a world premiere presented by
Fort Point Theatre Channel
the Joiner Institute for the Study of War and Social Consequences,
the Odysseus Project
cosponsored by the Center for Arabic Culture
June 26-28, 2014
Arsenal Center for the Arts, Black Box Theatre
Waiting for Gilgamesh explores the many diverse points of view held by Iraqis about the events leading up to and following the U.S.-led invasion of their country in 2003. Amir Al-Azraki dramatizes the problematic lives of Iraqis and the tricky situation before and after the war. Set in an episodic manner, his play encapsulates scenes from the last days of the Iraq-Iran war, a snapshot of operations during Saddam's time, realistic pictures from daily life after the 2003 war, and an ironic depiction of political and religious debates.
In its exposition of truth as rooted in perspective, Waiting for Gilgamesh challenges the one-sidedness of our way of thinking. “The spectators are nowhere to find ready-made answers,” Al-Azraki has written, “but are left with a clash of voices, each cudgeling his views.”
Marc S. Miller, director
Anne Loyer, production designer
Trip Venturella, stage manager
Jacques Pardo, composer, sound designer
Chris Bocchiaro, lighting designer
Mario Avila, puppets & masks
Hana Pegrimkova, puppets & masks
Julie Dauber, costume designer
Asmaa Najim Alhadidi, literary advisor
Sam Lasman, dramaturg
Nicholas Schaffer, master carpenter
Gustavo Jiménez, assistant stage manager
Scattered and Connected
The production of Waiting for Gilgamesh, along with the commissioning of Reconciliation and other activities, continues the collaboration among the Joiner Institute for the Study of War and Social Consequences, artist in residence Anne Loyer of the Odysseus Project, and Fort Point Theater Channel on the project Tamziq: Scattered and Connected. Also collaborating in this project now is the Center for Arabic Culture.
As part of the Joiner Institute’s summer program, artists from the University of Basra in Iraq will take part in the annual Writers Workshop. These artists also will participate in post-performance discussions of the two plays.
About the Playwright
Amir Al-Azraki, born in Basra, received a BA from the University of Basra, a MA from Baghdad University, and a PhD in theatre studies from York University, Toronto. During the first years of the Iraq War, al-Azraki, in addition to teaching English drama at the University of Basra, worked as a fixer and translator for such international news outlets as The New York Times and The Dallas Morning News, later working for Al Mirbad TV and Radio run by the BBC World Service Trust. He developed a collaboration of the University of Basra, the Central School of Speech and Drama, and the University of London on "Transforming the Learning Environment Through Forum Theatre: Developing a Basra University Model." Among his plays are Stuck, Notorious Women, Lysistrata in Iraq, Home Woes, and Judgement Day. Previously, Fort Point Theatre Channel, the Odysseus Project, and the Joiner Institute have presented readings of several of his plays, as well as a workshop production of The Land, by Jessica Litwak, with al-Azraki.