In 2003, newly wed Layal plans a future with her family as they make plans to immigrate to the U.S. from Baghdad. 18 years later, just outside of Chicago, Layal’s life and responsibilities look unimaginably different from what she had envisioned two decades before. Layalina examines how families maintain their love in the midst of turbulent global and social change.

A Distinct Society

A quiet library that straddles the border of the U.S. and Canada becomes an unlikely crucible for five people from around the world. When an Iranian family, separated from one another by the “Muslim ban,” use the library as a meeting place, the head librarian, a U.S. border patrol officer, and a local teenager have to choose between breaking the law and saving themselves.

Theatre of Crime

A crowd of spectators gathers in front of the main gate of a state-owned theater venue in downtown Cairo. They are prohibited from entering. The corruption of the system has allowed other spectators in from the back door, privileged spectators. Hence creating borders between the inside and the outside. Those who are outside are marginalised, deprived, dehumanised and robbed of their dignity. One woman (Independent theater artist) is among that crowd. She endures a horrible sexual violation during the frantic attempt of the crowd to push through the gate. The theater employees refuse to help her or to let her in while she goes through a horrifying panic attack and goes almost breathless. She survives and later goes into a police interrogation where she is denied of her right to justice. The scenes go back and forth interweaving the events of the crime and the interrogation. The playwright fuses the fictional spectators and the real spectators who would be watching, creating a twist where the spectators would interact and create an end via a re-enactment of the crime and the possibility to change the events retrospectively, the potential performance space would counterpart the corrupt fictional state-owned theater.