Interviews and features about my work.
San Francisco Chronicle
"He has this comfort with the unknown, an embrace of the unknown.” It’s a way of not answering every question, yet not being vague, [Mona Mansour] says. “The really confident directors don’t try to pin that stuff down all the time.”
"From the outside, it might look like staring into space, but creative downtime is key to finding my own voice within each project."
"I think we are used to the kind of survivor stories fed to us through mainstream media that can be dehumanizing. What MJ has done — it’s beautiful. These people are not one-dimensional."
Voices of the Middle East & North Africa on KPFA
"The systemic biases that surround us are very insidious, and it takes very little for them to come to the surface." (Interview begins at 33:00.)
Bay Area Plays Blog
"It shows the small and large ways that we are ridiculous when it comes to these identity questions."
We the People, WKYC
"It feels really important for us to start owning our own story, and work towards changing the narrative."
"What we want to have are three-dimensional, complex, flawed representations and the understanding that the community is not all one thing."
Theatre Bay Area
"This company is actually doing the thing. It’s not talking about doing the thing, it’s not having meetings about doing the thing, it’s not hiring a consultant to tell them how to do the thing—it’s just doing the damn thing. And people are showing up.”
Ask A Director Blog
"I love a good challenge. If a play scares me, if it feels impossible in some way, that’s the one I am going to direct!"
Arts-Waves on KPFA
"War is the context. That’s not what the play is about. The play is about real people, who are surviving and living their lives. And that’s rare."
The Do List on KQED Public Radio
“He’s done some amazing work over the years. He’s really an inspired and courageous director.”
"As attacks continue to take innocent lives all over the world—France, Turkey, Lebanon, Belgium, Nigeria, Pakistan, it’s been hard not to feel like I’m living inside Amor’s head."
"Jonas’ plays almost ask you to [stage] them like hip-hop storytelling plays. We’ll play with that rhythm, that music."
"As someone who grew up in the Middle East, what I experienced growing up is very different from what I see in the news every day."
Forum with Michael Krasny on KQED Public Radio
"I love the idea of working on a play that is working on two or three levels at the same time."
American Theatre Magazine
"About a week after I got the gig, a dance video appeared on my Facebook newsfeed called “Fantasy Slut,” by choreographer Miguel Zarate. It had a very sexualized, forward, don’t-give-a-shit kind of attitude, which seemed perfect for the show."
TCG Circle 'Diversity & Inclusion Salon'
"Do the plays. Hire the actors. Bring in the directors. It has to start from the art."
San Francisco Chronicle
"In the national dialogue on identity, being mixed race is a complication that few of us are willing to address directly. Orhan poses some difficult questions about the dangers of framing the conversation on the Middle East as 'us against them.'"
"What theater can do is different... There is no barrier between the story and the audience. So when one experiences another human being's story, gets to be present to observe their joys and their pain, and shares that experience with a group of other human beings in a room, it becomes a lot harder to hate."