“English Only.” It’s 2008 in Karaj, Iran and four adult students are studying for the Test of English as a Foreign Language, the key to their green card, medical school, family reunification. Playing out in awkward lessons of word games and mistranslation, English is both a comedy of miscommunication and a look at the ways speaking a new language can expand your world and change your voice. A hit in its 2021 New York premiere, Studio presents playwright Sanaz Toossi in her Washington, DC debut.
English is generously underwritten by Albert G. Lauber and Craig Hoffman.
Sanaz Toossi is an Iranian-American playwright from Orange County, California. Her plays include English (New York Times Critics Pick; Weissberger New Play Award) co-produced by Atlantic Theater Company and Roundabout Theatre Company, and Wish You Were Here at Playwrights Horizons and Williamstown Theatre Festival (available to stream on Audible). She is currently under commission at Atlantic Theater Company (Launch Commission; Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation grant), Roundabout Theatre Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Manhattan Theatre Club, South Coast Repertory, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival (American Revolutions Cycle). For television, Sanaz was a staff writer on Invitation to a Bonfire (AMC), A League of Their Own (Amazon), and 5 Women (Marielle Heller/Big Beach), and sold an original idea, The Persians, to FX with Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields attached as Executive Producers. Sanaz is a member of Youngblood, the Middle Eastern American Writers Lab at the Lark, and an alum of Clubbed Thumb’s early-career writers’ group. She was the 2019 Page 73 Playwriting Fellow and a recipient of the 2020 Steinberg Playwright Award. She holds an MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
(As of June 2022)
Knud Adams is a New York-based director of artful, innovative new plays. He was nominated for The Drama League and Drama Desk awards for directing the world premiere of English in a co-production with Atlantic Theater Company and Roundabout Theatre Company. His other world premiere productions include Bodies They Ritual with Clubbed Thumb, Paris at Atlantic Theater Company (one of New York Magazine’s "10 Best Theater Moments of 2020"), The Headlands at LCT3, Notes on My Mother's Decline with The Play Company, and The Workshop with softFocus. He also directed a radio play, Vapor Trail, which premiered at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival. His work was recently seen in DC with Private at Mosaic Theater Company. Next up, he's directing I'm Revolting at Atlantic Theater Company and Primary Trust at Roundabout Theatre Company. Knud is an alumnus of the Drama League Stage Directing Fellowship, the Soho Rep Writer Director Lab, the Playwrights Horizons Directing Residency, and Kenyon College. knudadams.com
(As of July 2022)
Speak For Yourself: Language as Identity
Who We Were & Who We Are: Iran in 2008
“On a Quest for All the Words”: Sanaz Toossi’s Homesickness