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Ismail Khalidi

Prolific Palestinian-American Playwright

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Date of Birth:



Beirut, Lebanon

Place of Birth:

Why Featured?

Ismail Khalidi is celebrated for his significant contributions to theater, particularly through his plays that often explore Palestinian history, culture, and politics. His works are known for their depth and ability to present complex narratives, making him a key figure in Palestinian-American literature.

Brief bio

Ismail Khalidi is a Palestinian-American playwright, poet, and performer known for his compelling plays that delve into the Palestinian experience and broader political and cultural themes. Raised in Chicago, he has written, directed, performed, and taught internationally, showcasing his diverse talents in the arts.

Major Milestones


  • 1982: Born in Beirut, Lebanon to Palestinian parents.

  • 2005: Graduated with a B.A. from Macalester College.

  • 2009: Received his M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts...See More

  • 2010: His play 'Tennis in Nablus' premiered at the Alliance Theater.

  • 2015: Co-edited 'Inside/Outside: Six Plays from Palestine and the Diaspora'​​​​​​.

  • Playwriting: Authored several plays including 'Tennis in Nablus,' 'Truth Serum Blues,' 'Foot,' 'Final Status,' 'Sabra Falling,' and a co-adaptation of 'Returning to Haifa.'

  • Awards and Recognition: His play 'Tennis in Nablus' received acclaim and awards, exploring the Palestinians' 1936-39 revolt against British Colonial rule.

  • Editorial Work: Co-edited 'Inside/Outside: Six Plays from Palestine and the Diaspora,' contributing significantly to the field of Palestinian and diaspora literature.

  • Academic Contributions: Served as a Many Voices Fellow at the Playwrights Center in Minneapolis and an Emerging Writers Fellow at the New York Theater Workshop.

  • International Influence: His work has been produced and read at theaters and universities around the world, showcasing the global impact of his literary and theatrical contributions​

Date of Last Update: 
January 7, 2024

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