing musicals to the mainstage, starting a tradition that is now the highlight of every season, including Cabaret, Next To Normal, Assassins, Ragtime, Dreamgirls, The Color Purple, Man of La Mancha, Guys and Dolls, In the Heights and West Side Story. Milwaukee Rep directing credits include the world premieres of One House Over, his own adaptation of the current A Christmas Carol, Five Presidents and American Song. Also directed for Milwaukee Rep: Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Things I Know To Be True (American Premiere), Junk, The Glass Menagerie, Of Mice and Men, Othello, Death of a Salesman, The History of Invulnerability, End of the Rainbow, Clybourne Park and Bombshells. Some of his New York and international work includes Speaking in Tongues, The Milliner and Blunt Speaking, in addition to creating and directing the West End and UK National Tour of Soul Train. Prior to joining Milwaukee Rep, Mark served as an Associate Artistic Director for several UK theater companies, most notably, Artistic Director for the award-winning Derby Playhouse in the UK from 1992 - 2002, where he directed over 40 productions. He has been nominated for an Olivier Award and several UK Theatre Awards, and has won three Barrymore Awards from his time at Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia. He serves on the National Advisory Board for the Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program at Ten Chimneys. Mark is currently working with Ayad Akhtar on adapting his critically acclaimed novel American Dervishfor the stage to make its world premiere at Milwaukee Rep in an upcoming season.