Packer's Betrayed Begins Culture Project Run Jan. 25

News   Packer's Betrayed Begins Culture Project Run Jan. 25 The ongoing war in Iraq has again inspired a work for the stage: George Packer's Betrayed begins its world-premiere engagement at the Culture Project Jan. 25. Opening night is scheduled for Feb. 6.

Playwright Packer penned a 2007 New Yorker article about Iraqis risking their lives to aid the American war effort. Packer then crafted those interviews into Betrayed, which stars Waleed F. Zuaiter, Jeremy Beck, Aadya Bedi, Mike Doyle, Ramsey Faragallah and Sevan Greene star under the direction of Pippin Parker.

Betrayed, according to press notes, "tells the story of three young Iraqis — two men and a woman — who are motivated by hope to go work for the Americans, until they begin to wonder who, if anyone, can be trusted. . . . [The play] explores the complex relationships among the Iraqis — and between them — and their American supervisor, against the backdrop of a war in which the hardest and most necessary thing turns out to be friendship."

Beginning Jan. 26, the Culture Project will feature a talkback series following select performances of Betrayed.

Iraqi interpreter Omer Salih Mahdi, a former resident doctor at Baghdad's Al Karkh General Hospital, will be the special guest at the Jan. 26 talkback. Mahdi, who served as inspiration for the central character in Betrayed, will be joined by playwright Packer for the conversation.

The Feb. 1 talkback will feature Pulitzer Prize winner Lawrence Wright. Wright, whose one-man work My Trip to Al-Qaeda played a sold-out run at the Culture Project last season, will discuss the current war in Iraq with the Betrayed playwright. The design team for Betrayed includes Garin Marschall (set and lighting design), Eric Shim (sound design) and Rabiah Troncelliti (costume design).

Tickets for Betrayed are available by calling (212) 352-3101 or by visiting www.cultureproject.org.

The Culture Project is located in Manhattan at 55 Mercer Street.

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