The Magic Theatre of San Francisco ends its commemoration of the trials and pain dramatists around the world have suffered in their Playwrights in Danger festival April 30. The series of staged readings began April 21.
The final readings will be Goran Simic's Wind in Uniform and Margaretta D'Arcy and John Arden's The Little Gray Home in the West. Wind, a dark comedy from Bosnia, concerns five female factory workers who come in contact with a drunken, wheelchair bound general, his incompetent son and a black-market smuggler of Victoria's Secret underwear. The satiric melodrama Little Gray Home takes place in Ireland where a young union finds himself dead after a whirlwind of events leading him across the Northern Irish border.
Among the playwrights represented were Asian-American playwright Chay Yew, who was banned in Singapore; Algerian Abdelkader Alloua, assassinated in 1994; Nobel Prize winner Wole Soyinka; and Nigerian Ken Saro-Wiwa, executed by his own government in 1995.
The full festival schedule follows:
• April 21: Yew's A Language of Their Own, directed by Mary Coleman
• April 22: Eduardo Pavlosvsky's Postestad (Impunity), directed by Roberto Varea, and Soyinka's The Swamp Dwellers
• April 24: Nawal el Sadaawi's Twelve Women in a Cell, directed by Torange Yeghiazarian
• April 29: Alloula's Lajwaad and Saro-Wiwa's Transistor Radio and Bride By Return Each reading was followed by a panel discussion or talk back. Among the topics were "Theatre and Censorship in Singapore," "Nawal el Sadaawi and Women in the Arab World," "The Life and Death of Ken Saro-Wiwa" and "Anglo-Irish History and Social Conflict."
April 28, a special Playwrights in Danger Slam, directed by Laura Hope Owen and Virginia Reed, highlighted the lives of some of the festival's playwrights with readings of poetry, dramatic scenes from their work and prison correspondence by Bay Area actors.
Tickets are a $10 suggested donation. The Magic Theatre is located in Building D at the Fort Mason Center. For reservations, call (415) 441 8822.
-- By Christine Ehren