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Bilal Baig

Bilal Baig is a South Asian-Canadian playwright, actor and workshop facilitator who grew up in Mississauga, Ontario. They identify as a queer, transfeminine Muslim. Baig stars in the half-hour comedy Sort Of that initially aired on the CBC Gem streaming service. A second season has now been broadcast. Baig is also a co-creator, executive producer and writer of the show. In December 2023, Playwrights Canada Press will be releasing a book of monologues, essays, poetry and opinion pieces co-edited by Bilal Baig and Evan Tsitsias: This is Beyond: A Time Capsule of Queer Experience.

Drama

Acha Bacha

Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press, 2020.
online version (access restricted to members of the university community)

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

For years, Zaya has delicately balanced his relationship with his Muslim faith and queer identity by keeping his genderqueer lover and manipulative mother apart. But when his mother ends up in the hospital on the same day his partner is leaving for pilgrimage, Zaya’s worlds come crashing in on each other, opening a space for traumatic memories to resurface.

Acha Bacha boldly explores the intersections between queerness, gender identity and Islamic culture in the Pakistani diaspora. It’s about the way we love, the way we are loved and what it takes to truly accept love.

Drama

Eraser

Co-creator Sadie Epstein-Fine. With Christol Bryan, Maria Gomes, Yousef Kadoura, Tijiki Morris, Anthony Perpuse, and Nathan Redburn.
Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press, 2023.
forthcoming Nov or Dec 2023

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

An immersive experience, Eraser delves into the memories and fantasies of a classroom of students as they figure out who they want to be. Six students guide readers through their different journeys, taking them along to the cafeteria, change rooms, and playground, to the places where they feel safest and the most brave, vulnerable, and afraid.

Afroze just moved to Canada from Pakistan and is struggling to fit in as a white-skinned gender-questioning convert to Islam. All Jihad wants is to be cool, but he struggles with the appearance of this new student who doesn’t look like any of the Muslims he knows. Noah’s brother just died, and he’s been avoiding processing his grief, which makes him lash out at his best friend, Eli. Eli doesn’t know how to support Noah, who he also harbours questioning feelings for. Whitney wants to live by her own rules in her own imaginary world, but she’s forced to deal with annoying kids like Tara. Tara loves school and getting straight As, but all the pressure she feels eventually adds up and she crumbles.

Finding a balance between tough realities and honest fantasies, Eraser is an energetic and sentimental look at what it’s like to navigate differences and connections as a kid.

Links

Bilal Baig interview by Christopher Turner in the Sept./Oct. 2021 issue of IN Magazine

Publisher Playwrights Canada Press