[act-ma] 5/16/2013-5/18/2013: "The Land" : Iraq/US theatrical collaboration; workshop production presented by Fort Point Theatre Channel -- May 16-18, 2013

Mary Curtin marycurtin at comcast.net
Wed May 1 16:02:26 PDT 2013

FPTC logo
Fort Point Theatre Channel


a new play written by
Jessica Litwak, with Amir al-Azraki

directed by
Marc S. Miller

production design by 
Anne Loyer

free workshop production runs
May 16-18, 2013

(Boston, MA 02210) Fort Point Theatre Channel presents The Land, a new play
written by Jessica Litwak, with Amir al-Azraki. Directed by Marc S. Miller,
production design by Anne Loyer. Workshop performances: May 16-18,
Thurs.-Fri. at 8 pm; Sat. 7 & 9 pm. Tickets: free, donations welcome. Held
at 10 Channel Center Street, Fort Point, Boston. Wheelchair accessible. For
general information, www.fortpointtc.org, 617.750.8900.

The Land is a new play by Jessica Litwak, a U.S. playwright, with Amir
al-Azraki, an Iraqi playwright. The first script collaboratively developed
by U.S. and Iraqi theater artists, The Land is being workshopped as part of
the development of the work toward future full productions. The play is
based on an idea by Litwak and al-Azraki.

The story for The Land merges the fantastic and the realistic as it moves
across time and geography and traverses the worlds of the living and the
dead. It is a tragicomedy about two soldiers, one from Iraq and one from the
U.S. Although both have been killed, they come to see the horror and humor
of their lives while a gravedigger poet buries them. As the gravedigger
rushes through his job, they go over their lives, from history to religion
to the women they love and will miss. They come to a reconciliation and are
motivated to make peace in the afterlife. Meanwhile, their mothers, on
opposite sides of the world, come to terms with sorrow, rage, and regret.
They meet years later to ask each other: Is understanding possible? Is
forgiveness possible? Is peace?

The Land, part of the overall "Tamziq: Scattered and Connected" project, is
being developed by Fort Point Theater Channel (FPTC) in conjunction with the
Odysseus Project (www.odysseusproject.org) and the William Joiner Center for
the Study of War and Social Consequences (www.umb.edu/joinercenter).
"Tamziq" means torn in Arabic and this multifaceted project serves as a
conversation in art by Middle Eastern and American artists. "Visitors will
see art of profound beauty and artifacts that open windows on Islamic
culture and Western perceptions of it." (Chris Bergeron, GateHouse News

Anne Loyer, director of the Odysseus Project and a member of the Fort Point
Theatre Channel's (FPTC) artistic board, has organized and co-curated the
"Tamziq" project, which is currently presenting the "Tamziq" exhibition at
the Arsenal Center for the Arts in Watertown, MA. The Fort Point Arts
Community (FPAC) and FPTC are supporting partners in this exhibit. Loyer
conceived "Tamziq" to create opportunities for dialogue and exchange with
and within two communities: Iraqi refugees resettling in Massachusetts and
U.S. veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

FPTC's workshop production of The Land features Ahmad Maksoud as the
gravedigger, Lisa Caron Driscoll as an Iraqi mother, Michael Dwan Singh as
her son, an Iraqi freedom fighter, Sally Nutt as an American mother, and
Wilkinson Theodoris as her son, an American soldier.

Further background information:

Jessica Litwak, RDT, is artistic director of The H.E.A.T. Collective (
<http://www.heatcollective.org/> www.heatcollective.org) an organization
dedicated to Healing, Education, Activism and Theatre, and the New
Generation Theatre Ensemble, a theatre for youth (www.ngte.org) Litwak's
work has been published by Applause Books, Smith and Krause, and The New
York Times. Plays include Emma Goldman: Love Anarchy and Other Affairs
directed by Anne Bogart; A Pirate's Lullaby, winner of the Oregon Book
Award, produced in Portland, at Rattlestick Theater, and at The Goodman
Theatre; The Promised Land, commissioned by The National Federation of
Jewish Culture and produced in Budapest; Secret Agents  and Victory Dance
produced in Los Angeles at The Renberg Theatre and the DR2 in New York; and
many others. Litwak has taught at San Francisco State University, the
Theatre Academy at Los Angeles City College, Stella Adler Academy, Marymount
Manhattan College, Naropa, Columbia, NYU, and Lesley University. She
conducts workshops around the world in peace-building and Performance for
Acting Together On the World Stage. Litwak is on the steering committee of
Theatre Without Borders and co-leads Artist Distress Services for

Born in Basra, Amir Al-Azraki received his BA from the University of Basra,
an MA from Baghdad University, and a PhD in theatre studies at York
University in Toronto, Canada. After completing his dissertation, he
returned to the University of Basra in 2011. During the first years of the
Iraq War, Al-Azraki, in addition to teaching English drama at the University
of Basra, worked as a fixer and translator for such international news
outlets as The New York Times and The Dallas Morning News, later working for
Al Mirbad TV and Radio run by the BBC World Service Trust. He developed a
collaboration of the University of Basra, the Central School of Speech and
Drama, and the University of London on "Transforming the Learning
Environment Through Forum Theatre: Developing a Basra University Model."
Among his plays are Waiting for Gilgamesh: Scenes from Iraq, Stuck,
Notorious Women, Lysistrata in Iraq, Home Woes, and Judgement Day.

Anne Loyer has been involved in visual storytelling throughout her career,
from her two-dimensional fine art work, to narrative animations, to public
art projects and performances that include her audio and video collages
based on participants' stories. Her first film short won the "Indie Soul"
Special Recognition award at the Boston International Film Festival. She
recently served as art director for the Academic Media Studio at Wesleyan
University, where she produced award-winning video and interactive web sites
for educational use in classroom and museum settings. While a guest artist
at Montserrat College of Art, she collaborated with professor Gabrielle
Keller and students on a project that evolved into the Odysseus Project, an
ongoing dialogue among veterans, artists, and artist-veterans. Her work has
been supported by grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Jane's
Trust, and a fellowship at the National Academy of Design.

Marc S. Miller is FPTC's co-artistic director, co-founder, and producer. He
has directed for a number of Boston-area theatres and was a member of the
Actors' Coop of North Carolina. With FPTC, he has directed 4:48 Psychosis,
The Time of Your Life, and Hotel Cassiopeia and Silvia Graziano's Heads or
Tales? for FeverFest 2010. He has acted, stage managed, and swept the floors
for countless theatre companies over four decades. A writer and editor for
his day job, he has written or been project director for a dozen books,
including several that won major awards. He has written on theatre, economic
opportunity, health care, human rights, history, and technology policy. He
is a long-time board member and past president of Resist Foundation,
www.resistinc.org <http://www.resistinc.org/> , and a board member of Fort
Point Arts Community, www.forpointarts.org <http://www.forpointarts.org/> .

Fort Point Theatre Channel (www.fortpointtc.org) is dedicated to creating
and sustaining new configurations of the performing arts. They bring
together an ensemble of artists from the worlds of theater, music, visual
arts, and everything in between as a forum for collaborative expression
while enriching the Fort Point community, Boston, and beyond. FPTC Artistic
Directors are: Rick Dorff, Mary Driscoll, Christie Lee Gibson, Silvia
Graziano, Anne Loyer, Marc S. Miller, Hana Pegrimkova, Sally Nutt, Amanda
Sheehan, Robin Smith, Nick Thorkelson, Douglas Urbank, Daniel J. van Ackere,
and Mark Warhol. 

 --submitted by marycurtinproductions (on behalf of FPTC)
c/o Mary Curtin
PO Box 290703, Charlestown, MA 02129
617-241-9664, 617-470-5867 (cell),
marycurtin at comcast.net
"dedicated to staging insightful entertainment, particularly in
non-traditional venues"
www.marycurtinproductions.com <http://www.marycurtinproductions.com/> 
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