Join the Segal Center for an evening highlighting the work of Iraqi playwright Jawad Al Assadi, one of the most authoritative and groundbreaking experimental theater artists in the Arab world. The event will feature short readings from Baghdadi Bath as well as the playwright in conversation with translator Robert Myers, director Zishan Ugurlu and Marvin Carlson. Baghdadi Bath will be performed at the La MaMa Annex Theater March 12-15, 2009.
Baghdadi Bath is a play of two Iraqi brothers who work as bus drivers on a route between Baghdad and Damascus, which includes some of the world’s most perilous thoroughfares. Hostage-taking, stealing and executions are daily occurrences on their route. In the privacy of a steam room, they deliberate on their lives before and after the U.S. invasion, opening their hearts and exploring their repressed memories.
Jawad Al Assadi is one of Iraq’s best-known playwrights and recipient of the Prince Claus Award for his dedication to freedom of cultural expression. He has spent 25 years as an expatriate, living in various Arab countries. Al Assadi fled Saddam Hussein’s Iraq but returned after the fall of the dictator, judging that the new nation would be more hospitable, and founded the short-lived Gilgamesh Arts Center in Baghdad. Stunned by the brutality and panic among the Iraqi people, Al Assadi moved to Beirut and established the Babel Theatre. He works and lives in Beirut.
Robert Myers (translator) is a playwright based in New York and Beirut. His recent play Mesopotamia, about Gertrude Bell and the British occupation of Iraq, will receive a workshop in New York in the autumn of 2009, with Kathleen Chalfant in the role of Gertrude Bell. He has written about theatre for The New York Times, PAJ and teaches at the American University of Beirut.
Zishan Ugurlu (director) is founding Artistic Director of Actors without Borders-ITONY. Presently, she is an Assistant Professor at The New School.
Presented in collaboration with La MAMA ETC & Actors Without Borders-ITONY , with additional support from: La Guardia Performing Arts Center (LPAC), The American Turkish Association, & Moon & Stars Projects.
6:30 p.m., Thursday, March 5th, 2009
Martin E. Segal Theatre. Free!