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NYTW to Present Aswat: Voices of Palestine, May 5-6

New York Theatre Workshop Artistic Director James C. Nicola and Managing Director Lynn Moffat have announced a two-day program of readings, Aswat: Voices of Palestine, set to take place on Saturday, May 5, beginning at 12:00pm, and Sunday, May 6, beginning at 2:00pm. The readings will occur at the Loewe Theatre at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, 721 Broadway, 2nd Floor. This series is presented with the Arab-American theatre collective Nibras, in partnership with New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.

Press notes describe Aswat as "a two-day program of readings by playwrights of Palestinian and Arab descent and playwrights of other backgrounds exploring Palestinian themes," and continue, "The event, which will take place at NYU's 74-seat Loewe Theatre, will begin with welcoming remarks and a keynote overview of Palestinian theatre past and present.  The readings will be followed by moderated discussions that will provide a stimulating opportunity for audience members and artists to discuss the plays and the issues embedded in them.  Aswat is the Arabic word for 'voices.'"

NYTW Artistic Director James Nicola comments in the press release, "At the very beginning of our conversations with Nibras, the most striking thing I heard was their collective frustration with the absence of representation in the public discourse of authentic Palestinian and Palestinian-American artists. As a result of hearing this, we immediately invited Nibras to be a company-in-residence at New York Theatre Workshop, in the belief that we might help create a forum for these unheard voices. Aswat: Voices of Palestine is our first public event addressing this critical issue, and we are very happy to be collaborating with our neighbor New York University to make it happen. The illumination of new voices is the lifeblood of the theatre; at New York Theatre Workshop we are committed to fostering these voices and providing a forum so they can be heard."

Aswat is the first in an annual series of events produced by NYTW presenting work by and about people whose ethnic and/or cultural identities have seen little attention from North American arts and media institutions.

The full list of plays to be read during Aswat: Voices of Palestine is as follows:

Last Train to Jerusalem, by Fuad Abboud, directed by Will Frears

It Happened in a Place Called Palestine
, by Razanne Carmey, directed by Sarah Cameron Sunde

The Monologist Suffers Her Monologue, by Yussef El Guindi, directed by Piter Marek

Deir Yassin:  The Stonecutters, by Nathalie Handal, directed by Sturgis Warner

Food and Fadwa or Eklitl Hob, by Lameece Issaq and Jacob Kader, directed by Shoshana Gold

Born in Bethlehem:  The Last Clown, by Sami Metwasi/Al-Harah Theatre, directed by Johanna McKeon

Sharon and My Mother-in-Law, by Suad Amiry, Stage Adaptation by Afaf Shawwa, directed by Kareem Fahmy

Between This Breath and You, by Naomi Wallace, directed by Isis Saratial Misdary

Discussions will be moderated by Juliano Mer Khamis, Catherine Coray, Hala Nassar, and Dalia Basiouny. All programs and participants are subject to change, check for updated information.

Tickets for Aswat: Voices of Palestine are free, and may be reserved by calling (212) 780-9037 x123.  Visit for more information.

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