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Comedy, Provocation, and the Female Face of Islamic Reform 

An Interview With Nadia P. Manzoor 






   Nadia Parvez Manzoor is an actress, writer, comedian, and producer. Born into a conservative Pakistani Muslim home in Northern London, Nadia's formative years were spent straddled between two seemingly irreconcilable cultural worlds.




In our dialogue, Nadia and I will discuss some of the pressing challenges facing women in Muslim culture through an exploration of her thought-provoking, highly popular, and hilarious autobiographical one-woman show, Burq Off!



In this play, Nadia embodies 21 different characters from her upbringing in London, including a domineering father, a soulful mother, a saucy English friend, and Islamic studies teachers whose interests range from slapping to pornography. Nadia's performance has been selling out across U.S. cities and is now touring in England and South Asia. Her story illuminates powerful themes often hard to discuss and asks provocative questions about gender, culture, and religion through the unique medium of art and humor.


Hailed as moving, funny, deeply personal and yet universal, Burq Off! explores a woman's journey to evolve beyond the veil...





Here is a short clip with some scenes from Nadia's performance.






In the past year, Nadia has also created and acted in Shugs and Fats, a comedic web-series about two Hijabis (Muslim women) on a quest to reconcile their long-held cultural beliefs with a new life in ‘liberated’ Brooklyn. 




Nadia graduated from Boston University with an M.A. in social work, where her passion was to merge the arts and social reform. Her one woman show, Burq Off!, is a manifestation of this intention, as her interests lie in asking provocative questions and in challenging the status quo.



To further fuse her interests in performance and social justice, she founded Paprika Productions, an all-female production company that produces works by brave, curious women.




Visit Nadia's website at:



To listen to more conversations in this series, click here.




*This dialogue was recorded March 8th 2015


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