During their residency, Amy Khoshbin and Liz McAuliffe will develop and perform the final scene of The Myth of Layla, which will ultimately be a solo performance lasting 60 minutes. Written and performed by Khoshbin and co-directed by Khoshbin and McAuliffe, The Myth of Layla is set in a near future when the I.S. is at war with Iran. This science fiction-themed performance explores the corruption of the political ideology of its main protagonist, Layla, an Iranian-American activist, through her participation in the American media system. As Layla’s fame increases and she is cast on a new reality show called Activists in Sexy Solidarity (A.S.S.), she must choose between her own beliefs and those of dubious external forces. Khoshbin deliberately creates a handmade aesthetic world for this piece using costumes, animation, and multi-channel video design to highlight the construction of so-called HD “reality” media.
The modern American cultural phenomenon of representing Middle Easterners as the war enemy is of specific interest to Khoshbin as Middle Eastern-American artist. She appropriates personal and cultural archetypes to explore alternate forms of representation in the war-and celebrity-driven Western media. The Myth of Layla explores the commodification of identity as a branded media product.