Sunset Park

Target Margin Theater’s new play looks at gender roles

‘Pay No Attention To The Girl’ opens March 29

March 16, 2018 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Cast members of “Pay No Attention To The Girl” perform in a workshop production of the play. Photo by Audrey Wang
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As the #MeToo Movement continues to shake up American culture, a Brooklyn-based theater is getting set to present the world premiere of a play that takes a close look at gender roles, power and Islamophobia.

Target Margin Theater, located at 232 52nd St. in Sunset Park, will present “Pay No Attention to the Girl,” a play that consists of a series of tales about deceptions between the sexes inspired by “The Thousand and One Nights,” a collection of Middle Eastern, North African and South Asian stories.

“Pay No Attention to the Girl” opens on March 29 and runs through April 21.

David Herskovits, the founding artistic director of the Target Margin Theater, Moe Yousuf, the associate artistic director, and Lu Liu, the general manager, are overseeing the production.

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“Pay No Attention to the Girl” will mark the beginning of an artistic journey for the Target Margin Theater, which will be embarking on a multi-year exploration of “The Thousand and One Nights” that will be led by Target Margin personnel and resident artists.  

“In 2015, when Moe brought forward ‘The Thousand and One Nights’ as potential source material, I was immediately drawn in. These tales are huge in scope, mystical, political, and problematic, Herskovits said in a statement. “We all saw them as a window into a deep humanity and a challenge to our understanding of Islamic Culture. The stories in ‘Pay No Attention to the Girl’ confront gender and power head on: Who controls the narrative around sexual relations, the (male) officers of the king or a slave girl?”

Herskovits’ previous works at the Target Margin Theater have won four Obie Awards. In one of his most recent productions, he directed Eugene O’Neill’s “Mourning Becomes Electra.”

The cast for “Pay No Attention to the Girl” includes features Caitlin Nasema Cassidy, Deepali Gupta, Anthony Vaughn Merchant, Samy el-Noury, and Lori Vega.

The costume designer is Dina El-Aziz. Carolyn Mraz is the set designer. The creative team alo includes Jesse Freedman, the sound engineer and Kate McGee, the lighting designer.

For ticket information, visit or call 212-352-3101.

Founded more than 25 years ago, Target Margin Theater is known for its interpretations of classic works, as well as its performances of lesser-known works and its commitment to presenting new plays.

The theater company moved into an industrial space in Sunset Park and established its new headquarters there in November. The 52nd Street spot was located after Target Margin leaders spent five years looking for a permanent home.

Prior to the move to Brooklyn, Target Margin Theater worked out 20 theaters and 50 rehearsal studios in three of the five boroughs.


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