By Deb Christian
CHICAGO (March 31, 2017) — A special feature at RCC’s 2017 convention was a workshop that tells the story of how the arts, theater specifically, functions as a communicator. Silk Road Rising is a theater group using live performance and online videos through primarily Asian American and Middle Eastern American playwrights, authors and actors to reveal universal human stories.
Co-founders Malik Gillani, a Muslim of Pakistani heritage and Jamil Khoury, a Christian with Syrian ancestry, showed two documentaries. One, Sacred Stages: A Church, A Theatre and A Story, shares with viewers the unique relationship between Silk Road Rising and the First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple, one of the city’s oldest Christian churches. The need of the acting troop for a place to be and of the congregation to better utilize space in their historic building is seen is this 28-minute film. It is a shared commitment that established this partnership.