August 9, 2008

Four Arab American Comedy Gurus to Hold Interactive Comedy Workshop

The comedy quartet, Dean Obeidallah, Maysoon Zayid, Aron Kader and Waleed Zuaiter will be helping people find their inner funny bone. They will turn their knack for stand up comedy into an academic discipline to be passed on to eager Jordanian comedians to be. In an upcoming Comedy Workshop hosted at the SAE Institute in Amman after tomorrow, the three Arab American comedy gurus will be spending one hour of their stay in Jordan to indulge attendees into the basics of stand up comedy.

Basing the workshop content on their innate talents for turning their personal life stories into content for a riveting and wit filled comedy performance, the four comedians will be passing on their know-how to Jordanians wishing to break into the entertainment business. The workshop will include a hands on training agenda, practical exercises, and a Q&A session.

Dean Obeidallah explains that this free training session is first and foremost designed to encourage Jordanians to get involved in comedy and the arts. The workshop content shall pass through the years of experience Obeidallah, Zayid, Kader, and Zuaiter have successfully accumulated in the comedy filed in the US and around the world.

Born in the Great State of New Jersey, Dean attributes his comedic talents to his unique background (cultural mix) being the son of a Palestinian father and a Sicilian mother. Dean is the co- creator and co-producer of Comedy's critically acclaimed Internet series "The Watch List", a show featuring a cast of all Middle Eastern-American comedians performing stand up and sketch comedy. He also appeared on ABC's "The View," CNN and NBC's "Saturday Night Live.", and he was recently one of five comedians profiled in a one-hour TV Special which was aired nationally in the United States on PBS, and which will be airing September 2008 on Al Jazeera entitled: "Stand Up: Muslim-American Comics Come of Age."

Maysoon Zayid, the other talented actor and professional standup comedian taking part in this workshop, holds a BFA in acting from Arizona State University, and she is the co-founder, and co- executive producer of the New York Arab American Comedy Festival. She can be seen on Comedy Central's "The Watch List" and in the upcoming Adam Sandler movie. She has appeared on As The World Turns, Law & Order, MTV, NBC Nightly News, CNN, ABC's 20/20, The New York Times, and Her Palestinian origins and her life spent abroad often form the base of her comedy material.

Waleed Zuaiter also holds a wealth of comedic experience under his belt, as he is the Co-Executive Producer of the annual NY Arab- American Comedy Festival and an award winning actor. He can be seen in the upcoming HBO/BBC miniseries about Saddam Hussein, "Between Two Rivers," playing his best friend, Adnan Hamdani. He has appeared on Broadway in Sixteen Wounded and at NYC's famed The Public in Mother Courage w/Meryl Streep & Kevin Kline and in Stuff Happens (Drama Desk Winner, "Outstanding Ensemble"), among other shows.

The last but certainly not least important pillar in the comedy workshop quartet is Aron Kader. Like his peers, he has also been on many TV shows, namely: Premium Blend, The Shield, The Wall Street Journal and Newsweek Magazine. Recently, Aron filmed a TV pilot for NBC called "Beverly Hills SUV". Most of the times, Kader can be seen touring all the major clubs and colleges around the States. For what it's worth, he thanks his Palestinian father and Mormon mother for giving him many reasons to become a comedian.

This workshop comes prior to a performance that will be held by the four comedians at the Courtyard Caf of Al Qasr Metropole (Howard Johnson) Hotel in Shmeisani. Promising several hours of laughter, this live comedy performance will be staged on the evenings of August 11, and 12, 2008. Addressing the hearts and minds of all social strata, the event is expected to entice an audience of 350 individuals each evening. The show is coming to Amman in collaboration with event sponsors Petra Aluminum, and Play 99.6, TRACCS, Al Qasr Metropole (Howard Johnson) Hotel.

Individuals interested in pursuing a career in comedy will be invited to give a 3 to 4 performance at this upcoming workshop, as the comedy troop, on their part, are promising to pick at least one promising comedian to perform a 5 minute opening act to kick start their upcoming show.

2008 Al Bawaba (

Originally published by By Al-Bawaba Reporters.

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