The Wilma Theater Welcomes Distinguished Speakers On 3/9

The Wilma Theater welcomes a distinguished group of speakers on Monday, March 9 at 7:30 p.m. for "Now That We're Together, Everything Feels Better," a panel discussion in conjunction with the theater's East Coast Premiere of Scorched, by acclaimed Lebanese-Canadian playwright Wajdi Mouawad. Directed by Blanka Zizka, the production continues the theater's 30th anniversary season and runs from February 25 through March 29, 2009.

Panelists include author and former Beirut-based correspondent Helena Cobban, who recently published her seventh book, Re-engage! America and the World After Bush; Jonathan Glover, author of Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century, which was called "brilliant, haunting, and uniquely important" by Steven Pinker in The New York Times; and Judith Graves Miller, a recognized authority on French and Francophone theater and Professor and Chair of the Department of French at New York University.

Moderated by Wilma Dramaturg and Literary Manager Walter Bilderback, this panel will explore how civil, ethnic, and religious conflicts arise and the ways these knots, and their aftereffects on the individuals who live through them, might be unraveled. The speakers will address whether it is possible to recreate humanity in the aftermath of the atrocities that characterize this sort of conflict.

In Scorched, twins Janine and Simon receive a surprising request in their late mother's will: to deliver letters to a father they thought was dead and a brother they never knew existed. These tasks lead them on a suspenseful journey to the heart of their mother's war-torn Middle Eastern homeland. Unraveling the mystery, they learn about her concealed history as a political activist and prisoner of war and uncover shocking secrets about their own origins.

Symposia tickets are free for all Scorched ticket-holders, otherwise $10. Seating is limited. For tickets, call the Wilma Box Office at (215) 546-7824 or email The Wilma Theater is located at 265 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia. For more information, visit


Helena Cobban worked as a Beirut-based correspondent between 1974 and 1981. In May 2008, Cobban published her seventh book, Re-engage! America and the World After Bush. Her previous titles include Amnesty After Atrocity?: Healing Nations After Genocide and War Crimes and The Moral Architecture of World Peace: Nobel Laureates Discuss our Global Future. She publishes a blog on international issues called "Just World News."

Jonathan Glover serves as the director of the Center for Medical Law and Ethics at King's College London. He has written several books on ethics, including Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century and Causing Death and Saving Lives. Glover is also a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics.

Judith Graves Miller is Professor and Chair of the Department of French at New York University. Recognized as an authority on French and Francophone theater, she has done extensive work on 20th- and 21st-century theater in French, including the work of Scorched playwright Wajdi Mouawad.

The Wilma Theater's Symposium Series is supported by The Wallace Foundation Excellence Award grant. The Wallace Foundation Excellence Awards were created to support exemplary arts organizations to pioneer effective practices to engage more people in high-value arts activities.

This event is co-sponsored by the Middle East Center at the University of Pennsylvania. The Middle East Center at Penn supports a series of lectures to increase knowledge and understanding of the Middle East.

Scorched has been funded by The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, through The Philadelphia Theatre Initiative, with additional support from the Marketing Innovation Program. Scorched is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Wilma Theater's 30th Anniversary Sponsor is Rohm and Haas. Sporting Club at the Bellevue is a Season Sponsor. McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant is Artistic Lead Sponsor, and PECO is the Building the Audiences of Tomorrow Sponsor. Additional support is given by the Charlotte Cushman Foundation.



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