College Night At The Goodman Theatre: Yasmina’s Necklace

Elizabeth Granato

November 1st, 2017

Photo Credit: Liz Lauren

On Thursday October 26, I attended the Goodman Theatre’s second College Night event for the 2017/2018 season. I had a great experience at the event last month so of course I had to go back and experience it once again.

The performance for this College Night was Yasmina’s Necklace, which was done by playwright Rahina Malik and directed by Ann Filmer.

The event started out with a pre-show pizza party on the second floor of the theatre. This allowed the students from various colleges to mix and mingle with one another and share their love for the arts. 

Following the pizza party, students were then directed towards the corner of the venue to listen to a panel discussion where the director of the play, Ann Filmer answered a few questions.

The evening was capped off by a performance of the Yasmina’s Necklace in the Owen Theatre.

This play follows a woman named Yasmina and her father who have moved from Iraq to Chicago to escape war. Her and her father live on their own and eventually, an arranged marriage is put in order for Yasmina, despite her unwillingness to be married.

Sam, a man with his own problems, is set up with Yasmina and things change for them over the course of time despite their differences.

Sam and Yasmina both come from very different backgrounds but are similar in numerous ways. They both have had a difficult time finding someone who understands them and they are both too stubborn to realize that.

Past experiences for them have gotten in the way of finding true happiness but soon realize that they can lean on each other for support and help each other out.

When I entered the theatre, I noticed the very detailed set that was in front of me on stage. There were two different open rooms on each end of the stage, one representing Yasmina’s apartment and the other being Sam’s home. Not a single detail went unnoticed.

One of the interesting features about the set were paintings from artist Ahmad Abdulrazzaq. He created six different paintings for the play and they are displayed on the walls of Yasmina’s apartment.

The images that Abdulrazzaq creates are meant to promote peace and love among all faiths. Not only are his images displayed in the play, they can also be found in the hallways of the Goodman Theatre itself.

Before the play had even started, people were already laughing at the actors who did the voiceover of informing people to silence their phones and opening their food before instead of during the performance, etc. because of how they informed the audience. Right from there, I knew that the play would have some sort of comedic element to it.

I really enjoyed the storyline of Yasmina’s Necklace. It showed that two people who did not think anything was going right for them could be brought together and find happiness.

I think that the play flowed seamlessly and the lines that they gave were very profound and meaningful. The play had its funny parts as well as its serious moments. Right at the beginning, it started out funny and it had the crowd laughing endlessly.

The play kind of gave me a “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” vibe in regards to the dynamic and interaction between the families.

The actors in the play did a very good job delivering their performance. I thought that their timing was good and they kept me locked in the entire play.

There was also a lot of emotion that went into it and you can really hear it from the actors when they said their lines and you can see it on their faces (I would mention specifics but sorry, no spoilers).

Although Yasmina’s Necklace was comical at points, it had a deeper meaning to it. It touched and brought up how Muslims are portrayed by some people but they wanted to prove that they are not what people make them out to be. 

Diversity played a key role because of the various characters in the play and this play really wanted to break down a barrier and show people that everyone should be treated the same and you should not judge and base your opinions on someone just because of their race.

Overall, I was very pleased with Yasmina’s Necklace and I would highly recommend it to anyone. It truly has something for everyone and it has a great story and meaning behind it.

The College Night event itself was also great once again and it was nice to be able to experience it another time.   

The Goodman Theatre offers a free program called the College Club, which is a program for those students who really passionate about theater.

Those who join the program receive monthly e-newsletters with student discounts for shows, exclusive information about the Goodman’s current season, invitations to special events, and priority access to College Nights.

For those students who are unable to attend College Night, the Goodman offers a program called 10TIX. This program offers ten dollar tickets to students for plays in the Albert Theatre or the Owen Theatre, subject to availability.

For more information regarding the 10TIX program, visit GoodmanTheatre.org/Tickets/Special-Discounts. The next College Night takes place on October 26 and the performance will be Sarah DeLappe’s The Wolves will take place on February 15.

The Goodman Theatre is located at 170 N. Dearborn in Downtown Chicago.

Elizabeth Granato

Editor in Chief

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