UCR

CHASS



IN THE HEART OF AMERICA by Naomi Wallace


NEWS RELEASE
Contact: Kathy DeAtley
Phone: (951) 827-3245
FAX:    (951) 827-4651
E-mail: kathleen.deatley@ucr.edu

IN THE HEART OF AMERICA by Naomi Wallace
Five war-warped souls cross time and space to retrieve the things their hearts follow, linking old with new, west with east, and man with man.

January 22, Thursday, 8:00 P.M.
January 23, Friday, 8:00 P.M.
January 24, Saturday, 2:30 P.M. Matinee
January 24, Saturday, 8:00 P.M.

ARTS Studio Theatre, ARTS 113

Tickets:  (951) 827-4331
Admission:   $14.00 General, $12.00  Students and Seniors
Parking:  $5.00 in Lot 1 (No fee with UC permit)
Information: (951) 827-3245


RIVERSIDE, CA-
The Department of Theatre at the University of California, Riverside, is pleased to present IN THE HEART OF AMERICA by Naomi Wallace.

Angry about what had been done to Iraq in the Gulf War of 1991, playwright Naomi Wallace researched for two years before writing IN THE HEART OF AMERICA, exploring the interconnectedness of things: violence and politics, racism and war, class and desire. She was interested in the 'American way' of war, how language is used to inspire and underline aggression, how racism is used to dehumanize the 'enemy', how the language of war is made erotic and enticing. "War is, on one level, a simple question of how to best tear as many bodies apart in as little time as possible, and necessarily not about freedom and liberation," she wrote.

The centerpiece of the story is the buddy relationship between two American soldiers:  Appalacian-born Craver Perry and Palestinian-American Remzi Saboura, who understands the Israeli-Palestinian problem from a distance.  The two men bond in a way characteristic of soldiers, but their emotional relationship seamlessly blends into intimacy and frank homoeroticism, without ever being explicitly sexual. This is true emotional bonding at the deepest levels, with great tenderness and affection growing throughout the play.

Many  immigrants from the Muslim world are conflicted by their desire to become assimilated Americans while retaining their cultural identity.  These issues are heightened as the United States becomes increasingly anti-Muslim.  While the play deals with Remzi's wish to 'become an American', it is also about the irony that becoming American means killing other Arabs-other people who are not white. Wallace writes, "We live today in a virulently racist culture, and Muslims are receiving much of the worst this. But this is not happening in a vacuum. There are many progressive anti-war and anti-racist forces aligning themselves against these forces. I don't know what I would write if I wrote this play today."

Naomi Wallace (Playwright, 1960-) is a playwright, screenwriter and poet from Prospect, Kentucky. Her plays include: In The Heart of America, One Flea Spare, Slaughter City, The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek, The Girl Who Fell Through a Hole in Her Jumper (with Bruce E. J. McLeod), The War Boys, Things of Dry Hours, Birdy (an adaptation of William Wharton's novel), The Fever Chart: Three Visions of the Middle East, Twenty One Positions: A Cartographic Dream of the Middle East, (co-written with Lisa Schlesinger and AbdelFattah Abu Srour) and The Hard Weather Boating Party.  She wrote the award-winning film Lawn Dogs, and her new film, The War Boys, co-written with Bruce McLeod, will be released in 2009.

Wallace received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hampshire College and completed graduate studies at the University of Iowa. Wallace's work has been produced in the United Kingdom, Europe, the United States and the Middle East.  Her work has received the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the Kesselring Prize, the Fellowship of Southern Writers Drama Award and an Obie. She is also the 1999 recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship in Playwriting. Wallace is a dedicated advocate for justice and human rights in the U.S. and abroad, and for Palestinian rights in the Middle East.

Majd Murad (Director) is a senior Theatre major from Redlands East Valley High School where he played Geoffrey in Something's Afoot, George Gibbs in Our Town, Demitirus in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Marryin' Sam in Li'l Abner. At UCR he played numerous roles in Nickel and Dimed, Alejo in The Conduct of Life, Clown/Servant in The Winter's Tale, Mr. Schwarzman in The Unlearning Curve, Helmer in A Doll's House, served as Stage Manager for The Bacciarelli Issue, Assistant Stage Manager for The Comedy of Errors, and on crew for Julius Caesar.  Elsewhere, he was Assistant Stage Manager on The Children's Hour and lighting crew for Evita and recently played Mr. Mayor in Seussical at Performance Riverside. He directed Night of the Living and Things That Fall From the Sky for Playworks and Native Soil and In the Heart of America for Golden Mean Players at UCR, and teaches in the after-school program for the Riverside Arts Council.

Marc Longlois (Scenic Designer) is Production Manager of the Department of Theatre, Head of Stage Management, Staff Scenic and Costume Designer, and Lecturer in Design, History, and Technical Theatre.  He received his MFA from Southern Methodist University where he studied with acclaimed Broadway designers William and Jean Eckart; Rosemary Ingham, author of The Costumer's Handbook; and Richard Corson, author of the definitive text Stage Makeup. He has worked for professional regional theatres, including the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre and the Alabama Shakespeare Festival; for opera companies, and in television and industrial production.  He is a member of United Scenic Artists, Local 829 and has designed costumes, scenery, and sound for over 100 productions at UCR.

Helen Nolde (Costume Designer) is a graduate of Cornelia Connelly School in Anaheim and a junior Theatre major.  She stage managed A Doll's House, and  served as Assistant Stage Manager on Big Love, and on crew for Nickel and Dimed, Sweeney Todd, The Bacciarelli Issue, The Winter's Tale and Playworks.  She worked for Opera Pacific as a stitcher on The Italian Girl in Algiers and Aida, and on numerous production at UCR, Long Beach Shakespeare Festival, and the San Jacinto Shakespeare Festival.  She also played Bertha in I Rise in Flames Cried the Phoenix.  She recently designed costumes for The Grier Living Histories for the City of Riverside.

Jaclyn Sewell (Lighting Designer) is an alumna of the UCR Department of Theatre and a free-lance lighting designer.  She has played the White Queen in Wonderland, Mel in City Noise, Marguerite in The Sax Man, and Heart in Howard at the End of the World.  At UCR she has played numerous roles in Playworks, Dream Character in The Conduct of Life, Men's Chorus in Lysistrata, and served on crew for One Size Fits All and Urinetown.  She designed the lighting for Playworks 2008.

Bank Bhinvatdhana (Sound Designer) is a graduate of John Marshall High School in Los Angeles and a senior Media and Cultural Studies major at UC Riverside. He has worked as assistant sound designer for A Doll's House and principal sound designer for In the Heart of America. His film works include sound engineer for Opium and sound designer for Sweet Sweet Love. He is currently working as video production assistant for UC Riverside Office of Strategic Communications and sound recorder and designer for the film This is Jonathan.

TICKET AVAILABILITY:
Fine Arts Ticket Office:  (951) 827-4331
located on campus at the University Theatre north of  Lot 6
Hours: Monday  through Friday, 10:00 A.M.- 4:00 P.M.

ARTS Ticket Office:
located on campus at the ARTS Building at the University Avenue entrance to UCR across from Lot 1
Hours: One hour before each performance in the Studio Theatre, ARTS 113
Ticketmaster: (213) 480-3232, (714) 740-2000, www.ticketmaster.com

Parking:  $5.00 in Lot 1 (No fee with UC permit)


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