Minnesota’s festival of performing arts
August 1–11, 2013 / Minneapolis

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Tizi Ouzou

Drama /

By Taous Khazem

Directed by Zaraawar Mistry

Set to the dynamic pulse of Algerian music, this is a story of love, struggle and awakening in the small city of Tizi Ouzou, Algeria.

Solo show

First-time Minnesota Fringe Festival producer, Includes artists of color

The creators say this show is appropriate for ages 12 and up.

Friday, 8/2 5:30 p.m.
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Saturday, 8/3 4:00 p.m.
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Tuesday, 8/6 10:00 p.m.
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Saturday, 8/10 2:30 p.m.
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Sunday, 8/11 4:00 p.m.
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New Century Theatre

615 Hennepin Ave. in City Center

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Audience reviews

One of the best this year

By Donna Koren / August 10, 2013
This user has reviewed 1 show

This show was wonderful. With scant more than shoes, scarves, hats, and music, Ms. Khazem (re?)created a range of characters from her family's land. Each provided compelling perspectives on love, family, culture, pride, war, immigration, and identity. The characters are funny, intriguing, and sometimes lovely. As one of the other reviewers wrote, it would be great to see a longer show with more of this family. Ms. Khazem, a skilled, engaging performer, packed a lot into an hour. I'm happy that there is one show left and highly recommend this one for the last day of Fringe.

Culture Clash

By C J Kanter / August 4, 2013
This user has reviewed 8 shows

The story of culture vs. new ways. Very interesting and thought provoking. I did not know if she was protesting male domination in Algeria or not?

1 person found this review helpful


By Emma Palmer / August 3, 2013
This user has reviewed 1 show

Anyone who considers themselves to be a theatre person must see this show. Taous Khazem is nothing short of electrifying in her performance. I have immense respect for her talent and dedication to seamless story-telling!

Fascinating People

By Ted Allen / August 3, 2013
This user has reviewed 4 shows

Well done! I want to spend more time with these people. They are fascinating. The show is fascinating.

Worthwhile if you're in the neighborhood

By Brooke Hart / August 2, 2013
This user has reviewed 13 shows

I'd actually give this one a 2+ or 3-. The idea was good and the characters were good, but somehow it didn't really move me like it felt like it should. Having seen other one-person shows where each character made me laugh or cry or feel something deep, this one didn't do that. Maybe with some more work on this script, it could. Same for the acting.

1 person found this review helpful

Too disjoint

By Will Weisert / August 5, 2013
This user has reviewed 38 shows

It took almost half the performance to really get into the rapid transitions between extremely short character 'appearances'. By then, however, I was pretty well lost and needed the remainder of the show just to be able to start to understand what the playwright/performer was trying to communicate.

An exceptional story is there, just let each character tell more of it in each vignette so the audience is able to better follow the progression of that story.

Did not work for me

By Eric Salo / August 4, 2013
This user has reviewed 56 shows

I felt zero connection to or interest in any of the characters presented here. Not sure what the problem was, maybe this sort of show simply isn't my cup of tea.

immigration and the meaning of home

By Karen Cooper / August 3, 2013
This user has reviewed 17 shows

For those of us born and raised here, the experience of the immigrant is a foreign one. But this show details that experience from every side: from those who leave home and those who never do, those who leave and come back, those who try to leave and cannot.

It's a remarkable attempt to tell all those stories, and is ably performed by a fluid and skilled actress who flows from character to character, old and young, men and women.

I have been thinking about these stories since I saw the show last night. Few Fringe shows have that much power.

2 people found this review helpful


By Maurice Johnson / August 2, 2013
This user has reviewed 1 show

I loved it!

Not my thing?

By Mark Webb / August 5, 2013
This user has reviewed 48 shows

Perhaps it was the time of day, but I just didn't find this show interesting. At times, I found Ms. Khazem's performance to be quite nice, but I just wasn't captivated in any way.

See it when you're fresh

By Richard Jackson / August 4, 2013
This user has reviewed 55 shows

Serious stuff at The Fringe can be a tough challenge. This is a fascinating personal journey with insights into a culture with which most of us have little understanding. Taous is a fine performer and does a good job delineating the many characters. However, I saw the show at a point in the day when my energy was flagging and the too slow and steady pacing of the piece challenged my attention span.

Beautiful show

By Karen Seay / August 3, 2013
This user has reviewed 4 shows

I loved this show and Taous Khazem. I loved watching one character after another emerge from a pair of shoes and a few costume pieces and relate her-/himself to the ones I had already met and to an obviously special village in Algeria.

The play suggests that there are various ways to love a place, including both staying and leaving. Khazem invests each of her characters with strength, hope, resolve and a solid personality. If you are in any sense an exile or know people who are, you will recognize your experience in the lives of the people of Tizi Ouzou.

1 person found this review helpful

The themes are moving and challenging

By Warren Bowles / August 2, 2013
This user has reviewed 29 shows

I really wanted to like this more. Taous Khazem is a good actor and the play's themes are moving and challenging. Zaraawar Mistry's direction is strong and molds the play into a nice whole. However, there are so MANY characters that they are hard to keep track of and the switch from character to character makes the piece choppy. If you're seeing ten or more shows I would definitely recommend adding this one.

1 person found this review helpful


Background information + more

When a young Algerian American woman travels to North Africa in search of her cultural roots, she meets a multitude of colorful and compelling characters grappling with their unique history and identity, and in the process she discovers her own heart. Set to the dynamic pulse of Berber and Algerian music, Tizi Ouzou is a story of love, struggle and awakening in the small city of Tizi Ouzou, the historically strife torn capital of the Berber Kabylia region of Algeria.

The Berbers, or Amazigh, are the first peoples of North Africa. Taous Khazem, who grew up in Saint Paul of an Algerian/Amazigh born father and American mother, has visited Tizi Ouzou several times. Tizi Ouzou, her first play, was inspired by the poetry of the everyday struggles and triumphs of the people she encountered. 

You Are Hear podcast for July features TIZI OUZOU:  You Are Hear Podcast

Nehad Selaiha, the theater critic of Cairo's Al-Ahram weekly wrote about Tizi Ouzou: "A poignant search for cultural roots, an attempt to reconcile opposites, come to terms with the fact of exile and piece together one's variegated personal fragments and painfully splintered loyalties... I left Taous' Tizi Ouzou deeply moved and ideologically chastened." 

The US Embassy of Algiers on Tizi Ouzou: "Khazem is a performer who embodies passion and intellect. She engages the audience by setting a standard beyond entertainment--she educates."

Cast + crew bios

Taous Khazem

Writer and Performer

Taous Claire Khazem has worked as a theatre artist in Algeria, France, Morocco, Jordan, Egypt and Cameroon. Locally she has worked with SteppingStone Theatre, Interact Center, Off Leash Area, Savage Umbrella, Stages Theater, Children’s Theater and Frank Theater. She is also a COMPAS roster artist. Taous was named "Favorite Performance" in 2009 by Minnpost for her work in Frank Theater's "Palace of the End". She was a 2012 Many Voices Mentee at the Playwright Center. Taous trained as an actor at the Jacques Lecoq International Theatre School in Paris, France and holds a B.A in theatre and French from Macalester College.

Zaraawar Mistry


Zaraawar Mistry is an actor, writer, director and producer in the Twin Cities. He was co-founder of the Center for Independent Artists, and a former Associate Artistic Director at Theater Mu. As an actor he has performed at the Guthrie, the Children’s Theater Company and Mixed Blood Theater. He has collaborated as an actor, writer and director with Ragamala Music and Dance Theater. Mr. Mistry has an M.F.A. in Theatre from UC, San Diego and a B.A. from Bennington College in Vermont. He and his wife Leslye Orr own and operate Dreamland Arts, an intimate 40-seat theater in the Midway area of St. Paul.

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