Cover art courtesy of Artists Repertory Theatre

The Talented Ones

Yussef El Guindi
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THE TALENTED ONES looks at the thwarted dreams of immigrants eager to make it in their adopted country. As converts to the American Dream, how much more challenging and lethal do the notions of success and failure become? Omar is falling down in his attempts to make a success of his life, while his wife, Cindy, a fellow immigrant, appears to be doing much better, and is becoming increasingly frustrated by Omar’s struggles. His American best friend, Patrick, may be Cindy's way out. Mixing realism with memory and dance, THE TALENTED ONES dissects with increasing ferocity this couple's marriage and aspirations.

Production Info

Cast: 5 total (2 female, 3 male, doubling)
Full Length Dark Comedy (about 100 minutes)
Single Set
Contemporary Costumes

Press Quotes

“In a world where immigrants are often seen as monolithic others, this play, written by an immigrant, opens a window on their challenges and struggles … El Guindi’s script is spirited, profane, hilarious and pointed; line after line leaves its mark.” —Amy Wang, The Oregonian/

“Innovative, darkly funny work … In his plays, El Guindi tends to explore the experiences of immigrants and people of color, and the complex, troubling racial dynamics that can play out in the most seemingly progressive places … The dialogue is quippy, sharp-edged, and so full of subtly disappointed pronouncements that much of it wouldn’t be out of place in a Wes Anderson movie … What’s especially powerful about THE TALENTED ONES is that it deviates from many ‘good immigrant’ narratives that reduce immigrant characters — whether real or imagined — to blandly virtuous caricatures … El Guindi’s risky, weird comedy is enough to keep you in your seat.” —Megan Burbank, The Portland Mercury

“The new play is just offbeat enough to be unexpectedly funny and bizarre … THE TALENTED ONES’ worldview still manages to be kind of beautiful — knife wounds and all.” —Shannon Gormley, Willamette Week

“There is comedy — side-splitting and dark. It’s a haunting play because the truths are so real and the action so raw … A play that should have no problems finding its way into theaters across the country.” —Judy Nerdy, Judy Nerdy Play Reviews

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 6/29/2018
Pages 86
ISBN 9780881457810

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 TALENTED ONES was originally produced at
Artists Repertory Theatre on April 29th, 2017

The following must appear within all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play:
The Talented Ones is produced
by special arrangement with Broadway Play Publishing Inc, NYC