MONTREAL – The Silk Road Institute, a non-profit Muslim organization dedicated to promoting cultural arts, is launching Canada’s first professional Muslim theater company this fall in Montreal, Broadway World reported on September 19.
“It’s a journey of love, of faith, of discovery, of a challenge to self, and a journey of a family both in the story and in how this has come together,” said Forde, who has been working with the cast and crew since early summer.
“I’ve extended my family through this work [and] I hope it will make that distance between me and someone who is Muslim less.”
The company’s first production is the critically-acclaimed play, The Domestic Crusaders, playing at Espace Knox from September 27 to October 6, 2018.
The Silk Road Theatre will be dedicated to sharing diverse narratives from within Muslim communities with the intention of building bridges of understanding and dialogue with wider Canadian society.
“We chose this play because it speaks to universal themes of love, struggle, and acceptance,” said Mohamed Shaheen, Board Chair of the Silk Road Institute.
“The cultural arts and storytelling have always had the power to connect people and to celebrate our shared humanity. We hope this play will shed some light into Canada’s multi-faceted Muslim community, and contribute to a more constructive conversation about Muslim identity in Quebec.”
The show is supported by the Michaëlle Jean Foundation and the Inspirit Foundation.
“Sadly, we’ve seen significant anti-Muslim sentiment in this country,” Peter Flegel, Director of Programming and Development at the Michaëlle Jean Foundation, said.
“We’re firm believers that the cultural arts are an important way to help shatter stereotypes and dispel fears that some people may have about those they don’t know personally,” he added.
“We’re excited to support this initiative because we believe audiences are looking for Muslim-centered narratives that will present their communities in a more nuanced, relatable way.”
Islam isn’t only the largest non-Christian religious group in Montreal. Yet, with 154,540 members, it’s also the second-largest concentration of Muslims in Canada at 9.6%.