by Alyssa Haddad-Chin

Featured image for “Sanctuary”





Based vaguely on semi-true events, this 10-minute play follows a pizza shop owner and a cow that stumbled into Brooklyn who are searching for their sanctuary. Commissioned by American Blues Theatre for their 2023 Ripped Festival.




Alyssa Haddad-Chin (she/her) is a Brooklyn-based, Arab-American playwright, educator and arts administrator from upstate NY. Her play The Newlywed Game received its World Premiere at B Street Theatre in June 2024. She is the 2024 playwright-in-residence at SPARC New Voices, a 2024 Premiere Stages Finalist, and was a 2022/23 writing fellow at the Playwrights Realm. Her work has been developed at NYTW, the Athena Project, Art House Productions and many more. She is the Company and Community Manager at Target Margin Theater. MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.




When did you start writing plays? If you had a moment where you realized you wanted to write, what was it?

I realized I wanted to write plays when I was at grad school. I was there to learn how to write for TV, coming from a comedy background with a focus on stand up, sketch and improv. Our class went to see Hand To God by Robert Askins, and I was floored as a theater noob that… there were living playwrights. And that you could be funny on stage while exploring complex issues.


How did you come to write your OOB play? Was there a particular inspiration behind its creation? How has it developed?

I was commissioned to participate in American Blues Theatre’s Ripped Festival, where playwrights are asked to create a short play that’s “ripped” from the headlines. I saw this story about a cow that had escaped its fate of being slaughtered and was running around Brooklyn. I was struck by the absurdity of the pictures and video in the article, but also the way the community rallied around this cow’s desperation for life. (you can take a look here).


What are five words that describe who you are as a playwright?

Haha oh wait it’s serious


What/who are some of the major influences on your writing?

Tina Fey, Neil Simon, Christopher Durang, Nicky Silver. I’m interested in taking these styles of writing and flipping them to reflect Arab-Americans in the roles.


What’s one fact someone would never guess about you?

I play relatively adequate tennis!


What are some of your favorite plays?

Sweat, Significant Other, August Osage County, Man Cave, Eh Dah? Questions for my Father.


Any new projects you’re working on or shameless plugs?

My play The Newlywed Game runs through July 14th at B Street Theatre (link!). You can read it on NPX!

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