Global Fridays: Undesirable Elements/Dearborn

8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, May 11-12, 2018 
Aliya Hassan Auditorium @ AANM
$10 Museum Members, $15 general public

PLEASE NOTE THAT BOTH SHOWS (Friday May 11 and Sat. May 12) ARE SOLD OUT. 

There will be a waiting list available for sign-up at the door each night starting at 7:00 p.m., which will be first come, first served. No-show seats will be released at 7:55 p.m. AANM’s newest exhibit, Mihrab, will be available for view.


Made possible in part by


The pioneering site-specific community theater project Undesirable Elements is an ongoing series of interview-based theater works by the world-renowned Ping Chong + Company that examines issues of culture and identity in specific communities. Widespread national and international attention and praise have accompanied all 50 previous Undesirable Elements productions. 

Rather than a traditional play or documentary-theater project performed by actors, Undesirable Elements is presented as a chamber piece of story-telling; a “seated opera for the spoken word.” Undesirable Elements/Dearborn is a live theatrical production accompanied by a live-streamed performance and a making-of-the-play documentary.

To make Undesirable Elements/Dearborn, Ping Chong + Company is working with Arab American women from Dearborn to reclaim their stories and dispel stereotypes and misconceptions. Interviews - adapted and occasionally theatricalized - form the basis of a script that weaves participants’ individual experiences together in a chronological narrative that connects the personal to the political. The script will be performed by the interviewees themselves, and they retain the final right of review and approval.

PLEASE NOTE: This production is performed by real people, not actors. Although not explicit, the production contains references to sexual abuse, domestic violence, mental health issues including suicide, and war and displacement.

The Cast (clockwise from top left)

Rasha Ahmed Almulaiki
Shahad Atiya
Layla Elabed
Mary Kamal Gagnon
Nuzmeya Bader Elder, PhD
Salam Aboulhassan

Sara Zatz (co-writer/director)
Sherrine Azab (co-writer/director)

What is Ping Chong + Company?

Ping Chong + Company (originally the Fiji Theatre Company) was founded in 1975 by internationally recognized theatrical innovator and National Medal of Arts recipient Ping Chong. The company’s mission is to create works of theater and art that explore the intersections of race, culture, history, art, media and technology in the modern world. The company is acclaimed for bringing unheard voices to the stage and addressing issues of inequality, equity and access in its works. 

If you feel it is of vital importance that Arab Americans are empowered to tell their own stories in their own words, please show your support.

Your donation of any amount will uplift the voices of Arab Americans from Dearborn. A gift of $45 or brings with it a Museum Membership. Museum Members are a community that believes in the mission of Museum and receive discounted admission to Museum programs, including Undesirable Elements/Dearborn.

Presented as part of Global Fridays, in conjunction with the opening of the AANM exhibition 
featuring a gallery stroll at 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 11.

This program is made possible in part by Metabolic Studio and Knight Foundation Fund.

13624 Michigan Avenue, Dearborn, MI 48126 - Phone (313) 582-AANM (2266) A Project of ACCESS