Palestinian-American Playwright Shamieh Will Heat Up in 2003-04

News   Palestinian-American Playwright Shamieh Will Heat Up in 2003-04
If theatregoers cannot now easily name a Palestinian-American playwright, that may change by the end of the 2003-04 New York season.

Betty Shamieh, who can trace her roots to Palestine, will see premieres for two of her works this coming season, and will star in one of them. The latter is Chocolate in Heat, a two-person play that was presented at the 2001 New York International Fringe Festival. It was later produced at Theatre for the New City, Feb. 21-March 10, 2002. The show is a collection of interlocking monologues about love, sex, privilege and the difficulty of growing up torn between two cultures.

Piter Fattouche will star with Shamieh. Sam Gold directs. The play will run Sept. 4-27 at The Tank (432 W. 42nd Street).

In March 2004, the New Group will produce another play from Shamieh, Roar. Roar will look at a Palestinian-American family living in Detroit. The time frame is the aftermath of the first Gulf War. Problems arise when a relation is thrown out of Kuwait and seeks shelter in the family home. Shamieh is herself a Palestinian-American.

Shamieh was born in San Francisco. She graduated from Harvard University and the Yale School of Drama. In the current issue of American Theatre, she wrote about a recent trip to Palestine with a group of American playwrights. About Heat, she has said "I hope to show the humanity of the Palestinian people in my work... if more Americans saw the Palestinians as human beings, our foreign policy could not and would not be the same."

For information on Chocolate Heat, call (212) 868-4444.

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