Thinkery And Verse To Present THE BRIDE OF THE GULF
New York City ensemble Thinkery and Verse presents BRIDE of the GULF, a new play dedicated to the resilience of life in Basra, Iraq, and based upon a transnational collaboration with artists from Iraq's largest port city. Amid the violence that followed the British withdrawal from Basra in 2007, a sharp-witted Iraqi woman goes in search of her missing husband at the behest of her mother-in-law.
Production Dates: Hudson Guild Theater (441 W. 26th street, NY) - February 27th at 9pm, February 28th at 6:30pm, and March 3rd at 3pm. The Assembly Hall (189 George Street, New Brunswick, NJ) March 7th, 8th, and 9th at 7.30pm
About the Play
Bride of the Gulf began as a short play created for the Basra to Boston Project and the Fort Pointe Theatre Channel, and drew on transnational conversations, as well as the playwright's memories of Iraq in 2007 as a U.S. soldier. Using the short play as a starting point, the ensemble then collaborated with Iraqi poet and painter Elham Al Zabaedy, and incorporated her ironic, religious perspective into the play's outlook to a create an original full-length play, Bride of the Gulf. When creating the play, Thinkery and Verse drew on transnational conversations that took place during our ongoing artistic process, but also on the playwright's memories of Iraq in 2007: the translators, the journalists, Iraqi citizens, the incoming fire, the kidnappings, the reunions, the violence and the resiliency of the world's oldest civilization.
About the Ensemble
The creative ensemble draws on recent graduates from one of the top acting conservatories in the world: the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. The creative team, including Karen Alvarado, Abishek Nair, Jahsiah Musig, and Camila Cano-Flavia, is supplemented with New York actors including Doga Celik, Alex Taylor and Sufi Malhotra who with ties to the Middle East and the wider world. The production is going to move to the Edinburgh International Fringe in the summer of 2018.
About the Playwright
J. M. Meyer became the first playwright to make the long-list for the Dylan Thomas Prize in 2010, is making his UK debut with a play set in Iraq in 2007, a setting which coincides with his second deployment as a United States Army airborne ranger. In writing the play, Meyer states that he "hoped to pay homage to the translators and local Iraqis that I worked with on a day to day basis. They were always more vulnerable than any U.S. or U.K. soldier, and the play reflects the consequences of that vulnerability and risk-taking."
With surprising humor and hard-earned insight, Bride of the Gulf explores what the invasion of Iraq felt like from the perspective of the people of Basra. Though it draws on the same theatrical vocabulary as plays like Black Watch, it provides a necessary (and winking) corrective to the Western perspective. This is what transnational collaboration looks like at its best: well-informed, courageous, risk-taking, and profoundly theatrical.