Today: Lunch & Talk with Kuwaiti Shakespeare director

The “Arab Shakespeare Trilogy”: Staging a Region in Tumult, 2002-2011

What: Lunch and public conversation with video examples from Sulayman Al-Bassam’s “Arab Shakespeare Trilogy”
Who: Anglo-Kuwaiti theater director Al-Bassam, MLCL Arabic literature professor Margaret Litvin, and interested students and faculty
When: Wednesday Oct 12, 12-2pm.  Buffet lunch will be served before and during the talk.
Where: The Castle, 225 Bay State Road

Sulayman Al-Bassam, a fabulous Anglo-Kuwaiti playwright/director on whose work Prof. Litvin has written a fair amount, will be in Boston staging his show The Speaker’s Progress, based on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, at ArtsEmerson. Prof. Litvin is moderating a post-show talkback there on October 13, but he’s also agreed to squeeze in a lunchtime event at BU on the day of the show’s opening — today!

The BU event will be an informal lunch for interested faculty and students, followed by a “public conversation with dramatic examples” — video clips from all three plays in his “Arab Shakespeare Trilogy.” (The other two were the award-winning Al-Hamlet Summit, of which the script has been published bilingually, and the RSC-commissioned Richard III: An Arab Tragedy.)  The conversation will be in English.  This will be the first in an occasional series of events in different formats bringing rehearsed readings and discussions of Arabic plays to BU.

Prof. Litvin will begin with the following questions for Al-Bassam, and she encourages students to come to the event with their own questions in mind:

* What is it like to make theatre in the Arab world? during and about the “Arab spring”?
* Why and how does Al-Bassam work with Shakespeare?
* What is censorship like in different Arab (and western) contexts?
* How does one handle the challenges of intercultural theatre?
* Why, in the first place, produce plays on Arab topics for mainly English-speaking audiences?  Why do it in Arabic?

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