NEW YORK CITY: Noor Theatre, a company dedicated to the work of theatre artists of Middle
Eastern and North African/South West Asian and North African (MENA/SWANA) descent, has named Ariana Sarfarazi to be their new executive director. In this role, Sarfarazi will lead overall operations at Noor, including programming and financial planning, and will work closely with the Noor team, including Sivan Battat (director of new-work development), Kate Moore Heaney (artistic producer), and Salma Zohdi (director of development and communication). Sarfarazi is the first to fill this role since the 2016 departure of Maha Chehlaoui.
A transactional entertainment attorney with a diverse skill set, Sarfarazi handles a wide range of entertainment transactions in the theatre, film, television, music, and publishing industries. As a theatrical attorney, she represents producers and investors in the development, production, and financing of live stage productions; counsels nonprofit theatre companies and related theatrical organizations; and advises a wide range of creative talent. Once a proud “theatre kid” herself, Sarfarazi serves on the board of Broadway for Arts Education, is a member of Theatre Producers of Color (TPOC), and is proud to serve as a volunteer pro bono attorney with Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley, where she double majored in International Development and Middle Eastern Studies, and the George Washington University Law School.
In a statement, Sarfarazi said, “I am deeply honored to be joining the amazing Noor team. After many years of breaking through cultural barriers to build a career in the arts, I am beyond grateful to work at the intersection of two fundamental parts of my identity: as a first generation Iranian American, and a dedicated arts advocate. It feels like I am exactly where I am supposed to be.”
Sarfarazi’s hiring was made possible by a robust search process led by ALJP Consulting in collaboration with Noor’s staff, board, and trusted community members.
Founded in 2010, Noor Theatre is the only New York City company with a mission to uplift the theatre work of the MENA/SWANA community. As of 2022, their budget was close to $200,000.
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