presents STRANGEr | AJNABI : a devised performance piece tracking two characters in search of their identities liberated from their cultures, spanning two languages. The actors, Mohammed and Elizabeth met in 2012 in Bethlehem, Palestine. One is an American raised in Texas and living in California who often feels at home in Palestine. One is a Palestinian living in Cyprus. Both are taking a step back from their cultural identities to question how much of who they are is merely a product of their environment, challenging each other’s claims on truth. How deeply can a Christian American Feminist White actress and an ex-Muslim Atheist Arab actor access each other? What are our unexamined prejudices? Does it matter? This piece is an experiment in leaving cultural identity behind, picking it back up, and seeing what of value, if anything, remains. STRANGEr will not only confront Elizabeth and Mohammed’s beliefs and identities but also their friends’ and families’ through conducted interviews, aiming to create fictional characters from these merged stories. The characters find themselves stranded on an island and will fall in love only to discover that the divide between them is as vast as the water that separates them from their homelands. In the rehearsal room, Elizabeth and Mohammed will begin by experimenting with dialogue and movement leading themselves through the exercises of Augusto Boal, Viola Spolin, the Viewpoints, and Wangh’s Acrobat of the Heart. STRANGEr will be the culmination of a highly personal process that demands the actors to confront their judgments of themselves and each other in a powerful piece of theater that beckons audiences to open up in a talk-back about their own experiences and fears of the Other.
STRANGEr | AJNABI will premiere in Riverside, California at the Mad St. space and travel to Chicago to present at the Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed Conference in June!
WAYS YOU CAN SUPPORT:
- Donate to our INDIEGOGO Campaign: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/stranger-ajnabi/x/235009
- Watch for our “Theatre for Change” Bucket on the side table at church on Sundays! Bring your change and donate it for our project!
- SAVE THE DATE: Saturday, March 21st at Madison Street Church 5pm for our FUNDRAISER: a night of Middle Eastern food and entertainment!
- Share Our Campaign on Facebook: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/stranger-ajnabi/x/235009
- Pray that we get a scholarship from the Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed Conference that has invited us to perform in June. We find out this month!
- Pray for my collaborator, Mohammed who is a Palestinian living in Cyprus. May this collaboration bring great things for both of us this year! Theatre is an uphill battle financially, and he will be taking a risk coming here and trusting me with the details. Pray for peace and excitement as we move forward