By Sanaz Toossi
Originally Co-produced at Atlantic Theatre Company and Roundabout Theatre Company, New York, NY
February 5 - March 20, 2022

English – Atlantic Theater Company

Two words set in motion award-winning playwright Sanaz Toossi’s intricate and profound New York debut: “English Only.” This is the mantra that rules one classroom in Iran, where four adult students are preparing for the TOEFL — the Test of English as a Foreign Language. Chasing fluency through a maze of word games, listening exercises, and show-and-tell sessions, they hope that one day, English will make them whole. But it might be splitting them each in half.

Artistic Statement: We are so grateful for the Edgerton Foundation support of our co-production with Roundabout - particularly during this reopening 2021-22 season. Sanaz Toossi is an extraordinary young playwright and we are so proud to welcome her to Atlantic with her Off Broadway debut. English is a rich and illuminating play that explores language and identity in contemporary times. Since being introduced to Sanaz during our Middle Eastern MixFest in 2018, we have been eager to work with her. She has developed into a major playwriting talent and in addition to receiving the Edgerton Foundation New Play Award, she has received multiple accolades, including the Laurents/Hatcher award. We recently extended the run of the play until March 20th and are looking forward to seeing her upcoming play Wish You Were Here at Playwrights Horizons.

Grant Statement:
Support from the Edgerton foundation was instrumental in underwriting an extra week of rehearsal and a cultural consultant. This allowed the creative team and cast to dig deeper into each character’s intentions and motivations while also researching and exploring Iranian culture and the sociopolitical situation in 2008.

Director: Knud Adams 
Cast: Tala Ashe, Ava Lalezarzadeh, Pooya Mohseni, Marjen Neshat, Hadi Tabbal
Set Design: Marsha Ginsberg
Costume Design: Enver Chakartash
Lighting Design: Reza Behjat
Sound Design: Sinan Refik Zafar
Production Stage Manager: Alex H. Hajjar
Assistant Stage Manager: Gracie Carleton
Co-Producer: Roundabout Theatre Company

Pulitzer Prize, 2023 Winner

Subsequent Productions:

  • Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, GA August 16, 2023 - Sept. 17, 2023
  • Goodman Theatre in Chicago, IL May 10, 2024 - July 9, 2024
  • Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, MN July 13, 2024 - August 18, 2024
  • Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, MA Sept. 27, 2023 - October 15, 2023
  • SpeakEasy Stage Company in Boston, MA October 21, 2022 - November 19, 2022
  • Studio Theatre in Washington, D.C.January 11, 2023 - February 12, 2023