Multi Meets Poly: Multiculturalism and Polyculturalism Go on a First Date

A thought-provoking and often-humorous reflection on the theoretical and practical differences between two powerful social ideas: multiculturalism and polyculturalism.

By personifying these ideas as human characters—one male, one female—and by endowing each character with professional rivalry, intellectual one-upmanship, and sexual tension, a would-be romantic evening becomes an intriguing vehicle for exploring American interpretations of pluralism, cultural interchange, and diversity.

MULTI MEETS POLY: Multiculturalism and Polyculturalism Go On a First Date runs 34 minutes.

Written by Jamil Khoury - Directed by A. George Bajalia
Featuring Gordon Chow and Virginia Lee Marie Martinez

How to Engage Multi Meets Poly

Multi Meets Poly should not be viewed as entertainment so much as a theatricalized intellectual workout. It is not narrative storytelling in the traditional sense, but rather a rigorous and hopefully compelling exercise in probing two important ideas through a medium we call pedagogidrama.

Pedagogidrama is drama intended primarily as a teaching and learning tool. We are not asking you to be passive spectators when watching the piece, we are asking you to be engaged thinkers. It is more lean forward than it is lean back.

Note From Playwright Jamil Khoury

I am thrilled to be sharing Multi Meets Poly with all of you. For years I've been saying that Silk Road Rising was born of a multicultural politic then migrated to a polycultural aesthetic. The comradery and tension between multiculturalism and polyculturalism are, in so many ways, emblematic of the work that we do. Our art making and community engagement live in a multi-poly continuum.

The ideas in this video play do not simply inform the story, nor function as mere subtext to the story, the ideas are the story. As a writer, I have grown increasingly drawn to the notion of dramatizing ideas and dramatizing discursive argument, not as stealth messaging but as the basis for constructing a story.


Playwright Jamil Khoury dedicates Multi Meets Poly to the critical study of multiculturalism and polyculturalism. May these ideas continue to evolve, expand, and enrich.


After viewing the video play, please take our SURVEY . Our art does not exist in a vacuum; how our work is received among our audiences and communities is incredibly important to us. Your responses will help us to assess our work, understand how our video plays are being received, determine how well we are meeting our mission and goals, and ensure the vibrancy of future programming.

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Written by
Jamil Khoury

Directed by
A. George Bajalia

Executive Producers
Malik Gillani
Jamil Khoury

Gordon Chow as Multiculturalism
Virginia Lee Marie Martinez as Polyculturalism

Director of Photography
Drew Pientka

Editor, Script Supervisor and Assistant Director
Deann Baker

Set Design
Dan Stratton

Costume Designer and Props Master
Kelsey C. Melvin

Original Compositions
Peter J. Storms

Production Manager
Corey Pond

Neal Ryan Shaw

Location Sound Mixer
Dustin Barta

Post-Production Sound
Nate Green

Assistant Camera and Grip
Travis Legge

Nicki Beck

Make Up and Hair
Neva Stroud

Script Development Support provided by
A. George Bajalia
Neal Ryan Shaw
Gordon Chow
Nora Fiffer
Malik Gillani
Virginia Lee Marie Martinez
Madrid St. Angelo

Major Funding provided by:
Field Foundation

Additional Funding provided by
Siragusa Logo

Special Thanks to
About Face Theatre
Eric Branholm
The First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple
Elizabeth Gingerich
Hannoun Rugs from Morocco
Elise Hausken
Becky Klein
Jeanette Kleymeyer
Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2014 Planning Committee, Valparaiso University
Claire Melvin
Allison Schuette
Writers Theatre
Liz Wuerffel
Roger Wykes