PBS to Air George Packer's Betrayed in October

By Andrew Gans
and Adam Hetrick
September 16, 2008

WNET/Thirteen, the PBS station seen in the New York City metropolitan area, will broadcast a live-to-tape performance of the Culture Project's recent production of George Packer's Off-Broadway drama Betrayed Oct. 23 at 9 PM ET.

Packer will introduce the presentation. WLIW will rebroadcast the play Oct. 26 at 10 PM ET.

Betrayed, according to press notes, "tells the story of three young Iraqis two men and one woman motivated to risk everything by America's promise of freedom. The play explores the complex relationships among the Iraqis themselves and highlights their struggle to find purpose in life all while their country is falling apart around them."

In a statement producer and filmmaker Julie Cohen said, "Betrayed humanizes the devastating subtleties of war. I jumped on the opportunity to bring this play to a larger audience and am excited that Thirteen/WNET will showcase the performance for public television viewers. It's a natural connection as they are committed to supporting the arts in New York."

The Lucille Lortel-nominated production of Betrayed began previews Jan. 25 and opened at the Culture Project Feb. 6; the production played through June 28.

In 2007 Packer had penned an article for the New Yorker about Iraqis risking their lives to aid the American war effort. Packer then crafted those interviews into Betrayed. The drama marked his playwriting debut. The world-premiere production starred Waleed F. Zuaiter, Jeremy Beck, Aadya Bedi, Mike Doyle, Ramsey Faragallah and Sevan Greene. Pippin Parker, co-artistic director of the Culture Project's "Democracy Project," directed.

The broadcast of Betrayed is a production of BetterThanFiction Productions for Thirteen/WNET New York.