Monsieur Ibrahim and the Flowers of the Koran

January 18–February 16, 2003
FranceU.S. Premiere
Set in 1960s Paris, the play examines the definition of family, both the one acquired at birth and the one earned, chosen and nurtured over the course of a life.
Meet the Artists

Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt was born in 1960 in Lyon. His first play, La Nuit de Valognes (Don Juan on Trial,) opened in Paris in 1991 and was subsequently produced in the U.S. and Great Britain. His 1993 play Le Visiteur (The Visitor), for which he won three Moliere awards, marked his first international success with productions throughout Europe, South America, Canada and Turkey. Variations Enigmatiques (Enigma Variations) starred Alain Delon in France, Donald Sutherland in Toronto, London and Los Angeles, and Karl-Maria Brandauer in Berlin, with subsequent productions throughout the world. M. Schmitt's numerous plays also include Le Libertin (The Libertine), Milarepa, Frederick ou le Boulevard du Crime (Frederick or the Boulevard of Crime) starring Jean-Paul Belmondo, Hotel des Deux Mondes (7 Nominations for the Moliere Awards 2000, including Best Playwright and Best Play). He has also written several published novels, and adaptations for film, opera and television. His latest adaptation for television was “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” starring Catherine Deneuve and his latest screenplays include a modern version of Volpone starring Gerard Depardieu.

Stéphane Laporte has written many French theatrical adaptations
including Noel Coward’s Song at Twilight and Fallen Angels (with Jeanne Moreau), Stones in His Pockets, Wit, Sondheim’s Company and Side by Side, and Nine. He is collaborating with Jeanne Moreau on her biography and is also a screenwriter.

Maria Mileaf (Director) is based in NYC where she has directed Vijay Tendulkar’s Sakharam Binder and Maria Milisavljevic’s Abyss for the Play Company; Sharon Washington’s Feeding the Dragon, Lee Blessings’ Body of Water and his Going to St. Ives at Primary Stages; Courtney Baron’s Here I Lie and Alan Zweibel’s Playing God @ 59E59; Alexandra Gersten-Vasillaros’ The Argument at The Vineyard; and Kira Obolensky’s Lobster Alice at Playwrights Horizons.

Ed Vassallo (Actor) Monsieur Ibrahim and the Flowers of the Koran. Broadway: Awake and Sing. Off-Broadway: Havana is Waiting, Streetcar Named Desire, Tale of 2 Cities. Television: 5th season on Soprano's (Tom Giglione), “Sex and the City”, all “Law and Orders”, “Six Degrees”.  Film: War of the Worlds, Roberta, Exiles in New York.

Neil Patel (Set Designer) Recent New York: Father Comes Hone from the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3), Mr Burns (a post electric play), The Lion. Recent Opera: Norma (LA Opera). Recent Film: Loitering with Intent, Dil Dhadakne Do.

Katherine Roth (Costume Designer) New York credits: Sore Throats at Theatre for a New Audience, The Sugar Syndrome at Williamstown, The Argument at the Vineyard Theatre, Sakharam Binder, M. Ibrahim and the Flowers of the Koran at the Play Company, Happy Days at Cherry Lane, Breath, Boom at Playwrights' Horizons, Trestle at Pope Lick Creek at New York Theater Workshop, Hard Feelings, The Chemistry of Change at the Women’s Project, Model Apartment at Primary Stages. Regional theatre: George Street Playhouse, Huntington Theatre, Intiman Theatre, Old Globe, Mark Taper Forum, California Shakespeare Festival, Dallas Theater Center, La Jolla Playhouse, Yale Rep, Center Stage, South Coast Rep, Magic Theatre. Film/TV: Exiles in New York, Associate Costume Designer, All My Children.

Lenore Doxsee (Lighting Designer) Recent designs include Faust Parts 1&2 with Target Margin Theater, Clemenza di Tito for Opera de Montreal, and Miguel Gutierrez’ “Difficult Bodies” at Dance Theater Workshop.  Previously with The Play Company:  Monsieur Ibrahim and the Flowers of the Koran.  Other recent designs:  Cunning Little Vixen at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Boris Goudenow for Boston Early Music Festival, and Orlando at New York City Opera.  Ms. Doxsee is Associate Artistic Director of Target Margin Theater, and has designed many productions for TMT including the Obie Award winning Mamba’s Daughters.

Robert Kaplowitz (Composer & Sound Designer) developed a dramaturgical approach to design during his summers creating the sound design program at the Eugene O'Neill Playwright's Conference in Connecticut ('00-'04). As a result, he's had the privilege to write music and/or create sound designs for hundreds of new plays, and is flattered to have been honored with both a Tony Award for Fela! and an Obie award for Sustained Excellence In Sound Design. Selected credits include: Bill T. Jones' Fela (Broadway, the National in London, EKO Center in Lagos, CarrŽ in Amsterdam, etc); John Beluso's The Poor Itch, Lemon Anderson's County Of Kings, and Neil LaBute's Wrecks plus a handful of others at the Joseph Papp Public Theatre in NY; David Adjmi's Stunning (Lincoln Center 3); Kia Corthron's Light, Raise the Roof (New York Theatre Workshop); Abbey Spallin's Pumpgirl (Manhattan Theatre Company), Chloe Moss's This Wide Night (Naked Angels); and Adam Bock's The Thugs (SoHo Rep) and A Small Fire (Playwrights Horizons), plus designs for 2nd Stage, LAByrinth, MCC, Primary Stages, The Vineyard, Sundance, PlayPenn, and others. He moved to Philadelphia in the beginning of 2010, and has since created work for the Arden, People's Light, Interact, Act 2, Elastic Theatre, and the PIFA festival. Academic postings include Princeton, NYU, and an annual Masterclass at the Kennedy Center.

Monsieur Ibrahim and the Flowers of the Koran is about an unlikely friendship between a troubled Jewish boy and a solitary Arab man. Young Moise quickly learns that Monsieur Ibrahim has much more to offer him than the small grocery items he routinely pilfers from Ibrahim’s neighborhood store.

Written by

Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt

Translated by

Stéphane Laporte

Directed by

Maria Mileaf


Ed Vassallo

Set Design

Neil Patel

Costume Design

Katherine Roth

Lighting Design

Lenore Doxsee

Sound/Original Music

Robert Kaplowitz


McGinn/Cazale Theater 2162 Broadway New York, NY