Thursday, January 22, 2004
This past weekend I was fortunate enough to attend a preview of a new play opening Friday, January 23, entitled "...for you were a stranger..." "...for you were a stranger..."
The play tells the story of two women, an Arab and a Jew, who meet three times across the 4000-year span of their common heritage. First they meet as Sarah and Hagar, the matriarchs of the Bible; later they move to medieval Spain as daughters of the Golden Age of Muslim/Jewish culture; and finally to the modern Middle East of 1967.
What's especially notable about the play is how the experiences of motherhood and femaleness relate to the rival sibling nations of Israel and Palestine — as dramatized by the two women who, quite literally, gave birth to the Jews and to the Muslims. We see their goddess-based polytheism eclipsed by a pair of monotheisms in the form of their sons, who grow up to become both patriarchal and unkind to their mothers' feminine traditions.
The play asks us to bear witness to the women on both sides of the political/religious equation as history began to take its terrible course. As only great political plays can do, "...for you were a stranger..." transforms daunting and abstract political situations into something immediate, palpable, and human.
Actress/playwright Donna Blue Lachman collaborated on the work with Rula Sirhan Gardenier, an Arab actress and playwright who lives in Chicago. Lachman has played Frida Kahlo, Rosa Luxemburg and Peggy Guggenheim, among others, in her solo performance career. The Piven Theatre Workshop's Jennifer Green directs the piece, which is scheduled to run through March 21.
There was a preview feature in the , and Tony Adler also wrote a fascinating preview piece in the Chicago Sun-Times that I was unable to locate on their site. Next week I'll post more reviews as they come online.
Here is the show's listing at the HotHouse, where the show is being performed and where you can also buy tickets online.
The HotHouse, in case you don't know, is Chicago's greatest venue for nightclub-scale performing arts, especially world music. The HotHouse is in downtown Chicago next to the Chicago Hilton and Towers on Grant Park. With this new play they are expanding their lineup to include cutting-edge theatre.
View the Archive
Alternatives to First Command Financial Planning
First Command, last resort, Part 3
Stealing $50K from a widow: Wells Real Estate
Leo Wells, REITs and divine wealth
Sex-crazed Red State teenagers
What I hate: a manifesto
Spawn of Darleen Druyun
All-American high school sex party
Why is Ken Lay smiling?
Poppy's Enron birthday party
The Saudi money laundry and the president's uncle
The sentence of Enron's John Forney
The holiness of Neil Bush's marriage
The Silence of Cheney: a poem
South Park Christians
Capitalist against Bush: Warren Buffett
Fastow childen vs. Enron children
Give your prescription money to your old boss
Neil Bush, hard-working matchmaker
Republicans against fetuses and pregnant women
Emboldened Ken Lay
Please die for me so I can skip your funeral
A brief illustrated history of the Republican Party
Soldiers become accountants
Beware the Merrill Lynch mob
Darleen Druyun's $5.7 billion surprise
First responder funding
Hoovering the country
First Command fifty percent load
Ken Lay and the Atkins diet
Leave no CEO behind
August in Crawford
Profitable slave labor at Halliburton
Tom Hanks + Mujahideen
Sharon & Neilsie Bush
One weekend a month, or eternity
Is the US pumping Iraqi oil to Kuwait?
Seth Glickenhaus: Capitalist against Bush
Martha's blow job
Mark Belnick: Tyco Catholic nut
Cheney's deferred Halliburton compensation
Jeb sucks sugar cane
Poindexter & LifeLog
American Family Association panic
Riley Bechtel and the crony economy
The Book of Sharon (Bush)
The Art of Enron
Waiting in Kuwait: Jay Garner
What's an Army private worth?
Barbara Bodine, Queen of Baghdad
Sneaky bastards at Halliburton
Golf course and barbecue military strategy
Enron at large
Cracker Chic 2
No business like war business
Martha Stewart vs. Thomas White
Roger Kimball, disappointed Republican poetry fan
Cheney, Lay, Afghanistan
Terry Lynn Barton, crimes of burning
Feasting at the Cheney trough
Who would Jesus indict?
Return of the Carlyle Group
Duct tape is for little people
GOP and bad medicine
Sears Tower vs Mt Rushmore
Crooked playing field
John O'Neill: The man who knew
Back to the top
. . .
All rights reserved
Times of posting
are US Central
to quotations by
of links is highly
subject to change
heavy machinery or
prohibited by law
or executive fiat.
Links are subject
to change whenever