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'Hijabi Monologues': the women under the head scarves

THEATER

The play examines a simple piece of clothing and the complex reactions to it in the U.S.

March 06, 2009|Raja Abdulrahim

That, the creators and performers believe, is the strength of the play: the familiar story lines and problems that allow audiences to connect with the characters as people and not religious figures. In November, at a performance in Chino at LionLike MindState, the monologue "I'm Tired," performed by Aisha Nouh, 24, resonated with the mostly black audience.

"Do you know what it's like to represent a billion human beings every day you walk out of your house?" Nouh asked as part of the monologue. "It's exhausting. . . . I'm tired of wanting to curse but don't every time some idiot . . . asks me and my friend when we're standing in line waiting for ice cream, 'Where ya'll from?' And when my friend responds, 'Miami,' he says, 'Listen, don't . . . with me.' "

Soon the group hopes to increase the number of performances. On its Facebook page, several people ask when the show will come to their cities: Pittsburgh, Miami, Houston, New York.

"A couple of contacts in Europe e-mailed us and asked us, 'Are you coming here?' " Rahman said.

There is talk of a possible spring performance in Abu Dhabi. It's that type of reach the group aspires to.

"In five years you go to a university and there's the 'Hijabi Monologues' club, and it's a movement and it's growing," Morrison said. "Everywhere we go people say, 'Man, you've got to go to rural America.' "

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raja.abdulrahim@latimes.com

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