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I Come From There, Wednesday – Friday April 28-30, 2010

The exciting PEN World Voices Festival: I Come From There, New Plays from the Arab World, begins this afternoon, Wednesday April 28, at 4pm with a presentation by Elyse Dodgson, Associate Director International of London’s Royal Court Theatre. Ms. Dodgson will discuss the International Playwright’s Program at Royal Court and its partnership with playwrights from around the world.

The plays begin tomorrow at 4:30 pm, kicking off with Withdrawal by playwright and dramaturge Mohammad Al Attar and The House by Arzé Khodr. Both plays examine intimate relationships and the spaces they are built in. A new apartment, an old house – how do we build our homes? The 6:30 session features Kamal Khalladi’s Damage followed by a discussion with all five visiting playwrights who come from Syria, Lebanon, Morocco, Egypt, and Palestine. Dodgson leads a discussion of the dramatization of contemporary life in North Africa and the Middle East as well as questions of translation. Friday, April 30th features Egyptian Products by Laila Soliman and 603 by Iman Farajin. The 8pm discussion panel that evening features Laila Hourani of the British Council alongside Elyse Dodgson and the Graduate Center’s own Professor Marvin Carlson in a discussion of the 3-year Arab Playwright-Project that led from the seed of the idea to the initial workshops in Damascus, to the presentation and publication of the plays in London, to the presentations here in New York at the Segal Center. For more details about the plays and playwrights, be sure to check out the Martin E. Segal Center Events Page, here (http://web.gc.cuny.edu/mestc/events/s10/PEN_World_Voices.html)

The program promises to be invigorating and refreshing: 5 new plays by young playwrights alongside discussions of institutional support for new theatrical work in development. Something for every angle! Hope to see you there.

Rayya El Zein

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