Babak Tafti, seen in Succession and The Profane, will return to Playwrights Horizons in the spring for the company's Off-Broadway premiere of Selling Kabul by Sylvia Khoury. Tyne Rafaeli, who directed Khoury's Power Strip, reunites with the playwright for her intimate thriller tracing the impacts of America's ongoing war in Afghanistan.
In Selling Kabul, which begins previews March 27, a former interpreter for the U.S. military finds himself the target of the Taliban in Afghanistan. On the eve of his son's birth, Taroon (Tafti) must remain in his sister’s apartment, or risk his life to see his child. Keeping his whereabouts secret, his sister Afiya navigates the ethically murky territory of survival, as one structure’s false promises leave her family vulnerable to another’s antagonism.
Marjan Neshat (Julius Caesar, Quantico), who, like Tafti, has been involved in the development of the play since its early stages, will star alongside the actor as Afiya.
Rounding out the cast will be Francis Benhamou (The Profane, Inside Amy Schumer) as Leyla and Mattico David (Noura) as Jawid.
Selling Kabul is produced in association with Williamstown Theatre Festival, which first presented the play.
The creative team includes scenic designer Arnulfo Maldonado, costume designer Montana Levi Blanco, lighting designer Jen Schriever, sound designer Daniel Kluger, and production stage manager Brett Anders.
The piece emerged from conversations Khoury had with lawyers working for the International Refugee Assistance Project, which in part provides advocacy for interpreters who aided American forces, and are left in danger under the broken promise of U.S. visas.
“Within the stories I heard were the details typically excluded in the news—the navigation of everyday personal dynamics against the horrific backdrops global powers have created," says Khoury. "[Director] Tyne and I connect over a commitment to pursuing the truth and humanity at the center of really complex political situations, and hope the audience leaves considering what our moral obligation is, as Americans, to be engaged with the real impact our foreign policy has on lives across the globe.”