Language Rooms

by Yussef El Guindi
directed by Blanka Zizka
March 3, 2010April 4, 2010

Ahmed is a shining example of the American Dream, successfully landing a big-time position as translator at a top secret detainment facility. But things are not what they seem in this twisted workplace as he soon finds himself dodging shifty video cameras and absurd interoffice mind games. From Yussef El Guindi, an exciting playwright whose work has been praised by The New York Times as "very funny," Language Rooms is a riveting dark comedy about misguided patriotism and the true meaning of “loyalty.” Brilliantly shifting between comedy and political suspense with surprising twists along the way, this World Premiere play is one of the most provocative the Wilma has staged.

Running Time: 
2 hours and 10 minutes (includes a 15-minute intermission)

Press / News

“A scintillating and satirical journey!”
— Philadelphia Weekly
"An impressively designed, well-acted world premiere at The Wilma Theater! El Guindi is a deft writer...[his] dialogue percolates at a rapid boil! A fine cast, led with a clear storytelling vision by Blanka Zizka!"
— The Philadelphia Inquirer
A funny, ferocious drama post-9/11: an Egyptian-born writer mingles the immigrant experience, the war on terror, and office politics.



Interview with Playwright Yussef El Guindi

What do you think of the portrayal of Arabs and Muslims in the U. S. media? And speaking of comedy, what do you think of the attention some Arab stand-up comics are now getting?

In regards to the portrayal of Arabs and Muslims in the media: It’s never been great. From around the time of the crusades, way back when, it’s been kind of like Fox News all the way.


 • Production Manager


Nasser Faris • Samir
Peter Jay Fernandez • Kevin
Sevan Greene • Ahmed
Julienne Hanzelka Kim • Esther
J. Paul Nicholas • Nasser

Production Team

Yussef El Guindi • Playwright
Blanka Zizka • Director
 • Dramaturg
Janus Stefanowicz • Costume Designer
Patreshettarlini Adams • Stage Manager
Russell Champa • Lighting Designer
Ola Maslik • Set Designer
Jorge Cousineau • Sound Designer