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Underground Railway Presents The Fever Chart: Three Visions of the Middle East 11/18

Passionate dreams toward peace in Jerusalem and beyond...Naomi Wallace offers a unique combination of lyrical theatricality and political passion in her new triptych for the stage, The Fever Chart: Three Visions of the Middle East, playing at Central Square Theater Thursday, November 18th through Sunday, December 19th. The press performance is scheduled for Sunday, November 21st at 2 PM.

In three dream plays inspired by true events, an Israeli soldier encounters a mysterious Palestinian woman in the Rafah Zoo; a Palestinian father reveals to a young Israeli woman their shared history; and a bookish Iraqi bird collector tells of his conscription into Saddam's army. Through magic realism and surprising humor, Underground Railway Theater's production reaches out like prophecy, challenging us to envision peace during the holiday season.

Directed by Elena Araoz, The Fever Chart is Underground Railway Theater's first production as part of Central Square Theater's 2010-2011 PowerPlays & Possibility season, bringing to life plays about power in many guises: personal, political, magical and ultimately transformational.

Ken Baltin (Mourid/Sholmo) has been performing on Boston area stages for the past twenty-five years. He appeared in Underground Railway Theater's production of Grace Paley's The Loudest Voice in last season's double-bill Tru Grace: Holiday Memoirs. Recent credits include Eurydice at New Repertory Theatre, The Cherry Orchard with The Nora Theatre Company (at Central Square Theater), Last of the Red Hot Lovers at Gloucester Stage Company, Copenhagen at the Vineyard Playhouse, Arms and the Man at the Lyric Stage Company of Boston, Leslie Epstein's King of the Jews and the premiere of Permanent Whole Life at Boston Playwrights' Theatre.

Najla Said (Tanya) has performed on stage Off-Broadway, regionally and internationally, as well as in film and television. Theatre credits include Heather Raffo's Nine Parts of Desire at Seattle Repertory Theatre and the London and New York premieres of Karen Malpede's Prophecy. Her writing has appeared in various magazines, newspapers and anthologies. Daughter of author/activist Edward Said, she is writing a memoir about growing up Palestinian-American and as the daughter of her renowned father. Her one-woman show, Palestine, ran Off Broadway for 8 weeks in 2010; she will perform the piece as a benefit for The Fever Chart project at the Central Square Theater, Dec. 8.

Ibrahim Miari (Ali) is a Palestinian-Israeli theater artist and educator currently living in Boston. Since 1996 Ibrahim has been a member of the Acco Theatre Center Ensemble, acting and dancing in ensemble based projects for both young and adult audiences throughout Israel, Europe and the United States, as well as performing solo shows in Arabic, Hebrew and English. Ibrahim is also a Sufi dancer and sacred dances instructor, performing and leading workshops at universities and international festivals. He has served as drama director at several camps in the US and Canada bringing together high school age Israeli and Palestinian youth. The child of a Palestinian father and Jewish Israeli mother, he created an autobiographical performance about his experiences, In/Between.

Daniel Shaked's (Yuval) recent credits include Waxing West at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club in NYC and on tour to Romania, Graham & Frost at Performance Space 122, Stone Cold Dead Serious at the Clurman Theatre, and Cake at 45 Bleecker - for which he won "Outstanding Actor in a Featured Role" in the Planet Connections Theater Festival 2010. Daniel co-starred in the film Storm Up The Sky (with Richard Masur) about an Hassidic Orthodox Family in Brooklyn, and the lead in the indie supernatural thriller feature Breadcrumbs (2011 release). Daniel's parents are both from Israel, where he has spent a great deal of time since childhood.

Harry Hobbs (Sami) is a recent graduate from Boston University where he earned a BFA in Acting from the School of Theatre. The Fever Chart is his Underground Railway Theater debut. Past credits include King Lear and The Way of the World at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown at The Next Door Theater, and Merrily We Roll Along, Raduim Girls and Speed-the-Plow - all at Boston University.

Maria Silverman (Um Hisham) made her debut on Broadway in Michael Mayer's Tony Award-winning revival of A View from the Bridge. Her Off-Broadway credits include Tales from the Tunnel and Beachwood Drive. Other New York credits include, Dreamers of the Day, Macbeth, Uncle Vanya, The Contrast, Galileo, S/HE, As You Like It, The Seagull, No Place to Be Somebody, Cclit at the Atlantic Theater Second Stage, Expressing Willie, Nights at the Circus at the New York International Fringe Festival , and Embracing Freedom at Ellis Island Living Theater. She most recently played Gertrude Bell, the early architect of the Middle East for Britain during WWI and the Cairo Conference, and is "fascinated to go from playing the woman who carved up these territories to one who is so intensely affected by the consequences". Ms. Silverman is a graduate of BU's school of theater, and The Fever Chart is her Boston debut.

Elena Araoz (Director of The Fever Chart) directs both theatre and opera on the international, Off-Broadway and regional levels. Favorites include: The Power in Beijing, Carl Djerassi's plays Off-Broadway (starring Simon Jones, Lisa Harrow), The Price at Northern Stage (starring Kenneth Tigar), Falstaff (starring Sir Thomas Allen, Maestro Robert Spano) for the Brooklyn Philharmonic at BAM, Thirst by Monika Bustamante (after its critical success in NYC, Ms. Aroaz will stage the subsequent production in Austin), Io: a myth about you (four Austin Critics' nominations, including Best Production of a Musical), Titus Andronicus for Austin Shakespeare (B. Iden Payne Award) and Don DeLillo's The Word for Snow (starring Kathleen Chalfont). Her adaptation of Christopher Logue's War Music toured the country. She has directed for Negro Ensemble Company, Chicago Humanities Festival, NY Humanities Festival, Making Books Sing, WorkShop Theatre, Chekhov Theatre Ensemble, Martina Arroyo Opera Foundation, Geva Theatre, Pearl Theatre, and Opera NJ. Recently, Ms. Araoz spoke on a panel alongside John Guare discussing The Tempest. Associate Director to Sir Jonathan Miller: Broadway's King Lear, operas at Lincoln Center, Seattle Opera, BAM, Glimmerglass and Vancouver Opera.

Naomi Wallace (Playwright) has received The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize twice, the Kesselring Prize, The Fellowship of Southern Writers Drama Award, and an Off-Broadway Theater Award. She is also a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts development grant. Her play Things of Dry Hours was produced last season at New York Theatre Workshop. Locally, One Flea Spare has been produced by New Repertory Theatre and Slaughter City by ART.

Susan Zeeman Rogers (Scenic Design) designed Harriet Jacobs for Underground Railway Theater last season. Other Boston and Regional credits include: Shakespeare and Company, Actors Shakespeare Project, SpeakEasy Stage Company (In the Next Room or the vibrator play and the 2010 Elliot Norton Design Award for Adding Machine, A Musical,) Opera Boston (critically acclaimed Nixon in China and Best Set Design) Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Commonwealth Shakespeare Co., and ART Institute. Her many Off-Broadway credits include: Mint Theater (Best Design, First Irish Festival for Is Life Worth Living), a Mabou Mines Artists Residency and Lincoln Center Directors Lab.

Charles Schoonmaker (Costume Design) designed Harriet Jacobs for Underground Railway Theater last season. Other work on Boston stages include A Long and Winding Road at The Huntington; [title of show], Reckless, The Light in the Piazza at SpeakEasy; Legacy of Light, Grey Gardens at The Lyric, Speed the Plow, The Clean House at The New Rep and Trouble in Tahiti for Boston Midsummer Opera. He his many Regional and New York credits include several television Emmy Awards, and he is on the faculty at Brandeis University.

Justin Townsend's (Lighting Designer) NYC credits include Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (opening this season on Broadway), Speech and Debate at Roundabout, and Eve Ensler's The Treatment at the Culture Project. New England regional credits include: ART (Elliot Norton Award for The Onion Cellar), Commonwealth Shakespeare (Othello), and Hartford Stage. Mr. Townsend is an Assistant Professor at Northeastern University and a founding member of TENT, a collective of artists who create site-specific performances.

Nathan Leigh (Sound Design and Composition) recently composed music and designed sound for Central Square Theater's 2010 critically-acclaimed The Hound of the Baskervilles. He has worked off-Broadway, regionally, and locally (SpeakEasy Stage Company, American Repertory Theatre, Boston Theatre Works, among others), winning the 2009 IRNE Award for Best Sound Design for Stoneham Theatre's Strangers on a Train.

Salma Abu Ayyash (Assistant to the Director) is a Palestinian born in Jordan. She is co-founder of the Palestinian arts and culture organization Tawassul and the Boston Palestine Film Festival. She is co-producer and co-host of a radio program on WZBC 90.3 - This Week in Palestine - and a freelance Arabic-English translator.

Conversations with special guests, academics, and the actors will follow select performances. The Fever Chart's "Talk in the Box" series includes pre-show Saturday Symposia as well as post-show conversations with artists, scholars and community members, and a SubText storytelling night, all free with admission. In addition, Fever Chart cast member Najla Said will be performing her solo show Palestine on Dec. 8th - a special offer for Fever Chart ticket-buyers. See list below.

THE FEVER CHART: THREE VISIONS OF THE MIDDLE EAST plays at Central Square Theater, 450 Mass. Ave. in Cambridge, Thursday, November 18th through Sunday, December 19th. Performances are Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 PM, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM, with matinees on Sundays at 2 PM. During Thanksgiving week, performances will run Friday through Sunday, with additional 2 PM matinees on Friday, November 26th and Saturday the 27th. The performance on Wednesday, December 8th will be a 10 AM School Matinee; call with inquires. Tickets are priced at $40, $30 for seniors (ages 60+), $25 for students (college ID), $15 for youth (12-18); tickets are purchased by calling (866) 811-4111, online at, or at the CST box office. On Wednesday, December 8th at 7:30 pm, Najla Said will perform her one-woman show Palestine - details below. For box office hours, group discounts, and more info call (617) 576-9278 x210.

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