World Premiere of Charles Randolph-Wright's Love in Afghanistan Begins Oct. 11 at Arena Stage
By Carey Purcell
The world premiere of Charles Randolph-Wright's drama Love in Afghanistan begins performances at the Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle at Arena Stage Oct. 11.
Performances will continue through Nov. 17.
Directed by Lucie Tiberghien, the cast includes Melis Aker as young interpreter Roya, Khris Davis as American music star Duke, Joseph Kamal as Roya's father Sadeed and Dawn Ursula as Duke's mother Desiree.
Randolph-Wright is a resident playwright through Arena Stage's American Voices New Play Institute and director of Motown The Musical, currently playing on Broadway. His writing credits inclue Blue and Cuttin’ Up.
Love in Afghanistan is described as "the tale of two fantastically different people discovering love in the most unlikely of places: war-torn Afghanistan. One, an emerging hip-hop artist, the other, a high-level Afghan interpreter, both fight to navigate the pitfalls of romance, religious differences and political unrest."
"Arena Stage is a home for American voices, and it is exhilarating to see Charles' remarkable new play come to fruition here as part of his playwright residency," Arena Stage artistic director Molly Smith said in a statement. "Charles has established himself both as a strong playwright and terrific director, and we're thrilled to share this unique depiction of Afghanistan as his ninth production at Arena Stage."
"I could not be more thrilled to have embarked on this journey with Charles at Arena Stage," Tiberghien added. "The story he is telling in Love in Afghanistan, as well as the themes he is exploring, are exhilarating and uniquely thought-provoking. They will undoubtedly generate most extraordinary conversations with Arena's audience. What does it take to thrive as a young woman in Afghanistan today? What does it mean to be a rap star in the United States? How do these two compare? These are only a few of the questions we will be asking and discussing in this play and I am honored to be a part of the conversation."
Arena Stage will host panel discussions focused on Afghan women's issues; the potential effect of U.S. troops pulling out of Afghanistan; and Afghan culture beyond what is portrayed in the media to further explore themes in the play.
The creative team for Love in Afghanistan includes set designer Daniel Conway, costume designer Kathleen Geldard, lighting designer Mark Lanks, sound designer Elisheba Ittoop, institute dramaturg Jocelyn Clarke and stage manager Christi Spann.
Tickets and more information can be found by visiting arenastage.org.
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