Events Calendar

Staging the Middle East in Theatre

Saturday, April 4, 2009
8 a.m.Noon


Alumni & Visitors Center
Parking Information



Staging the Middle East in Theatre and Through Performance

Conference Convener: Erith Jaffe-Berg, UC Riverside

This conference brings together artists and scholars from North America, Europe and the Middle East in order to explore how theatre and other performative contexts, such as digital media, fashion, installation art, pedagogy and poetry, critically engage in the staging of the Middle East and its peoples, cultures and conflicts. __________________________

Schedule of Events April 3, Friday

Morning - afternoons (arrivals, conference check-ins) 8:00 - 8:20 Coffee and Registration 8:20 Welcome words and introduction by convener, Erith Jaffe-Berg, UCR

8:30 - 9:45 Session I: “Casting” Arab Identities in Pedagogy and Performance

“(Mis)Representing Arabness: Transporting Wajdi Mouawad’s Littoral/Tideline from Stage to Screen” Michael Najjar, UCLA Wajdi Mouawad: Reshaping the Geography of Québécois Theatre Bernard Lavoie, Collège Lionel Groulx, Ste-Thérèse, Québec “Teaching Arabic andY? Performative Language Pedagogy and the Formation of Hybrid Identity in Al-Kitaab fii ta alum al-arabiya” Marc Boucai, University of California, Berkeley _______________________________

9:50 - 11:10 Session II: Space in Performative Transactions Moderator: Sherine Hafez, UCR “Hybrid Traditions: The Adventure of Saadallah Wannous” Nesrin Alrefaai, Warwick University, UK “Oppositional Theatre in Syria: Naila Al-Atrash Direct Saadallah Waannous” Edward Ziter, New York University, invited guest “Egyptian Theatre Reclaiming its Old Spaces” Dina Amin, Villanova University, invited guest ____________________________________

11:15 - 12:30 Session III: Staging Dispossession in Mixed Mediums & Media Moderator: Stephanie Hammer, UCR “Staging Dispossession” Jeffrey Sacks, UCR “Ambiguity of Place: Domesticating Identity in the Postexilic Narrative of MonaHatoum” Samuel, Otis College of Art and Design. “Performance of Power and Resistance: Suicide Bombers in Front of the Camera?” Rana Salimi, UCSD 12:30 - 1:30 LUNCH Welcome words from Dean Stephen Cullenberg, College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, UCR 1: 35 - 2:10 Invited Lecture “Dangerous Liaisons: The Allure of the Veiled Monologue” Hala Nassar, Yale University

Discussant: Tiffany Lopez, UCR _______________________________________

2: 20 - 3:50 Session IV: Querying the “Middle East” in Drama and through Performance Moderator: Robin Russin, Acting Chair, Department of Theatre, UCR

“The Shifting Context: Reading the Middle East and North Africa through Performance” Laura Chakravarty Box, Colby College “The Fabric of Middle Eastern Bodies: Three Instances of Performance” Alexandru Balasescu, National School of Political and Administrative Studies, Bucharest, Romania “To Be an American is To Be Punished: Two Rooms, Someone to Watch over Me and the Dramatic Construction of American-Middle Eastern Relations” Kevin Wetmore, Loyola Marymount University 4: 00 - 5:00 Performance: Betty Shamieh will perform excerpts from her two works The Black Eyed and Chocolate in Heat.

Question and Answer session and book signing to follow performance

Discussant: Rickerby Hinds, UCR Betty Shamieh is a Palestinian-American actor, playwright, and screenwriter. She is the author of 15 plays for which she has been awarded grants by the NEA, TCG and the Ford Foundation. Her plays have been produced by The New York Theatre Workshop, The New Group and Magic Theatre, and her plays have been developed by The Public Theatre and The Royal Court.

5:00 - 6:00 Light hors d’oeuvres served 6:00 - 7:00 Break 7:00 - 9:30 A Staged Reading and Discussion of the play: Benedictus by Motti Lerner Creative Team for Benedictus: Mahmood Karimi-Hakak, Motti Lerner, Roberta Levitow, Torange Yeghiazarian and Daniel Michaelson.

Translation from the Hebrew by Anthony Berris The reading is directed by Eric Barr, Chair, Department of Theatre, UCR

Discussant: Martin Plot, CalArts

The play imagines the 48 hours preceding a US attack on Iran. Set against the background of Rome, an Israeli arms dealer and an Iranian politician engage in a secret meeting to prevent this attack. Benedictus is a collaboration by artists from Israel, Iran and the United States, including the prominent Israeli playwright Motti Lerner, Iranian-American director Mahmood Karimi-Hakak of Siena College, the American dramaturge Roberta Levitow, designer Daniel Michaelson of Bennington College, and Torange Yeghiazarian, Artistic Director of Golden Thread Productions in San Francisco. Location: Theatre Lab, Humanities 411 Located next to the University Theatre Admission: Free and open to the public Parking: $5 in Lot 6 No fee with UC permit


April 4, Saturday

8:00 - 8:30 Coffee & Pastries

8:30 - 9:45 Session V Moderator: Root Park, UCR “Home’ Claims and Israel Guilt’: Jonathan Lichtenstein’s Memory and Jason Grot’s 1001” Shelly Salamensky, UCLA “The Carousel of Revenge on the Israeli-Palestinian Stage” Motti Sandak, International Institute for Jewish and Israeli Culture “Dual Transgressions: Hanoch Levine’s Murder” David Gorshein, UCLA

10:00 - 11:30 Performative responses: Round Panel of Writers speaking to the issue of Staging the Middle East’ in their works Performance Interlude: Muslima Monologues

Mehnaz-Mona Afridi, Levantine Cultural Centre & CSULB

Benedictus, Motti Lerner, playwright

The Black Eyed and Chocolate in Heat: Betty Shamieh, playwright A Bounty of Lace: Susan Merson, CSUF Singaporean Playwrights: Damon Chua, playwright In Treatment’ HBO series: Sarah Treem, writer

11:30 Closing comments by the convener, responses 12:00 Conference officially ends

For further information about the conference, please contact: Prof. Erith Jaffe-Berg Department of Theatre University of California, Riverside CHASS Interdisciplinary Building - South 145 (951) 827-4418 erithj@ucr.edu

Staging the Middle East in Theatre and Through Performance is made possible by the generous support of the UC Riverside College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, Department of Theatre, Center for Ideas and Society, Department of Comparative Literature and Foreign Languages, Honors Program, Department of Media and Cultural Studies, Office of Research, Middle East and Islamic Studies, and the Department of Women’s Studies. __________________________________

Photo: UC Riverside Department of Theatre 2009 production of In the Heart of America by Naomi Wallace

Photo credit: Alan A. Call Free and open to UCR Students, Faculty, and Staff

Parking: Permits available at the Information Kiosk

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Campus Only




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Kathy DeAtley
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