Signature Theatre will present the world premiere of 4,380 Nights, by D.C. playwright Annalisa Dias, January 16–February 18, 2018, in the ARK Theatre.
Directed by Kathleen Akerley, the cast will feature Ahmad Kamal (Woolly Mammoth’s KISS) as Malik Essaid/El Hadj El Kaim, Michael John Casey (Shakespeare Theatre’s Othello, Folger Theatre’s Henry V) as Bud Abramson/Man, Rex Daugherty (Signature’s Shakespeare’s R&J) as Luke/Colonel Pelissier, and Lynette Rathnam (Ford Theatre’s Death of a Salesman).
The play concerns Malik Djamal Ahmad Essaid, who has been held without charge by the United States government at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center for 12 years (4,380 days). As he languishes in his cell, his interactions with those on the outside is juxtaposed with historical events in an exposé into another kind of dangerous prison: fear.
“I first discovered this work when reviewing submissions for our SigWorks new play readings series,” said Signature Resident Director/Director of New Works Joe Calarco. “What started as a 15-minute short play has expanded into a full-length piece and had readings and workshops as it has evolved over the last two years. I’m thrilled it will represent Signature as part of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival and kick off our SigWorks: Heidi Thomas Writer’s Initiative.”
In speaking about the work, playwright Dias said, “4,380 Nights feels to me like a deeply needed meditation on power, history, and the hope and solace of interconnectedness. The first draft of this piece was read for the first time as part of the SigWorks series in 2016. I'm thrilled and humbled that the Signature staff and company of artists has believed in my voice both then and now as we head into production. It's an exciting time to be a D.C. playwright!”
The production will also feature scenic design by Elizabeth Jenkins, lighting design by John Burkland, costume design by Heather Lockard, sound design by Neil McFadden, and fight choreography by Robb Hunter. The production stage manager is Julie Meyer.