Interviews & profiles.

Chicago's Rising Stars: Omer Abbas Salem

On a frigid Sunday morning in December, the Goodman Theatre had a full house for a staged reading of Modern Women, a work in progress by actor-turned-playwright Omer Abbas Salem. The piece is a riff on Steel Magnolias, with the setting transferred from Louisiana to Skokie, and Southern belle archetypes remade into Arab and Indian aunties.

Steel Magnolias was among the first plays Salem saw as a student at Hinsdale South High School two decades ago. “It stuck with me because it was a story of pe
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