Fawzia Mirza is an award-winning actor, comedian, producer, and writer. She was selected as a 2015 3Arts Award recipient in Theater, named to the New City Magazine Film 50 and a “Top 10 Creative” by Indiewire magazine, one of Chicago's 'Rising Stars' of indie filmmaking by WBEZ, a White House Champion of Change in Asian American and Pacific Islander Art and Storytelling, and the 2017 3Arts Fellow at the Djerassi Artists Program in Woodside, CA. Mirza believes in dispelling the myth of the “model minority” in mainstream media and in the power of comedy to tackle divisive topics and break stereotypes across race, gender, sexual orientation, class and religion.
She has performed on various Chicago stages including starring in Brahman/i co-produced by Silk Road Rising and About Face Theatre. She has been seen at The Goodman Theatre in Pulitzer Prize winner, Quiara Alegria Hudes’ play, The Happiest Song Plays Last, where she originated the role of Shar, and she was an ensemble member of Christopher Shinn’s world premiere play, Teddy Ferrara. She was also one of four actors to perform in the solo show White Rabbit/Red Rabbit presented by the MCA and the Chicago Humanities Festival.
Mirza’s own one-woman play, Me, My Mom & Sharmila, which explores her relationship with her mother through their shared love for Bollywood heroine, Sharmila Tagore, has been performed at universities, conferences and festivals across the country and toured internationally to Denmark and Pakistan, where it was sponsored by the U.S. Embassy. The legendary Pakistani actor, Zia Mohyeddin said of Fawzia’s play, “Some actors hold an audience, a few possess it. Some actors light up a scene, a few ignite it... Mirza belongs to the latter category." Mirza’s short play Noor world premiered in The Inconvenience’s short play festival “Citizens” in November 2015. Her first published short story appears in the anthology Good Girls Marry Doctors, South Asian American Daughters on Obedience and Rebellion, available now.
Mirza has appeared on Chicago Fire and in a number of indie feature films such as 6 Angry Women, PhD2, Promise Land, Jamie and Jessie Are Not Together, as well as web series including the Emmy-nominated series Her Story and other series, Plus One, Kiss Her I'm Famous, Easy Abby, and her own series, Kam Kardashian. Her first short film, the award-winning The Queen of My Dreams, co-written and co-directed with Ryan Logan, screened at over 65 festivals worldwide and is included on the Chicagoland Shorts DVD collection. Mirza has been a “Featured Artist” as part of the 2015 DCASE Chicago Artists Month. She also starred in and wrote The First Session (NBC Short Film Festival finalist, American Pavilion at Cannes) and Spunkle, winner of the Seed & Spark award at the Flyway Film Festival. Mirza has also produced documentaries, including the award-winning, Fish out of Water, and her short documentary, Reclaiming Pakistan, about Pakistani activist Muhammad Jibran Nasir. Her upcoming short documentary, The Streets Are Ours, was the fastest funded project on the 3AP platform and raised over $10,000 towards post production.
Her mockumentary where she plays the illegitimate Muslim daughter of Donald Trump appeared in Marie Claire, Jezebel, CBC Radio Q, Vice, NBC, Al-Jazeera, The A.V. Club, .Mic, The Red Eye and Expo Chicago. Mirza’s first feature film, Signature Move, which she co-wrote and stars in, produced with Newcity Magazine and Full Spectrum Features, wrapped principal photography August 2016. The film was selected as part of the Tribeca Film Institute All Access Program and received the TFI/Labodigital/Los Cabos International Film Festival post-production Gabriel Figueroa grant. The film, world premiering in 2017, also stars Chicago actors Sari Sanchez, Charin Alvarez, Audrey Francis, Mark Hood, Molly Brennan and the Indian film legend, Shabana Azmi.