Aswat: Voices of Palestine 

A two-day program of readings by playwrights of Palestinian and Arab descent and playwrights of other backgrounds exploring Palestinian themes

Saturday, May 5 and Sunday, May 6


All tickets are free!
To reserve tickets, call 212-780-9037 x123.

Presented by New York Theatre Workshop and Nibras
in partnership with the Drama Department
of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.


About Aswat: Voices of Palestine

Part of New York Theatre Workshop’s ongoing series of Public Programs, Aswat: Voices of Palestine, is a two-day program of readings by playwrights of Palestinian and Arab descent and playwrights of other backgrounds exploring Palestinian themes. The event, which will take place at NYU’s 74-seat Loewe Theatre, will begin with welcoming remarks and a keynote overview of Palestinian theatre past and present.  The readings will be followed by moderated discussions that will provide a stimulating opportunity for audience members and artists to discuss the plays and the issues embedded in them.  Aswat is the Arabic word for "voices".

New York Theatre Workshop aims to present invigorating theatrical productions and events that reflect and respond to our world. In the spring of 2006, NYTW began a series of dialogues with Najla Saïd, Leila Buck, and Nathalie Handal of the Arab-American theatre collective Nibras concerning the complex issues surrounding artistic output from and about Palestine . In the course of these conversations, NYTW and Nibras discovered a mutual passion for using theatre to pose challenging questions and expose points of view that have been obscured or silenced by polarizing social and political forces. NYTW and Nibras thus found a shared call to action to provide opportunities for hidden voices from Palestine to be heard by a wider audience. 

New York Theatre Workshop named Nibras a company-in-residence at NYTW and invited Ms. Saïd, Ms. Buck, and Ms. Handal to join its extended community of affiliate artists, the Usual Suspects. Nibras’s first project with NYTW is Aswat: Voices of Palestine.

Learn more about Nibras

Schedule of events for Aswat: Voices of Palestine

All events take place at NYU's Loewe Theatre,
721 Broadway, 2nd Floor

Saturday, May 5

Session 1
12pm, Welcoming Remarks/Program Overview by Juliano Mer Khamis 

12:30pm, Break (coffee/tea/light snacks provided) 

1pm, Reading: Last Train to Jerusalem by Fuad Abboud, directed by Will Frears

Discussion Themes: representing history, use of metaphor and allegory

Discussion Moderator: Catherine Coray 

3:30pm, Break 

Session 2
4pm, Reading and Discussion: It Happened in a Place Called Palestine by Razanne Carmey, directed by Sarah Cameron Sunde; Sharon and My Mother-in Law by Suad Amiry, stage adaptation by Afaf Shawwa, directed by Kareem Fahmy; and Deir Yassin: The Stonecutters by Nathalie Handal, directed by Sturgis Warner

Discussion Themes: using true/historical stories, hakawati influence (“hakawati" means “storyteller” in Arabic and refers to the long tradition of storytelling in the Arab world)

Discussion Moderator: Hala Nassar 

6:30pm, Break 

Session 3
30pm, Reading and Discussion: Between This Breath and You by Naomi Wallace, directed by Isis Saratial Misdary

Discussion Themes: co-existence, race and class in Palestinian/Israeli relations, linked lives, politics of non-Arabs writing about Palestine

Discussion Moderator: Juliano Mer Khamis 

Sunday, May 6

Session 4< strong>
2:00pm, Reading and Discussion: Born in Bethlehem: The Last Clown by Sami Metwasi/Al-Harah Theater, directed by Johanna McKeon; Food and Fadwa or Eklitl Hob by Lameece Issaq and Jacob Kader, directed by Shoshana Gold; and The Monologist Suffers Her Monologue by Yussef El Guindi, directed by Piter Marek 

Discussion Themes: removing the fourth wall, European/collective influences on Palestinian theatre, use of humor and irony

Discussion Moderator: Dalia Basiouny 

4:30pm, Closing Reception (wine/cheese provided) 

(All programs and participants subject to change, please check for updates.)


Free tickets may be reserved by
calling NYTW at 212-780-9037 x123.

Each session requires a separate reservation. 
Remaining tickets available at the door.