Cover art by Andrew Skwish


Yussef El Guindi
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Two college professors have left their homeland for a country that soon devolves into a war zone. They’re accustomed to lives of comfort, but it’s hard to get comfortable when you’re chained to a radiator. HOSTAGES explores the intricacies of human nature when it’s deprived of personal contact and torn from the pleasantries of everyday life.

Production Info

Cast: 3 total (3 male)
Full Length Drama (about 80 minutes)
Minimal Set Requirements
Contemporary Costumes
Category: Tags: ,

Press Quotes

“As the play opens two blindfolded early-middle-aged men are chained to an old-fashioned steam radiator in an otherwise empty room. Kidnapped by terrorists, both are college professors, who had been teaching at a foreign university … The starkly different personalities of the two are revealed [in] dialogue [that] is incredibly witty and full of gallows humor, yet psychological insights abound … Enlightening without being didactic, [HOSTAGES is] outstanding creative theatre.” —Marie Bonfils, Drama in the Hood

“This is must-see theatre, for if the role of theatre is not solely to entertain but to provoke contemplation about our humanity — even if it means assaulting our senses, sensibilities, and assumptions and creating discomfort — then HOSTAGES fits the bill … It is a measure of El Guindi’s genius and craftsmanship that he pulls the audience aboard the excursion.” —Herbert Paine, Broadway World Review

“HOSTAGES is about our individual humanity and the related concept of fellowship. Echoing, in different ways, works by Sartre and Beckett, El Guindi explores how we survive on our own and how we survive with each other; what makes us ourselves and what makes us — and prevents us from being — free. HOSTAGES ranks as compelling and worthy theatre.” —Martin Denton,

“El Guindi’s dialogue and humor are sharp enough to cut.” —Thom Taylor, Spectator Magazine

About the Author


  • Yussef El Guindi

    Born in Egypt, raised in London, and now based in Seattle, Yussef El Guindi’s work frequently examines the collision of ethnicities, cultures, and politics that face Arab-Americans and Muslim Americans. El Guindi holds an MFA in playwriting from Carnegie Mellon University and has worked as resident playwright at Silk Road Theatre Project; literary manager for Golden Thread Productions; and playwright-in-residence at Duke University. He is the recipient of many honors, including the Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award and the 2010 Middle East America Distinguished Playwright Award. El Guindi's most recent productions include THE TALENTED ONES at Artists Repertory Theatre in Portland (Santa Barbara Independent Indy Awards); THREESOME at Portland Center Stage, ACT, and at 59E59 (winner of a Portland Drammy for Best Original Script); PILGRIMS MUSA AND SHERI IN THE NEW WORLD (winner of the Steinberg/American Theater Critics Association's New Play Award in 2012; and the 2011 Gregory Award) also at ACT, and at Center Repertory Company (Walnut Creek, CA) 2013; and LANGUAGE ROOMS (Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award), co-produced by Golden Thread Productions and the Asian American Theater Company in San Francisco; at the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia (premiere), and at the Los Angeles Theater Center. Other productions: OUR ENEMIES: LIVELY SCENES OF LOVE AND COMBAT was produced by Silk Road Theater Project and won the M. Elizabeth Osborn award. His play BACK OF THE THROAT (winner of L.A. Weekly's Excellence in Playwriting Award for 2006), PILGRIMS MUSA AND SHERI IN THE NEW WORLD, JIHAD JONES AND THE KALASHNIKOV BABES, SUCH A BEAUTIFUL VOICE IS SAYEDA and KARIMA’S CITY have been published by Dramatists Play Service. TEN ACROBATS IN AN AMAZING LEAP OF FAITH, COLLABORATOR, THREESOME, and THE TALENTED ONES have been published by Broadway Play Publishing Inc. OUR ENEMIES: LIVELY SCENES OF LOVE AND COMBAT is published in the anthology FOUR ARAB AMERICAN PLAYS published by McFarland Books. In January 2019, Bloomsbury will publish SELECTED WORKS BY YUSSEF EL GUINDI. Currently a Core Company playwright member at ACT in Seattle, 2018.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 12/18/2018
Pages 60
ISBN 9780881458084

Special Notes

Special Notes

Licensees are required to include the original stage producers credits in the following form on the title page in all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play and in all advertising in which the full cast appears in size of type not less than ten percent (10%) of the size of the title of the Play:
The following must appear within all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play:
Hostages is produced
by special arrangement with Broadway Play Publishing Inc, NYC


Upcoming and Recent Productions


10/19/2018 – 11/3/2018
Radial Theater LLC
Seattle, WA