Headspace: a play

Headspace / ̇hed.spas/ (n.)

1. The unfilled space above the contents of a closed container. When a jar is opened, the pressurized air of the headspace releases.

2. (in firearms) The distance measured from the part of the chamber that stops forward motion of the cartridge (the datum reference) to the face of the bolt. Consider the vagina a chamber for bullet tampons.

3. A particular frame of mind or worldview that is relative to and/or distinguished from that of others.

password: nyuad

A Play

How much do you know about women’s rights and laws regarding women in the UAE? What is your sexual orientation? What is your place here? What does becoming a woman mean to you? Why are you proud? Why are you scared?

“Headspace: a play” is a student-led theatre project that explores what it means to be a woman studying at NYU in Abu Dhabi. The piece was envisioned and created by Laura Evans, Veronica Houk, Sachi Leith, and Valentina Vela from December 2012 – May 2013. During the Spring 2013 semester, we conducted 61 interviews with NYU Abu Dhabi students both in Abu Dhabi and abroad and from these, assembled a text that strives to respect the anonymity of our interviewees while also voicing their concerns, anxieties, and thoughts. This text was then presented to the cast members, crew, and multimedia team as a scripted play, the final version of which opened in May 2013. The play is comprised of scenes and monologues that include both verbatim interview text and our own words. While some of them were interviewed, the actors are not voicing their own thoughts, but those of the interviewees.

This play was born out of a concern that many of the anxieties and questions that float in our heads on a daily basis are not discussed in the open. We hope that by reaching out to our community, we will discover everything in our heads that, once exposed and shared, can begin a conversation


Poster and Program art by Krishan Mistry

Poster and Program art by Krishan Mistry

Student-Led Project Mentors: Deb Levine, Rubén Polendo

Theater Project Manager: Gaar Adams

Devising and Directing: Laura Evans, Veronica Houk, Sachi Leith, Valentina Vela

Stage Management: Caroline Gobena, Tessa Ayson, Momchil Dikov, Luis Morales Navarro

Music: Cristobal Martinez, Wilson Tang

Multimedia Design: Nikolai Kozak, Robson Beaudry, Nino Cricco, Chani Gatto-Bradshaw, Zoë Hu, Joi Lee, Hasan Nabulsi, Sam Ridgeway

Branding: Krishan Mistry

Cast: Hamda Al Bufalah, Maverick Alzate,  Sarah Batbold, Juliana Bello, Olivia Bergen, Bobby Haynes, Sanyu Kisaka, Alexandra Lenihan, Oscar Lozano, Farah Mohamad, Louis Plottel, Zahida Rahemtulla, Rafael Scharan, Haley Smith, Mandy Tan, Nia Wilson.