Strength in Sisters

March 11th, 2022

THIS GIRL LAUGHS chronicles Albienne, Beatrix, and Carmen on their epic journeys through life. As each forge their own path, they encounter obstacles and choices, loves and losses, each sister growing strong in their own special way. In the world of Finegan Kruckemeyer’s modern fairy-tale, we’re reminded of the ways in which each of our stories are interconnected.

For a real life story of sisterly strength, look no further than across the street to a longstanding neighborhood establishment, Phoenecia.

“My parents, Hussein & Inaam Khazaal started Phoenecia Restaurant here in west Seattle in 1974 after they immigrated here from Lebanon. My sister and I grew up in the restaurant. We were always there, even as infants. When we got old enough we even worked their bussing tables and washing dishes. Family dinners were not at home, they were at the restaurant. It was our home.

When my father passed away unexpectedly in 2009 my sister and I had not planned on running the restaurant as we both had very different lives at that time. I had just completed graduate school and she had a career in real estate.

His untimely passing devastated not just his family but his loyal and loving customers. After numerous pleas from our fathers beloved community to keep his legacy alive my mother, sister, & I decided to join together and reopen the restaurant. Reopening the restaurant together not only strengthened the bond of our sisterhood but it helped heal our hearts after our fathers passing.”

– Nadia Khazaal

We so appreciate Phoenecia for sharing their story with us! For a limited time, presenting your ticket at their restaurant will take 10% off your order. We hope you can gather those closest to you and experience a wonderful meal and this play together. Check out Phoenecia here.


Another small group of women friends precisely fit the description of “sisterhood”. Each of them are longstanding patrons, volunteers, and dear friends of ArtsWest, as well as outstanding members of the West Seattle community.

Among them is Sandy Adams, who shared some of their stories with us below.

From left to right: Jean, Arline, Sandy, Irene
“As we get older, it is important not to be isolated and to have trusted friends we can rely on for companionship and confidential discussions and interaction.

Opening night at ArtsWest! Volunteering at ArtsWest! Some are members of the Gentle Readers Book Club! Sharing stories of joy and disappointment! Giving wellness check phone calls! Providing rides if needed! Coffee dates! Dinners! Sharing opinions about news issues of the day (both local, national, and international)! Super grandmothers! Support systems! Sounding Boards!
Arline— (84) retired nurse; employee and volunteer at the Fauntleroy Children’s Center; ArtsWest volunteer; Gentle Readers Book Club. When Arline moved to Seattle, she only knew her own family—but when she was introduced to ArtsWest, she found an extended family that has proven to be a great support system and a much-needed circle of friends.

Jean— (92) a very active 92-year-old; opera buff; ArtsWest Volunteer; Food Bank volunteer in non-COVID times; Gentle Readers Book Club; West Seattle Democratic Women’s Club

Sonia— (78) retired Sr. Buyer, Purchasing Department, City of Seattle; Volunteer with Holgate Church of Christ; West Seattle Democratic Women’s Club

Irene— (64) founder of the West Seattle Garden Tour; Currently Communications Manager, Aging and Disability Services; Choir member, soloist, violinist with Fauntleroy Church. Knits hats to give away to people who attend a free lunch in White Center (hosted by Fauntleroy Church) and people served by Health One (mobile units staffed by Seattle Fire Department firefighters and Seattle Human Services Department case managers).

CR— (74) retired Superintendent of Roads, King County Department of Public Works Gentle Readers Book Club

Sandy—(84) retired Asst. Director, King County Public Works; ArtsWest volunteer; Gentle Readers Book Club; West Seattle Chamber of Commerce Board member and Marketing Committee volunteer.”
Thank you Sandy for sharing the story of your sisterhood!

At the end of Finegan Kruckemeyer’s play, we see Albienne, Beatrix, and Carmen meeting again as women, twenty years later.

One of the special things about THIS GIRL LAUGHS is how each sister’s journey is told in harmony. As they forge their own paths, crossing oceans and fighting Vikings, they carry their sisters with them.

Junior year in High School

That kind of reunion reminds us of the full circle moments we’ve experienced in our own lives. Shaye Kawashima, a Board Member here at ArtsWest, was kind enough to share her sisterly story with us.

“Being born and raised in Hawaii, I am an entire ocean away from my family and childhood friends now that I live in Seattle. However, I am so privileged and thankful that despite the distance of time and space these women continue to be in my life. Having known each other since elementary school, we have grown together by holding each other up through the hard times and spreading laughter and love through the years. This sisterhood has only deepened and grown stronger as we have grown into the women we are now.”

2021 when travel reopened (missing many friends due to group size restrictions)

In the words of the director, Johamy Morales, “After being apart from family for so long over the course of the last two years I hope you are able to find meaning in this wonderful story and through the beautiful tapestry of language your imagination is ignited.”

ArtsWest presents THIS GIRL LAUGHS, THIS GIRL CRIES, THIS GIRL DOES NOTHING by Finegan Kruckemeyer March 17 – April 10, 2022

THIS GIRL LAUGHS, THIS GIRL CRIES, THIS GIRL DOES NOTHING
March 17 – April 10th, 2022 | Read more here.

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