Radio Act

Samar Haddad King is a multidisciplinary artist and Artistic Director of Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre.

Artist Bio

Inspired by the role of independent radio in wartime, Radio Act (working title) is a new musical by Samar Haddad King that tells the story of collective and individual survival and the costs incurred for said survival. Chronicling an independent outlet for journalism and cultural programming in Syria during the revolution, Radio Act follows six radio DJs and presenters, and how they keep the station afloat in an effort to inspire their communities. Constantly under threat, the station becomes their lifeline and a vehicle through which they dream of a better future, one that is built by the people from the ground up. With content that is entertaining, tactical, and informative, the station is a beacon of hope, empowerment, and release. The show follows the triumphs and struggles of the station’s team amidst the chaos: rocky marriages, young love, parenthood, failed ambitions, and pending dreams, while dealing with the pressure of life during armed conflict.

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Award Year

In Progress

Creative Capital Carnival 2023


Samar Haddad King

New York, NY

Samar Haddad King founded Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre (YSDT) in New York City in 2005 after graduating from the Ailey/Fordham BFA program. As the Artistic Director and lead creative voice, King has created over 35 original works that have been performed in 14 countries on 4 continents, and has been commissioned throughout the US and internationally. King’s creative practice is rooted in collaboration—involving a culturally and aesthetically diverse group of composers, designers, directors, writers, and performers—to develop multimedia narrative works. This approach leads to a unique blend of dance theater, which does not rely on the context or lineage of one place or practice but is an ongoing translation of the verbal and physical languages of this diverse group. King frequently collaborates on theater and musical theater productions, including Dead Are My People (2018, Noor Theatre, New York), We Live in Cairo (2019, American Repertory Theater, Boston) and The Walk with Amal (2021, Marseille, France and 2022, New York City). King was a resident artist at Chaillot – Théâtre national de la Danse in Paris (2018); a Resident Fellow at the Center for Ballet and the Arts (CBA) at NYU (2019–20); and a 2021 Toulmin Creator at CBA-National Sawdust. King is a composer, writer, and choreographer, and frequently lectures on her transnational, cross-disciplinary work.