Bina Sharif is an award winning Pakistani American playwright/actress/director/performer and a visual artist. She has 24 plays produced in USA, Pakistan and Europe. She is a joseph Jefferson award nominee actress from Chicago’s Goodman Theater.
Her highly acclaimed post sept 11 play, Afghan Woman opened in NYC In 2002 and was performed in UK, Pakistan, Hawaii, Belgium, and in many universities such as Princeton, Wellselly college, UPENN, Ohio State University, Denver, Colorado, Champagne Ill, Toronto, Temple University, Montclair University, Sacramento CA and Prestigious Islamabad Club Pakistan. Afghan Woman is not translated in Arabic and an excerpt of it was published in a book called, Shattering the stereotypes in USA.
Her very highly acclaimed full length play called, My Ancestor’s House was published in an anthology, Contemporary American plays by women of color by Ruttledge Press and is being taught in many Universities in America and abroad. The follow up of, My Ancestor’s House, a play called, Another Journey Home/Eight Dialogues in a Mirror Cracked was produced in 2010 in NYC and Pakistan.
Ms. Sharif has a few ongoing projects such as, Manhattan Days, Manhattan Spleen, Balthazar Days, Diary of a Thought and Thoughts of a Solitary Muslim. All of these projects often combine writings and drawings/visual art together.
Ms. Sharif is 10 times award winner by Jerome foundation, 2 time New York State Council of the Arts, Franklin Furnace award and the best performer award at a gay and lesbian theater festival.
Her Play, Sleeping with Horses was comissioned and produced by Mabou Mines and eventually was invited to a theater festival, Desh Pardesh Theater Festival in Toronto.
Her play, Kill, a response to the first Persian Gulf War was produced in 1991 and the her second play about the Iraq War was produced in 2006. It was titled, Republic of Iqra.
Her most poetic and a personal favorite play about the British Raj as a feverish love story between an English man and an Indian woman called, One Thousand Hours of Love was produced in 1992 and was brought back in 1993 for a second run at Theatre for the New City in New York where many of her plays have been produced.
Another favorite of Ms. Sharif is, Watchman, an earlier haunting tale of memory and movements was produced in 1989 in which Ms. Sharif was also did the choreography.
As an actress, Ms. Sharif has worked with Vanessa Redgrave, Fernando Arrabal, Brian F’o Burn, Lee Breuer, Robert Patrick, Charles Busch, Crystal Field, Irene Fornes, Sarah Schulman, Kevin Martin, Jane Adams and Todd Solandz.
Ms. Sharif also holds an MD degree from Pakistan and a masters in Public health from John Hopkins USA.
She is the founder and publisher of a theatre and film blog, Arts International.
She also is the Artistic Director of a theatre company called Lower Levels of Society, which started as a salon in her own Manhattan Apartment and produced Classics such as, The Lover by Harold Pinter, No Exit, and Respectful Prostitute by Sartre, Love is a Stranger in a Windowless Room and The Perfect Meat Loaf by Bina Sharif as well as a few other contemporary writers. The regular guests at The Lower Levels of Society were Quentin Crisp and Tom Steel and his companion playwright who was also produced by the LLOS.
Ms. Sharif is the Pioneer and trail blazer of the South Asian Theater to say the least.
Ms. Sharif is one of the very first Pakistani American Muslim woman playwright/actor/director in New York City.