“My mom and dad are Pakistani, but most people think I’m Puerto Rican,” says Fawzia Mirza, a onetime lawyer (“for all the wrong reasons—marriage avoidance, making my parents happy”) who left litigation for acting five years ago and founded Yellow Wing Productions with her girlfriend, Ky, in 2008. Mirza’s conservative family is just getting used to her new career; her mother recently saw her onstage for the first time in Silk Road Theatre Project’s Scorched. “I played a headscarf-wearing refugee, and there was my headscarf-wearing mother in the front row,” Mirza recalls. “It was really beautiful having her there.” This month, Mirza plays a dentist and love interest in Dental Society Midwinter Meeting at 16th Street Theater.
Photograph: Maria Ponce