'MY HEART IS IN THE EAST' to Continue Cultural Conversation at La MaMa

'MY HEART IS IN THE EAST' to Continue Cultural Conversation at La MaMa

La MaMa presents My Heart Is In the East: An Interfaith Poetic Exploration by Jessica Litwak, directed by Jen Wineman, running June 8- 25, 2017 (12 Performances), with performances Thursday to Saturday at 7PM and Sunday at 2:30PM at The Downstairs at La MaMa, 66 East 4th Street (btw Bowery & 2nd Ave), New York, NY 10003.

Inspired by Ancient Cordoba and workshopped In Iraq, London, and New York, this international play returns to New York to continue a cultural conversation about freedom, identity, and the possibility of peaceful co-existence.

Playwright Jessica Litwak spins a beautiful duet between a Jewish American woman and an Iraqi Muslim man. Bound together by circumstance, these two people from such different walks of life confront their insecurities, fears, and desires.

Exploring these tensions through puppetry and poetry, My Heart Is In The East invites the audience to question the role the art can play in creating community, and conversation, and most importantly, peace.

Each performance will be followed by on opportunity for the audience to try their hand at poetry composition and a dynamic guided discussion on interfaith issues, featuring noted scholars, journalists, and cultural and civic leaders.

Tickets: $25 Adult Tickets; $20 Students/Seniors; Ten $10 Tickets available for every performance (advance sale only). For tickets, visit lamama.com/east or call (212) 352-3101. Runtime: 90 minutes with a panel discussion after the show. For more about the production, visit www.theheatcollective.org/my-heart-is-in-the-east.

Jessica Litwak, Ph.D., is a playwright, actor, educator and activist. She is a Registered Drama Therapist, a trained practitioner of Playback, Psychodrama, Sociodrama and Theatre of the Oppressed. She is the Artistic Director of The H.E.A.T. Collective (www.heatcollective.org) and the New Generation Theatre Ensemble, (www.ngte.org) Litwak's written work has been published by Applause Books, Smith and Krause, No Passport Press and The New York Times. She has taught theatre and performed at Many theatres and universities in the U.S. as well as in Iraq, Lebanon, India, Palestine, Israel, Turkey, Hungary, Eqypt, the U.K. and at La MaMa Umbria. Litwak is a core member of Theatre Without Borders and is a Fulbright Scholar.

Jen Wineman (Director) is a director/choreographer based in Brooklyn. Her work has been seen at theaters in New York and across the country. Off Broadway: F#%king Up Everything. New York: Fable (NYMF), The King's Whore (Walkerspace); Estrella Cruz [The Junkyard Queen] (Ars Nova). Touring Productions: Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night's Dream (Asolo Repertory Theatre). Regional: The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (Asolo Rep) Sweeney Todd (Playmakers Rep); The 39 Steps, Shipwrecked (Triad Stage); The Hunchback of Seville (Washington Ensemble Theatre); Bubble Boy (American Theater Group); Aloha Say the Pretty Girls (Theatre Vertigo). Jen is a co-founder and the former co-artistic director of Studio 42, a New York City-based company that from 2001-2015, produced "unproducible" plays by emerging playwrights. She has taught at Vassar College, Ithaca College, SUNY Purchase, and is on the faculty at Primary Stages Einhorn School of Performing Arts in New York City. Up next is Ken Ludwig's Baskerville for the Dorset Theatre Festival. Education/Training: B.A. Vassar College, M.F.A. Yale School of Drama.

The H.E.A.T. Collective (Co-Producer) is a theatre company that focuses on making art for personal and social change. H.E.A.T. is an acronym for Healing, Education, Activism and Theatre. At the intersection of performance, drama therapy, research, and human rights, we offer workshops in performance and peacebuilding, playwriting, voice, ensemble building, and puppet making. We create performances of socially engaged theatre that provoke thought and engage audiences in vibrant conversation. We explore how devised, classical, contemporary, and ritual forms of performance can support communities and individuals in conflict. We examine the theoretical aspects of the work including Moral Imagination, Paradoxical Curiosity, Art of Inquiry, and Conflict Transformation. We will learn tools and theories for work with specific populations. Participants are introduced to the Voice Progression (a vibrant and effective vocal and physical warm up) Creative Voicing (performative writing) Character Development, and Puppetry.

La MaMa is dedicated to the artist and all aspects of the theatre. The organization has a worldwide reputation for producing daring performance works that defy form and transcend barriers of ethnic and cultural identity. Founded in 1961 by award-winning theatre pioneer Ellen Stewart, La MaMa has presented more than 5,000 productions by 150,000 artists from more than 70 nations. A recipient of more than 30 Obie Awards and dozens of Drama Desk, Bessie, and Villager Awards, La MaMa has helped launch the careers of countless artists, many of whom have made important contributions to American and international arts milieu. La MaMa's 55th season celebrates the creative and collective histories of La MaMa's local and global communities. Since its beginning, La MaMa has forged creative partnerships with artists based in different parts of the U.S., Europe, Asia, Africa and South America. In recent years, these long-term relationships have taken on new life through distance collaborations over the Internet. The 55th season embraces new pathways forged in performance and technology to connect the myriad experiences, politics, conflicts, aesthetics, intimacies and dreams of people and communities participating in an increasingly globalized world.

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