The Veiled Monologues

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After acting in a production of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, Dutch actress Adelheid Roosen approached Muslim women living in the Netherlands to ask them similar questions about their sexuality. The result is a vital, surprising, and poetic portrait of love and relationships in the Islamic community. Each monologue is imbued with deep feeling and delicate detail, allowing us more than a glimpse into each woman’s soul.

Roosen collected testimonies of women living in the Netherlands who were born and raised in countries that include Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Somalia, Pakistan, Iran, and Iraq. Intermixing live music, dance and film, she has transformed her conversations into a series of dramatic and moving monologues performed in English by three Turkish actresses of Muslim descent and accompanied by a live musician on the saz, a lute-like stringed instrument from Turkey. Since its premiere in the Netherlands in 2001, The Veiled Monologues has been performed in Europe, the Middle East, and before the Dutch Parliament and national convention of Holland’s law enforcement agencies.

The American Repertory Theater’s presentation of The Veiled Monologues is made possible by generous support from The Arts and Culture fund of the Provost of Harvard University, The Harvard College Women’s Center, The Netherlands Consulate-General, The Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University, The Committee on Degrees in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Harvard University, and sponsorships from Susan Ware and Saj-Nicole Joni. Adelheid Roosen’s tour of the U.S. is presented in partnership with St. Ann’s Warehouse (Brooklyn, NY), the Yale Repertory Theatre, and the World Performance Project at Yale.


Cast Oya Capelle, Nazmiye Oral, Meral Polat, Sercan Engin
written and directed by Adelheid Roosen
dramaturg Dirkje Houtman
assistant director Marjolein Polman
set design by Adelheid Roosen and Mijke de Jong
video editing by Titus Tiel Groenestege
lighting design by Gelddof, Verhaart and Dan Ottolander
music by Sevel Okyay and Sercan Engin