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ABRAHAM'S LAND Will Livestream This Month

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The stream will be available for public viewing September 20 - October 31.

ABRAHAM'S LAND Will Livestream This Month

The world premiere of Abraham's Land tackles one of the world's most tragic, enduring and intractable geopolitical conflicts-Israel and Palestine-with the three lead roles played by Jewish-American, Israeli, and Palestinian-American actors.

Abraham's Land, an original musical by Seattle playwright, Lauren Goldman Marshall and Pulitzer-nominated composer, Roger Ames, with additional music by David Nafissian and Paul Linnes, premiered at Kirkland Performance Center, July 15-18, 2021, in a stunning production, directed by David Grabarkewitz. It was the first professional live theater production authorized by Actors Equity Association to open in Washington state following fifteen months of closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With both in-person and livestream viewing, the production reached audiences in 34 states and 5 countries. If you missed it, you'll have a chance to see the edited livestream, available for public viewing September 20 - October 31.

Abraham's Land tells a human story, set against the backdrop of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, during the First Intifada. Israeli Sergeant Yitzhak prides himself on being an ethical soldier, but when a Palestinian demonstration in Jerusalem appears threatening, he fatally shoots the provocateur, Ismail. Devastated to learn that the victim was unarmed, Yitzhak is haunted by Ismail's ghost. Disguising himself as a Palestinian, Yitzhak journeys to a refugee camp in Gaza to return Ismail's identity card and ask his family for forgiveness. In the process, he experiences the humanity of the other side and the darker aspects of his own. Ultimately, he must choose between making amends and his duty to his country.

With recent changes in Israeli leadership, increasing tensions and violence in the region, the reexamination of the United States' role in the Middle East, and the rise of antisemitism, Islamophobia, racism and tribalism in the United States and abroad, this work is especially timely.

Thirty years in the making, Abraham's Land began as a Jewish/Palestinian collaboration, between writer Lauren Goldman Marshall, composer David Nafissian, and director Hanna Eady, and was first performed in Seattle in 1992. Marshall further developed it with Palestinian and Israeli youth at Seeds of Peace International Camp in 1999. The current rendition features a substantially revised libretto and score.

This innovative production is directed by acclaimed director David Grabarkewitz, former Resident Director at the New York City Opera. Music director Paul Linnes conducts a seven-member ensemble. Choreography is by Kathryn Van Meter and Waseem Sbait. The 22-member racially and culturally diverse, professional cast is drawn from New York City, Los Angeles and Seattle. It features Michael Strauss, Netanel Bellaishe, Maria Habeeb, Hassan Nazari-Robati, David Studwell, Bobbi Kotula, Danya El-Kurd, Cammi Smith & Paul Shapiro, along with a multi-generational ensemble.

"I am honored to pursue justice through this art form. One of my desires is that audience members would allow themselves to lean into discomfort, look within, and hopefully leave grappling with some larger questions," says Chandry Abreu, cast member.

The edited livestream will be available for viewing on YouTube from September 20 - October 31, 2021. Streaming tickets will be pay-what-you-can, with levels ranging from $1 to $20. For more information and the YouTube link, go to www.AbrahamsLandMusical.com

"The content shows political knowledge of the situation, and it has characterization, psychological depth and transformation. The writing is amazing. Not didactic, not judgmental, not righteous, just heart and human," wrote Vibha Thompson, an audience member from the 2019 workshop. "A beautiful story with universal appeal," writes Lenore Bensinger, playwright and 2021 audience member.

This production is supported by an artist project grant from 4Culture and individual donations. It is endorsed by a broad multi-faith coalition of Jewish, Christian and Islamic faith groups, including Kadima Reconstructionist Community , the Mideast Focus Ministry of St. Mark's Cathedral, the Episcopal Bishop's Committee for Justice and Peace in the Holy Land, and Husaynia Islamic Society.

For more information, visit www.abrahamslandmusical.com.


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