Rhode Island's Trinity Repertory Company gets the first regional staging of Tony Kushner's Homebody/Kabul, March 15-April 21. Trinity Rep artistic director Oskar Eustis will helm the production at the Providence venue.
Homebody/Kabul, the new work by Kushner that opened to good reviews at Off-Broadway's New York Theatre Workshop. In the first act, it follows a British woman fascinated by Afghanistan and her encounter with an Afghan man whose fingers were cruelly severed. In the second part of the play, the woman's husband and daughter search to find her in that bruised, Muslim nation's capital after she has mysteriously disappeared.
Timing is everything. When Tony Kushner's Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes appeared on the theatrical scene, New York City and the entire country were still anxiety-ridden and unsettled about the outbreak of AIDS. Almost a decade later, Kushner returned to NYC with his new work, Homebody/Kabul, at a time when the play's setting of Afghanistan has become a major focal point of the world.
With lines like "The present is always an awful place to be," one might think the play had been modified following recent events, but Kushner said in fall 2001 that the play had not been altered.
London will also receive the play and its original director, Declan Donnellan, May 10-June 22. British actress Kika Markham, whom Kushner had in mind when the first act of the play was written, will star in the production at the Young Vic Theatre. The show will enjoy a staging at California's Berkeley Repertory Theatre, April 19-June 9. New York critics especially praised the play's first act and overall relevance. The first act is a monologue which recalls the piece's early beginning as a solo show. As a work-in-progress, the play had a run at London's Chelsea Theatre Centre in 1999 starring Markham.
The cast of the Trinity Rep production includes Yolande Bavan, Angela Brazil, Demothenes Chrysan, Apollo Dukakis, Deep Katdare, Donnie Keshawarz, Brian McEleney, Omar Metwally, Anne Scurria and Stephen Thorne.
The creative team includes set design by Eugene Lee, lighting design by Deb Sullivan, costume design by Bill Lane and sound design by Peter Hurowitz.
For tickets to Homebody/Kabul at Trinity Rep's Dowling Theatre at 201 Washington St. in Providence, RI, call (401) 351-4242. Visit the Trinity Rep website at www.trinityrep.com.
— by Ernio Hernandez