Oh My Sweet Land playwright and director Amir Nizar Zuabi returns Off-Broadway in January with the world premiere of Grey Rock, the story of a young Palestinian so enamored with the 1969 American moon landing that he sets out to build a shuttle that will launch Palestinians into space. Directed by Zuabi and performed in English by a company of Palestinian actors, the limited engagement will play at La MaMa January 3–7.
Grey Rock was commissioned by Remote Theater Project, marking the first time a U.S. theatre company has commissioned a Palestinian artist to create original work for American audiences.
“Grey Rock is about the inalienable right to dream,” said Remote Theater Project’s Alexandra Aron. “In 1995, when I first worked in Palestine, I met a vibrant theater community whose work spoke to me in profound ways. Following the war in Gaza in 2014, I was determined to bring the work of Palestinian artists to New York. After meeting Amir Nizar Zubai, we worked together over three years, thinking always about the relationship between the U.S. and Palestine. The process of making Grey Rock has been a journey of literally crossing borders - both around Green Line, but also between Palestine and the U.S.”
During the show's limited run, La MaMa will welcome a host of guests for post-performance discussions. Zuabi will be joined by Philip Himberg, artistic director of the Sundance Institute Theatre Program on January 5; and on January 6, a conversation focused on the challenges of moving production between the U.S. and the Middle East will include Roberta Levitow (co-founder and director of Theatre without Borders); Jumana Al-Yasisi (Middle East and North Africa Manager of the Sundance Institute Theatre Program); Catherine Coray (Director of The Lark Middle East-US Playwright Exchange); actor Hadi Tabbal (The Brave;); and Matthew Covey (Founding Director of Tamizdat).
The cast of Grey Rock is made up of Khalifa Natour, Ivan Kevork Azazian, Fida Zaidan, Alaa Shehada, and Motaz Malhis. The creative team is completed by Tal Yarden (production design) and Katie Down (sound design). Remote Theater Project used Kickstarter to bring the cast from Palestine to New York for the world premiere.
For tickets and more information visit LaMaMa.org.