DISLOCATION AND REINVENTION
International Plays about the Experience of Immigration
The New Group, Immigrants’ Theatre Project, and the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center of The Graduate Center, CUNY, present for the third year their groundbreaking reading series dealing with the experience of immigration in the 21st century: Dis-Location and Re-Invention: International Plays about the Experience of Immigration. This season, the series focuses on immigration between non-US countries, reflecting changing demographics and current population movements in Europe, Asia, and Africa.
THE SHEEP AND THE WHALE
Produced in 2006
Written by Ahmed Ghazali
Directed by Marcy Arlin
A small boat full of Moroccan stowaways is struck by a Russian freighter and sinks in the Straits of Gibraltar. The Russians recover the bodies, but neither Morocco nor Spain comes to claim them. An awful night of waiting commences. As the negotiations unfold throughout the night, crew members hunt black-African stowaways aboard the ship while the doctor tries to save them.What happened to the stowaway who disappeared a few days ago? Will the love story between the Moroccan and the Frenchwoman, who came on board for an adventure, be able to withstand this ordeal? Is there anything Russian left about this freighter that was recently bought by a multinational conglomerate? And what is this Islamic sheep ceremony, the excuse for why the Moroccans are late in coming to fetch the bodies?
Suspended in the middle of the chasm separating North and South, the ship’s deck, littered with corpses, becomes an open-air stage on which the characters play out the world’s dramas.
Ahmed Ghazali was born in Casablanca, studied science in Morocco and France and worked throughout North Africa and the Middle East as a geophysical engineer. His life experience in the desert inspired him to follow his true vocation: exploring soul and imagination through playwriting and philosophical research.
His first play The Sheep and the Whale (Le mouton et la baleine) for which he was awarded the SACD French-language Playwriting Prize in 2001, premiered at the Théâtre de Quat’Sous in Montreal (Canada) on 15 January 2001. His last play Tombouctou 52 jours àdos de chameau won the Aide à la Création Prize from the French Ministry of Culture and premiered at the theatre of the French Institute in Casablanca (Morocco) in 2005 before touring in France and Spain.
Bobby Theodore (Translator) is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada’s playwriting program. He has translated the works of some of Quebec’s most talented playwrights. His translation of François Archambault’s play 15 Seconds was nominated for a 2000 Governor General’s Award for literary translation.
Produced in 2006
Written by Maxim Biller
A group of Chinese men have paid to be smuggled overland to England. During the very last stage of their journey, when they are hidden inside a refrigerated truck container in Dover, we get to know four of them and learn about their dreams of a better life in the West, their homesickness, and their ties to organized crime. Based on an actual incident from 2000. Maxim Biller was born in Prague to Russian-Jewish parents. His family was among those who left Czechoslovakia after the Prague Spring ended, emigrating to Germany in 1970, when Biller was ten years old. Biller first made his name as a journalist, writing a column in the magazine Tempo. He published his first collection of stories in 1990, his first novel in 2000. Cold Cargo is hisfirst play; it was produced in Mainz and Dresden in 2002. Neil Blackadder translates drama and fiction from German and French. His translation of Lukas Bärfuss’s The Sexual Neuroses of our Parents will be presented in a staged reading at the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center in Fall 2006. Blackadder has published translations of work by Jean Tardieu and Christoph Wilhelm Aigner. He is also the author of Performing Opposition: Modern Theater and the Scandalized Audience (Praeger, 2003). He teaches theatre at
Produced in 2006
Written by Cristian Panaite
Two immigrant families scrounge through garbage in the streets of Berlin and fight over the bounty only to realize they are from the same village in Romania. Everything seems to falls apart when their children fall in love. Issues of European unification, immigration, and survival clash in this comedy. Cristian Panaite is a young actor and playwright originally from Romania. His written works are deeply rooted in the social, cultural, and political turmoil. He explores the shifting grounds that his home country is experiencing. Someof the crossroads under continuous exploration are: corruption, migration and immigration, orphans, power, human traffic, family, traditions, transitions and revolutions, the new generation, and the East vs. the West. While interning for several theatre companies in New York and elsewhere (McCarter Theater, The
Play Company, Yara Arts Group), and working as an educator in other programs (Robert College of Istanbul, The Putney School), some of his works were read and/or produced in the U.S., Germany, and Romania. He discovered, improved, and continues to develop his playwriting skills with the precious help and advice of his mentors: dramaturg/director Ms. Roberta Levitow and professor/playwright Mr. Gladden Schrock. An alumnus of the European College of Liberal Arts in Berlin and the National University of Theater and Film in Bucharest, Cristian Panaite received a BA in drama from Bennington College and is currently enrolled in the M.A. Theatre Program at Miami University of Ohio.