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Rumi has a poem that goes: "The way of love is not a subtle argument. The door there is devastation. Birds make great sky-circles of their freedom. How do they learn it? They fall, and falling, they're given wings." ... I am particularly interested in the heroic journeys of the heart.

Rilke wrote: "For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation."  It is one thing to love a partner, whom one chooses. One can practice a depth of love not known before. With family, one can practice loving people one did not choose. And how do we learn to practice loving those we would never choose?

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PHOTO CREDIT: Thomas Grady Photography

Mashuq Mushtaq Deen is a CORE writer at the Playwrights Center, and winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Draw the Circle, which was produced at PlayMakers Rep, Mosaic Theatre, and Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre (published by Dramatists Play Service). His other full-length plays include: The Vessel, which was commissioned by the NYU graduate acting program); Flood, which had its world premiere at Kansas City Rep in 2023, and its Chicago premiere at Shattered Globe in 2024; The Betterment Society, which is published in The Methuen Drama Book of Trans Plays; The Shaking Earth, which has won two 2nd place international playwriting awards (International Woodward Prize, and the India's International Sulthan Padamsee Prize), and has been nominated for both a Weissberger Award and a Venturous Fund award; The Telegram, a live-staged radio play which was commissioned and produced by Keen Company.

Deen’s work has been supported by a number of institutions including the Siena Art Institute,  Sundance Theatre Institute & the Ucross Fundation, Blue Mountain Center, The Public Theater, NYTW, MacDowell (twice), Yaddo, Bogliasco Foundation, Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, Kansas City Rep (upcoming), Keen Company, Target Margin Theatre, NYU, La Jolla Playhouse, New Harmony Project, Chesley/Bumbalo Foundation, Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation, SPACE at Ryder Farm, New York Foundation for the Arts, InterAct Theatre, Page73, Ma-Yi, Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, and a number of festivals and universities.

Aside from the awards mentioned above, he has also received grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts,the Bronx Cultural Council, and TCG. His name has been listed on Steppenwolf's Mix List and the Kilroy’s List (Honorable Mention 2017). He is also the recipient of the James Baldwin Award and Dennis Johnston Playwriting Prize (honorable mention) for his first play.


He is also a published essayist.

He is a member of the NYTW Usual Suspects and the Dramatists Guild. He is an alum of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab, the Public Theater Writers Group, and New Dramatists. He earned his MFA from the Actors Studio Drama School/New School for Drama. He is represented by the Gurman Agency LLC.

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