Cast Set for Blank and Jensen's Aftermath, Giving Voice to Iraqi Refugees, at NYTW

News   Cast Set for Blank and Jensen's Aftermath, Giving Voice to Iraqi Refugees, at NYTW New York Theatre Workshop has announced the complete cast and dates for its season opener Aftermath, written by The Exonerated team of Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen.
Amir Arison
Amir Arison Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Blank will direct the production, running Sept. 1-Oct. 4 at the Off-Broadway company's downtown home. Opening is Sept. 15.

Blank and Jensen return to the genre of documentary theatre to delve into an "exploration of the Iraq war from the perspective of everyday Iraqi citizens and how their lives changed forever the day the Americans arrived in their country," according to NYTW notes.

NYTW sent the creators to Jordan in June 2008 where they interviewed Iraqis who fled their country for the relative safety of Jordan. Crafted from those conversations, Aftermath's stories are told by characters that include "a dermatologist, a husband and wife team of cooks, an Imam, an Iraqi Christian young mother, a husband and wife theatre director and visual artist, and a pharmacist."

The cast of Aftermath will feature Fajer Al Kaisi, Amir Arison, Leila Buck, Maha Chehlaoui, Demosthenes Chrysan, Daoud Heidami, Omar Koury, Laith Nakli and Rasha Zamamiri Wescott. About their latest work, Blank and Jensen comment in a release, "Aftermath depicts the real people behind the phrase 'collateral damage.' In our interviews with Iraqi civilians, we explored their hopes, fears, backgrounds, families, professions, and loves, as well as what they have endured throughout the war. The play is steeped in our belief that theatre has a distinct ability to create connections among individuals normally separated by geography, experience, nationality, or beliefs."

The design team for Aftermath includes Richard Hoover (set), Gabriel Berry (costume); David Lander (lighting) and David Robbins (sound).

NYTW's season will continue with Rebecca Gilman's adaptation of The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (directed by Doug Hughes, Nov.-Dec) and Geoffrey Cowan and Leroy Aarons' Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers (John Rubinstein directs in Spring 2010).

Tickets to Aftermath at New York Theatre Workshop, 79 East 4th Street, (between Second Avenue and Bowery) can be purchased by calling (212) 239-6200. For more information, visit NYTW.org.