Acclaimed Iraq-Inspired Drama, Betrayed, Makes West Coast Premiere Jan. 23

News   Acclaimed Iraq-Inspired Drama, Betrayed, Makes West Coast Premiere Jan. 23 Aurora Theatre Company in Berkeley, CA, presents the West Coast premiere of George Packer's Betrayed, winner of the 2008 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play, Jan. 23-March 1. Opening is Jan. 29.
Amir Sharafeh and Denmo Ibrahim
Amir Sharafeh and Denmo Ibrahim Photo by David Allen

"Filled with dignity, humor, and defiance, this provocative theatrical adaptation of journalist George Packer's eye-opening 2007 essay in The New Yorker follows three Iraqi translators who risk their lives to aid the American war effort," according to production notes.

Robin Stanton directs the play, which was seen Off-Broadway and on PBS (WNET/Thirteen). The California cast includes Bobak Cyrus Bakhtiari, Keith Burkland, Denmo Ibrahim, Alex Moggridge, Amir Sharafeh, Khalid Shayota and James Wagner.

According to Aurora notes, "Based on Packer's first-person interviews in Baghdad, the stage adaptation of Betrayed tells the story of three young Iraqis, two men and one woman, motivated to risk everything by America's promise of freedom. …Betrayed explores the complex relationship between a Sunni and a Shiite Muslim who build a rare bond as they face the daily dangers of working for the American authorities after the 2003 invasion in Baghdad. Joined by a woman who refuses to submit to Islamic law, all three struggle to realize their dreams and hopes for a new world in a country that is collapsing around them."

Betrayed "will be produced as the fully-staged anchor production in the Global Age Project (GAP), an Aurora Theatre Company initiative that encourages playwrights and directors to explore life in the 21st century and beyond."

* In February, during the run of Betrayed, four new plays dealing with global age concerns — chosen for the GAP festival from an international pool of playwrights — will be presented in a series of developmental readings Feb. 2-23. They are: The First Grade by Joel Drake Johnson; Birnham Woods by Wendy MacLeod; Right? by Dan Hoyle; and and when we awoke there was light and light by Laura Jacqmin.

For tickets and information ($28-$50), call (510) 843-4822 or visit auroratheatre.org.

James Wagner and Amir Sharafeh
James Wagner and Amir Sharafeh Photo by David Allen
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