Aizzah Fatima’s ‘Dirty Paki Lingerie’ Makes Its Way to The Flea Theater

Yesterday evening, I headed down to  The Flea Theater in TriBeCa to see Aizzah Fatima’s new play, Dirty Paki Lingerie. Directed by Brooklyn-based director Erica Gould (Speak Easy), the show had its start on August 1st and has been playing to sold-out audiences since. Written by Fatima, the show features six Pakistani female characters—all played by her as well. The up-and-coming American actress born to Pakistani immigrant parents, has written a show that takes on issues of sex, marriage, and dating in a community that’s seldom heard from other than in context to 9/11 or terrorism. 

It’s the character of the young Pakistani American woman—sipping from a glass of wine as she chats with a Pakistani man on the plane somewhere in business class—that captures the struggles of a young generation trying to connect their Pakistani upbringing with their North American roots. Along the way, she also deals with the Pakistani men who send confusing signals. “They want to laugh with someone like me and sleep with someone like me. But they don’t want to marry me. They want a 22-year-old virgin for that,” the character of the young woman laments after the man asks to make out with her in the airplane lavatory.  
 
She is not alone in her struggles though, and that’s what makes this play a story for every immigrant. It deals with the idea of what it means to be American while respecting one’s own cultural and religious roots. And for all its dramatic roots, there are still plenty of laughs along the way. 
 
Dirty Paki Lingerie runs at The Flea Theater through August.
 
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