Mashuq Mushtaq Deen’s “Draw The Circle” opens in D.C. and NYC

We are proud to announce that Ma-Yi Lab Member, Mashuq Deen’s  DRAW THE CIRCLE starts December 1-24, 2017, in Washington D.C. Produced by Mosaic Theater Company, The production is written and starring Deen and directed by longtime friend of Ma-Yi, Chay Yew, and opens at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, Lab II.

The play premiered at PlayMakers Repertory Theatre in  Chapel Hill, NC in  August 2016, and is slated for InterAct Theatre in Philadelphia in June 2018 and New York’s Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre in January/February 2018.

SYNOPSIS: “Gender transition can be a test for any household-but when Mashuq Deen comes out to his conservative Muslim family, traditional values and Western ideals collide in an hilarious and moving immigration journey unlike any other. Told entirely from the point of view of family and friends, yet performed by Deen himself, Draw the Circle is a moving story about survival, transition, and unconditional love.”

Deen, who is transgender, said title for the play is taken from a poem heard when visiting a Unitarian Universalist church:

He drew a circle that shut me out–
Heretic, rebel, thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle and took him in!
Edwin Markham


Ma-Yi specifically promotes the works of Asian American writers, but supports and strives towards diversity and equality in everything we do, which is why we’re proud to be affiliated with Deen. Deen’s Draw the Circle is told entirely from the point of view of family and friends, yet performed by Deen himself, this unique show compassionately brings to life the often ignored struggle that a family goes through when their child transitions from one gender to another.


The story’s framework is simple yet striking, and more than a novelty: it’s an apt, big-hearted way to puzzle together many pieces of Deen’s journey. “Draw the Circle” does not sugarcoat his despair or incidents of violence, yet it rather amazingly reaches back to retrieve people who easily could have been cut out for life.

DRAW THE CIRCLE is a singular theatrical experience. It concludes overwhelmingly, rendering transgender issues unignorable in today’s divisive political climate. It’s also uplifting – in a different way than the usual holiday-season play, but on a much deeper, more meaningful level.

If you believe theater can teach us something important about who we are as gendered beings—or even if you just have a hunch that America cannot be great if driven by hate—Draw the Circle is an epochal inquiry into identity…and some of the most pressing questions of our time.


On Stage
The Labbies
Ma-Yi Theater Company 520 Eighth Avenue, Suite 309 New York, NY 10018 212.971.4862 info [at]