Fort Point Theatre Channel
Tamziq: Scattered and Connected
The Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social Consequences
By Jessica Litwak,
with Amir Al-Azraki
May 16-18, 2013
10 Channel Center Street
Fort Point, Boston
All performances were free.
The story merges the fantastic and the realistic as it moves across time and geography and traverses the worlds of the living and the dead. It is a tragic-comedy about two soldiers, one from Iraq and one from the U.S. Although both have been killed, they come to see the horror and humor of their lives while a gravedigger poet buries them. As the gravedigger rushes through his job, they go over their lives, from history to religion to the women they love and will miss. They come to a reconciliation and are motivated to make peace in the afterlife. Meanwhile, their mothers, on opposite sides of the world, come to terms with sorrow, rage, and regret. They meet years later to ask each other: Is understanding possible? Is forgiveness possible? Is peace?
Lisa Caron Driscoll
Michael Dwan Singh
Anne Loyer, Production Designer
Marc S. Miller, Director
Sarah Asbury, Stage Manager
Jason E. Weber, Sound and Projection Designer
Hana Pegrimkova, Props, Masks
Ida Aronson, Lighting Designer
Meredith Magoun, Costume Designer
Erin Anderson, Makeup
Samual Lasman, Dramaturg
Our production was part of Tamziq: Scattered and Connected, a long-term collaboration of Anne Loyer, an artistic director of FPTC, with the Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social Consequences at UMass Boston, where she is artist-in-residence. The multifaceted project creates opportunities for dialogue with and within two communities: Iraqi refugees resettling in Massachusetts and veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. It seeks to explore and stimulate conversation about the impact of war on the communities and cultures of Iraqi and other Arabic refugees; the impact on education; and the related topics of gender, human rights, storytelling, and differences between American and Arabic perspectives.
Other main parts of Tamziq are:
American and Middle Eastern Artists: A Conversation in Art, March 17-April 27, 2013, Arsenal Center for the Arts, Watertown: This exhibit featured local and international artists from the United States, the Middle East, and its Diaspora. An artist panel, reception, and film screenings took place during the spring.
Artist Network: Creating a community of local American and Middle Eastern artists in Boston. Meetings, supported by professionals and academics specializing in area studies, art/politics, and other relevant fields, will lead to work for the exhibit.
Education: With the goal of developing mutual understanding that goes beyond the media portrayal of our respective cultures, the project is partnering with playwright Amir Al-Azraki at the University of Basra to explore opportunities for educational projects involving students in Iraq and the United States.
As part of Tamziq, Fort Point Theater Channel is also producing staged readings and other productions of works by Middle Eastern playwrights. The first reading, an excerpt from Waiting for Gilgamesh, took place at HallSpace Gallery in Dorchester, June 20, 2012, during Icons, an exhibition of work by Anne Loyer, with pieces by Aaron Hughes and Matt Thompson. Icons is a series of art works that has grown out of interviews with U.S. veterans of the Iraq war and with Iraqi citizens, recorded over the past three years. This was presented in conjunction with Danny Bryck reading an excerpt from his one-man play, No Room for Wishing.
For more information on Tamziq: Scattered and Connected and the Odysseus Project, seehttp://www.odysseusproject.org/tamziq.html.