Working in the Theatre: In the Field – Denmo Ibrahim

My name is Denmo Ibrahim and I am an actor
and a playwright, slash writer. I was born in Staten Island, New York, my
brother and I are first-generation Americans, my parents immigrated from Egypt in 1974. Our upbringing was very American in many ways
in the sense of my mom really working to integrate us into the culture here. I felt a lot of responsibility to make my
life worth something so that it had to have meaning as like a six-year old. That I feel is very much the result of having
immigrant parents: everything matters. I had a really strong feeling that the theatre
was a place for me to lay down roots beyond just the joy of performing that in the training
and in the process I would change. I certainly was cognizant that I didn’t
look like the ingénue or the star or the leading lady as I grew up with. I’ve spent years unlearning the fragment
in which I should perform or behave in order to break open into ultimately discovering
the nuance of relationship, and the nuance of creating a sort of image that an audience
viscerally connects to beyond just race or culture. In my world as a writer I feel like that there
is a voice deeply connected to my lineage that does not get surfaced in the world of performance. I am really constantly inspired by the question
of home and how do we create home if we’ve left it, and once we leave it is there any
sense of returning. Another piece is also about memory, what do
we remember and what’s in our collective memory and how do those things inform our
choices and our decisions and our body and our thoughts that we think as our self as identity. Theatre does feel like home yeah.

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