Digging into the story of one middle-class Damascus family, the celebrated Syrian team of playwright Mohammad Al Attar and director Omar Abusaada offer a gripping portrait of a country trapped in a gray area between hope and despair.


Brutally beaten at a checkpoint, 30-year-old Taim is admitted to the hospital in a coma. As his loved ones gather around him, they must face a reality defined by uncertainty and absence. What happened to Taim? Will he ever wake up? How has their vibrant, modern city become so strange and cruel? Unable to communicate, Taim lingers on the stage, an observer and commentator, as long-buried secrets and complicated relationships are revealed.


Inspired by a true story, the play weaves together different layers of consciousness, humanizing the situation in Syria and collapsing the distance between the Syrian people and the rest of the world.


“Western spectators feel like they have a direct line to Syrian society in all its complexity.”

Venue and Accessibility

524 W. 59th Street
  • Large-print programs
    Large-print programs
  • Captioning with English subtitles
    Captioning with English subtitles
  • Braille programs
    Braille programs
  • Wheelchair-accessible seating
    Wheelchair-accessible seating
  • Assistive listening devices
    Assistive listening devices

This performance includes gunshot sound effects.

For questions about accessibility or to request an accommodation, please contact [email protected] or 212.875.5375.

For ticketing information and general questions, please call 212.721.6500.

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While I Was Waiting

North American premiere

Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at 8:00 pm Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College

Add to Calendar America/New_York While I Was Waiting Lincoln Center Festival - A gripping portrait of modern-day Syria through the story of one middle-class family. Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College, 524 W. 59th Street, New York, NY 10023 Lincoln Center - Lincoln Center Festival false MM/DD/YYYY aho3e0k00zv7rk56sm4e178

Playwright Mohammad Al Attar

Director Omar Abusaada

Set Design Bissane Al Charif

Lighting Design Abdulhameed Khaleifa

Video Reem Al Ghazzi

Music Samer Saem Eldahr (Hello Psychaleppo)

With Hanan Chkir, Mohammad Alrashi, Nanda Mohammad, Mohammad Alrefai, Reham Kassar, Mustafa Kur

Performed in Arabic with English supertitles

Performance Details

A co-production of Festival d'Avignon, Napoli Teatro Festival, AFAC Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, Pôle Arts de la scène - Friche La Belle de Mai (Marseille), Theater Spektakel (Zurich), Onassis Cultural Centre (Athens), Vooruit (Gent), La Bâtie Festival de Genève, Les Bancs publics - Festival Les Rencontres à l'échelle (Marseille), Festival d'Automne à Paris 


Made possible in part by FACE Contemporary Theater, a program developed by FACE Foundation and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States with lead funding from the Florence Gould Foundation, Institut Français, and the French Ministry of Culture and Communication


Running Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes, with no intermission