Previews start Jan 24

Draw the Circle

5 reviews
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Rattlestick presents the NY premiere of Mashuq Mushtaq Deen's solo show, which compassionately brings to life the often-ignored struggle that a family goes through when their child transitions genders.

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The comic and moving story of conservative Muslim mother at her wits end, a Muslim father who likes to tell jokes, and a queer American woman trying to make a good impression on her Indian in-laws. In a story about family and love and the things we do to be together, one immigrant family must come to terms with a child who defies their most basic expectations of what it means to have a daughter, and one woman will redefine the limits of unconditional love. 'Draw the Circle' is told entirely from the point of view of family and friends, yet performed by Deen himself.

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Reviews (5)

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Avg Score

The Washington Post

for a previous production "Mashuq Mushtaq Deen has a good story to tell in 'Draw the Circle,' and a fresh way to tell it...Deen does good work switching vocal patterns and postures, but he’s more compassionate than chameleonic in his characterizations. Director Chay Yew keeps the lean performance percolating briskly...The story’s framework is simple yet striking, and more than a novelty: it’s an apt, big-hearted way to puzzle together many pieces of Deen’s journey." Full Review

DC Metro Theater Arts

for a previous production "Mashuq Mushtaq Deen has a singularly fascinating life story to tell. And the way he tells it is even more amazing...With his gentle humor, his agile portrayals, and a grippingly self-aware narrative, Deen takes us on his journey to become the man we see before us...The way as writer/performer Deen lets us know him through his transformation only through everyone else’s point of view is a masterful act of writing and performance that transforms us." Full Review

MD Theatre Guide

for a previous production "A unique look into a life and development from a perspective outside of the individual. Deen writes with clarity and precision about the topic. His characters are all realistic and have clear intentions and feelings. The journey that they all go on with Deen is compelling and full of fear and love...Deen conveys his writing with clear distinction and emotion...After a while, the audience becomes familiar with the characters because Deen’s acting to so well defined." Full Review

DC Theatre Scene

for a previous production "The show invites us to let the outsider in and draw a circle big enough that it can include everyone...While 'Draw the Circle' may be a solo show, Deen inhabits a dozen or so roles...Each character offers his or her own take on Deen’s transition from Shirine and the impact it’s had on them...Deen captures the nuance of each of his loved ones’ mixed emotions in a way that speaks to an immense amount of soul-searching and self-knowledge." Full Review


for a previous production "Deen's extreme vulnerability and creativity coalesce to make it a vitally important piece of theater...This method of storytelling feels completely authentic. Deen's portrayal of various individuals is remarkable, not only because of his careful craft, but also because of his great empathy...A singular theatrical experience. It concludes overwhelmingly, rendering transgender issues unignorable in today's divisive political climate." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews