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The Alien Nation

New Play Development

The Alien Nation

Selima is guilty until proven innocent as she fights to claim her place in the only country she has called home. She feels American, sounds American and yet having arrived illegally with her mother at the age of three, she now faces deportation into an unknown homeland. The Alien Nation follows her journey as it weaves from asylum seekers, lawyers and judges as their lives intersect in the U.S. immigration courtroom. Littered with audience interaction, multimedia and scored by a live DJ, the play explores how humanity survives in judicial proceedings.

Written by Zoey Martinson, developed with Smoke & Mirrors Collaborative

This play was born out of devising workshops where actors and the creative team gathered asylum seekers’ personal stories, legal residents’ accounts of facing deportation and judge’s reports of being caught between legal duty, and the desire to offer support to others in need. Formally known as Square Peg/ Round Hole.


Writer Zoey Martinson then travelled to detention centers, the US/Mexican boarder, the humanitarian aid camp in the desert for migrants crossing, US immigration court proceedings and conducted countless interviews with immigrants, lawyers and judges .

2018 Reading at BAM Attic Studio. Presented by The Dirty Blondes. Free to the public. Click here for tickets and info.


2015 Development Residency as a part of Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Process Space program


2014 Development Workshop at Lincoln Center

Director: Jonathan David Martin

Cast:  Hend Ayoub, Matt Citron, Stan Demidoff, Daniel Isaac, Christina Pumariega, and Elizabether Rich.

Designers: Jason Simms (set), Nick Solyom (lights), John Emmett O'Brien (sound), Lara de Buijn (costumes)

Choreography: Abdul Latif

Composer: John McGrew

Stage Manager: Josephine Ronga, Keir Alexander (ASM)


Devising workshop participants: Anshuman Bhatia, Kortney Barber, Jonathan David Martin, Angel Desai, Gertjan Houben, Stacey Linnartz, Zoey Martinson, Daniel K. Isaac, Prentice Onayemi, Jude Sandy, Jennifer Joan Thompson, and Enrico D. Wey.

*The Alien Nation is made possible by a generous grant from the Lilah Hilliard Fisher Foundation, The Rockefellers Brothers Fund through Lincoln Center Education and through the generous support of NYU Grad Acting's Studio Tisch Festival.


*The Alien Nation was developed as part of Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Process Space program.

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