Jonathan Raviv and More Cast in Atlantic Theater Co's Middle Eastern MixFest
Atlantic Theater Company announces casting for Middle Eastern MixFest, a series of free readings co-curated by playwrights Mona Mansour and Heather Raffo that will run Wednesday, August 8th through Thursday, August 16th at Atlantic Stage 2 (330 West 16th Street).
This summer, Atlantic will be hosting readings of full-length plays by Abdullah Alkafri translated by Hassan Abdulrazzak, Kareem Fahmy, Hannah Khalil, Tala Manassah & Mona Mansour, and Stav Palti-Negev. In addition to the full-length readings at Middle Eastern MixFest, Atlantic Theater Company has commissioned Melis Aker, Younis Ali, Sevan K. Greene, and Sanaz Toossi to create short one-acts and present them as readings alongside a short play by Heather Raffo.
Heather Raffo says, "Although the plays pull from diverse communities across the Middle East and North Africa, so many of the artists represent something uniquely American. Atlantic has provided a rare platform to hear these works not as a single representation of a culture, but as a kaleidoscope of plays and artists." Mona Mansour says, "These stories, deeply felt and told in innovative ways, will, I believe, speak to some of the issues at the heart of the experience of the Middle Eastern diaspora." Atlantic Theater Company's Artistic Director Neil Pepe adds, "We are truly excited to be welcoming these outstanding artists to Atlantic and to be collaborating with our friends Heather Raffo and Mona Mansour to curate the festival."
"MEET THE WRITERS" PANEL
Moderated by Catherine Coray
Wednesday, August 8 | 5pm
Middle Eastern MixFest will kick-off with a group panel featuring the festival's writers in conversation with Catherine Coray (Program Director of the Lark Play Development Center US-Middle East Playwright Exchange). Learn more about their creative process and what inspires their work. The MEET THE WRITERS panel will livestream on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Wednesday, August 8th at 5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. EST.
by Stav Palti-Negev
directed by Kareem Fahmy
Thursday, August 9 | 3pm
When Palestinian Salim Tarek is released from an Israeli prison, the Israeli authorities mistakenly bring him to the Gaza border crossing while his family awaits his return on the other side of the country, in the West Bank. Salim knows that if he enters Gaza, he might never see them again. Stranded on the border, Salim has to find a solution before the Israeli soldiers make a choice for him.
SCENES FROM 70 YEARS
by Hannah Khalil
directed by Pirronne Yousefzadeh
Friday, August 10 | 3pm
Scenes from 70 Years is a selection of intertwined vignettes telling the story of ordinary Palestinians at a very human level, with mischievous humor. It offers snapshots of the routine of life in the shadow of occupation: we look into an Israeli household with a rebellious pro-Palestinian teenager, join a tediously long queue at an Israeli check point, and get swept into an absurd act of civil disobedience by Palestinian civilians in a desperate attempt to get worldwide media attention.
SCRAPS AND THINGS by Melis Aker
THE HALAL DATE by Younis Ali
McARABIA by Sevan K. Greene
BABA KARAM by Sanaz Toossi
plus an excerpt from an untitled new work by Heather Raffo
directed by Sivan Battat and Tracy Cameron Francis
Monday, August 13 | 7pm
THE YACOUBIAN BUILDING
by Kareem Fahmy
based on the novel by Alaa Al Aswany
directed by Melissa Crespo
Tuesday, August 14 | 2pm
Based on the novel that became an international sensation, The Yacoubian Building is set in Cairo, chronicling the lives of Egyptians of different religions, sexual orientations, and class backgrounds. The titular apartment block becomes a microcosm of an Egypt infested with corruption, discrimination, and despair. A love letter to the Middle East, the play conjures an Egypt before the Arab Spring, still on the brink of change, deeply divided but full of hope.
FALLING DOWN THE STAIRS
by Tala Manassah and Mona Mansour
directed by Omar Metwally
Wednesday, August 15 | 7pm
Baghdad, 1975. Invited to teach in a city steeped in the history of great scientific discoveries, hotshot physicist Kamal leaves the Ivy League and finds himself in a surreal landscape colored by revolution, intrigue, deception, and of course, great potential. Caught between the desire to contribute to a burgeoning scientific community and a firm commitment to science as a tool of non-violent liberation, he is entangled between the world as it is, and the world as he wishes it to be.
MRS. GHADA'S PAIN THRESHOLD
by Abdullah Alkafri
translated by Hassan Abdulrazzak
directed by Jenny Koons
Thursday, August 16 | 7pm
Inspired by the author's admiration for the Damascene women who "push against the edges of all that constrains them - societal norms, religious propriety, family expectations - in subtle and personally significant ways," Mrs. Ghada's Pain Threshold focuses on one such woman who, facing middle age and life as a recently widowed, single woman, unexpectedly meets a man who offers the possibility of a new start. A subtle - almost mysterious - and moving play about coping with the past and trying to find new love.
MIDDLE EASTERN MIXFEST and all of Atlantic's new play and musical development activities are made possible by leadership support from the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Time Warner Foundation, and The Tow Foundation, with additional funding from the Axe-Houghton Foundation, the Barbara Bell Cumming Charitable Trust, The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation, the John Golden Fund, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, and the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.
Atlantic productions and programs are also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, as well as the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
ATLANTIC STAGE 2 is located at 330 West 16th Street (between 8th and 9th Avenues).
Admission is free. Reservations are required. Please visit http://atlantictheater.org/middleeasternMixFest2018 to RSVP.
Photo Credit: Jennifer Broski