Alaudin Ullah’s Dishwasher Dreams West Coast premiere at The Old Globe

The Old Globe is presenting the West Coast premiere of Dishwasher Dreams, written and performed by Alaudin Ullah (filmmaker of the award-winning documentary In Search of Bengali Harlem; featured comedy acts on HBO, Comedy Central, PBS, and more; the hit film American Desi) and directed by Chay Yew (Cambodian Rock Band – Craig Noel Award; Durango – Obie Award), with music by acclaimed tabla percussionist Avirodh Sharma. Performances begin September 16 and play through October 15, 2023, with the opening on Thursday, September 21 in the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, part of the Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center in San Diego’s Balboa Park. Tickets are on sale now at www.TheOldGlobe.org.

 What exactly is the American Dream? For Alaudin Ullah’s Bangladesh-born parents, it means opportunity and a stable job. But to comedian Alaudin, America is the home of the New York Yankees and George Carlin. In an autobiographical solo show that the Hartford Courant calls “memorable and meaningful,” Ullah and musician Avirodh Sharma take audiences on a journey of vivid remembrances and discoveries from 1930s Bangladesh to 1970s Spanish Harlem to present-day Hollywood. Through comedy and music, this remarkable play recounts the immigrant experience, how this country gets made, and the dreams of those who make it.

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 Dishwasher Dreams is the companion piece of Ullah’s award-winning documentary film In Search of Bengali Harlem, which will be streaming on PBS this fall. Plans for a theatrical release of the film and distribution on other streaming platforms are slated for later this year.

 “The Old Globe is thrilled to be presenting the West Coast premiere of Alaudin Ullah’s exuberantly funny Dishwasher Dreams,” said Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein. “And we couldn’t be more honored to have the esteemed Chay Yew, one of the country’s leading theatre directors, at the Globe. Alaudin and Chay’s artful collaboration vibrantly tells the stories of the complexities and struggles of achieving the American Dream, enhanced further by the extraordinary live music by tabla percussionist Avirodh Sharma. I’m certain our audiences will have an exciting evening of laughter and joy.”

 In addition to playwright Alaudin Ullah, director Chay Yew, and musician Avirodh Sharma, the creative team includes Yu Shibagaki (Scenic Design), Izumi Inaba (Costume Design), Anshuman Bhatia (Lighting Design), and Darlene Miyakawa (Production Stage Manager).

Dishwasher Dreams was originally developed under the name Indio through the Joseph Papp Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group Program. Playwright Alaudin Ullah was part of the program’s inaugural 2010–2011 cohort of writers. In 2018, Castillo Theatre in New York presented the world premiere of Ullah’s play, which was directed by Gabriel Vega Weissman. In 2022, the play was directed by Chay Yew at Writers Theatre in Glencoe, Illinois, and Hartford Stage in Connecticut.

 Dishwasher Dreams will play in the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, part of the Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center in San Diego’s Balboa Park (1363 Old Globe Way). Performances for the five-week limited engagement run September 16 – October 15, 2023, with the official press opening Thursday, September 21 at 8:00 p.m. The performance schedule is Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Notes: A 2:00 p.m. matinee is scheduled on Wednesday, October 11, and there are no performances on Saturday, September 23. 

Tickets are available online at www.TheOldGlobe.org, by phone at (619) 23-GLOBE (234-5623), or in person at The Old Globe’s Box Office in Balboa Park. The Vicki and Carl Zeiger Insights Seminar, scheduled for Tuesday, September 19 at 6:00 p.m., will provide patrons an exploration of the themes and background of Dishwasher Dreams from selected artistic company members. Post-Show Forum events will be held on Tuesday, October 3; Tuesday, October 10; and Wednesday, October 11. Community Nights at The Old Globe will provide festive opportunities to connect over refreshments and conversation for BIPOC community on Saturday, September 16 and LGBTQIA+ community on Friday, October 6. For additional information, visit www.TheOldGlobe.org.

 Dishwasher Dreams is supported by Major Production Sponsors Vicki and Carl Zeiger. Financial support for The Old Globe is provided by The City of San DiegoThe Theodor and Audrey Geisel Fund provides leadership support for The Old Globe’s year-round activities.

 The Tony Award–winning The Old Globe is one of the country’s leading professional nonprofit regional theatres. Now in its 89th year, the Globe is San Diego’s flagship performing arts institution, and it serves a vibrant community with theatre as a public good. Under the leadership of Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein and the Audrey S. Geisel Managing Director Timothy J. Shields, The Old Globe produces a year-round season of 16 productions of classic, contemporary, and new works on its three Balboa Park stages, including its internationally renowned Shakespeare Festival. 

More than 250,000 people annually attend Globe productions and participate in the theatre’s artistic and arts engagement programs. Its nationally prominent Arts Engagement Department provides an array of participatory programs that make theatre matter to more people in neighborhoods throughout the region. Humanities programs at the Globe and around the city broaden the community’s understanding of theatre art in all its forms. 

The Globe also boasts a range of new play development programs with professional and community-based writers, as well as the renowned The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program. Numerous world premieres—such as 2014 Tony Award winner for Best Musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and MurderBright Star, The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!—have been developed at The Old Globe and have gone on to highly successful runs on Broadway and at regional theatres across the country.

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