Sundance Institute has announced the actors and creative advisors who will participate in its inaugural theatre development lab in Morocco, which is focused on the development of eight new projects. Among the company of actors will be Grey‘s Anatomy star Sandra oh and The King and I‘s Hoon Lee. Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage is among the creative advisors.
The program, which will take place in May, is part of the Institute’s cultural exchange initiative, which includes a commitment to support artists from the Middle East and North Africa. Previously hosted in Utah, the Lab has provided support and development to such acclaimed Broadway musicals as Fun Home and A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, as well as new works Circle Mirror Transformation, ToasT, Appropriate and many more.
Taking place at the Fellah Hotel, in collaboration with Dar al-Ma‘mûn, Sundance will provide transportation, rehearsal space, dramaturgical support and an acting company for artists to experiment and develop their work. Joining Lee and Oh, the company of actors also includes Helen Al-Janabi, Marinda Anderson, Racha Baroud, Zouheir Ait Benjeddi, Deanna Dunagan (August: Osage County), Mohamed Fergani, Peter Friedman (The Nether), Ron Cephas Jones, Francis Jue, Yara Bou Nassar, Hala Omran (La Porte du soleil), Christine Osuala, Perle Palombe, Reynaldo Piniella, Will Pullen, Raeda Taha (Where can I find someone like you, Ali?), Sharon Washington (Dot) and EJ Zimmerman.
Joining Nottage as creative advisors will be Moukhtar Kocache and Indhu Rubasingham (Tricycle Theatre.) Abdullah Al-Kafri (Ettijahat), Janice Paran, Chrystèle Khodor and Christian Parker (Columbia University) will be dramaturgs.
As previously announced, the projects and artists selected for the Morocco Lab are Sarah Kane’s Crave, adapted and directed by Marion Lécrivain, translated by Zakaria Alilech; Eve’s Song by Patricia Ione Lloyd, directed by Timothy Douglas; Happy New Fear, written and performed by Rima Najdi with audio-visual design by Ana Nieves Moya and direction by Mark Brokaw; Anna Akkash’s Them; Max Posner’s The Treasurer, directed by David Cromer; Verveling (Boredom), choreographed and directed by Amar Al-Bojrad, composed by Guy Van Nueten and performed by Sheila Rojas; White Lightning by Sam Marks with direction by Kip Fagan; and Wild Goose Dreams by Hansol Jung, directed by Leigh Silverman.
The Lab culminates in a closed presentation of each project for Lab participants, followed by a collaborative feedback session.
“With a spirit of experimentation and exchange at the core of our work, we hope our support for artists in the Middle East and North Africa will help the most interesting voices reach a global audience,“ said actor, director and producer Robert Redford, also the president and founder of Sundance Institute, in an earlier press statement.
The Lab is under the supervision of Sundance Institute Theatre Program artistic director Philip Himberg and producing director Christopher Hibma and led by Middle East/North Africa manager Jumana Al-Yasiri. Deborah Asiimwe, Hamza Boulaiz (with Said Harrassi) and Paola Lázaro are artists-in-residence; and Cyd Cahill, Nadia Elboubkri, Adil El Filali (production manager), Jad Hakawati, Melanie J. Lisby and Ana Verde will oversee production and stage management.
In addition to the Morocco Lab, the Institute will offer six artists the opportunity for early development at the new Theatre-Makers residency at the Sundance Resort in Utah in June 2016. The program joins other theatre initiatives such as the theatre directors retreat in Arles, France, and the writers playwrights studio at Flying Point. For more information on all initiatives and the Sundance Institute Theatre program, visit Sundance/Theatre.