Monday, November 30, 2009


Each time I read "Art" I find something new in it!

“Art” a play by Yasmina Reza has a universal theme on the complexity of human behavior in our modern time.

Although the play appears absurdly simple on the surface, but digging inside the dark comic crackling language, one will find many complex layers in its undertone. It deals with serious subjects we face in today’s human communication such as: narcissistic interactions, vulnerability, the meaning of friendship, the games of power and ultimately the tremendous need for love, sense of belonging and affection.

Serge buys a white painting with three scars on it for a huge sum of money. His friend Marc accuses him for his bad taste and deconstructive perspective of modern art. Ivan, less privileged in his social class, and overwhelmed by his personal problems, tries to mediate by pleasing both Serge and Marc. But the conflict is beyond the white painting. It is about their infatuation and obsession with an egoistic desire for conquest. In other words, the characters’ self gratification and ambition drive them to dominate and control others in order to gain power. Respecting each other’s freedom is only used by them in theoretical verbal debates. In practice the essence of this matter is not truly exercised! Ivan challenges Serge and Marc’s gobbling contemptuous language and criticizes their ingenuous actions by philosophizing the meaning of freedom:

Yvan: …”If I’m who I am because I’m who I am and you’re who you are because you’re who you are, then I’m who I am and you’re who you are. If, on the other hand, I’m who I am because you’re who you are, and if you’re who you are because I’m who I am, then I’m not who I am and you’re not who you are…” (P 41)

As the play progresses, Reza shows how underneath the three character’s confrontational accusations lies an enormous vulnerability. And a strong need for unconditional love, affection and self-approval.

Marc: …I enjoyed your admiration. I was flattered. I was always grateful to you for thinking of me as a man apart. I even thought being a man apart was a somehow superior condition, until one day you pointed out to me that it wasn’t.
Serge: This is very alarming.
Marc: It’s the truth.
Serge: What a disaster…!
Marc: Yes, what a disaster!
Serge: What a disaster!
Marc: Especially for me…Whereas you’ve found a new family. Your penchant for idolatry has unearthed new object of worship. The artist!...Deconstruction! (P: 52)

At the end, three characters express their profound lonely world in their monologues. Ivan explains that only irrationality would bring humans together.

Ivan: …In fact I can no longer bear any kind of rational argument, nothing formative in the world, nothing great or beautiful in the world has ever been born of rational argument. (P: 62)

And Marc, who has despised this piece of white painting through the entire play, at the end interprets it with a profound poetic tendency and describes it as a world where a solitary man appears and disappears into the landscape. That‘s how humans journey into life.

Marc: Under the white clouds, the snow is falling.
You can’t see the white clouds, or the snow.
Or the cold, or the white glow of the earth.
A solitary man glides downhill on his skis.
The snow is falling.
It falls until the man disappears back into the landscape.
My friend Serge, who’s one of my oldest friends, has bought a painting.
It’s a canvas about five foot by four.
It represents a man who moves across a space and disappears. (P: 63)

“Art” has a playful, verbal dancing dialogue with certain musicality and rhythm which makes any actor eager to take part in acting a role.

Michael L. and Thanksgiving!

It was in a poetry reading at the University’s Writer’s House when I first saw Michael L. sitting "on" a table alone. Cool and heedless. His red sweater was noticeable more than anything else.

-“May I sit "on" this “table” too?” I asked.
- “Sure!” Michael L. answered without moving an inch.

A few days later, he entered the Creative Writing class 7 minutes late, panting.
-“You’re breathless!” I said.
-“I ran all the way from work to be on time!” He smiled. Not a regular smile.
There was something rebelliously innocent, sharply humorous and radically cool in his eyes…Something that stayed in me for a long time. I recognized an unexplainable depth and curiosity inside a very young body.
Michael L. student of Linguistics wrote exceptional stories in an unconventional style of writing with his passionate Jewish American culture tone. A certain intellectual humorous ones.

When we read “A woman’s Body” by Ryunosuke Akutagawa in our class and discussed Akutagawa’s innovative, modern style in writing, Michael L. brought me a DVD copy of Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai directed by Jim Jarmusch, and told me how much he loved Jarmusch’s movies and David Foster Wallace’s writing.

The semester was over.
Michael L. traveled to Europe for almost a year; learning new languages and expanding his knowledge of new cultures. I enjoyed reading his memoir and his fascination on living abroad…

When David Foster Wallace took his life, Michael L. was constantly in my mind. Life did not allow me to write him a note.

Yesterday I received a touching email from him describing a beautiful definition of thanksgiving….I wanted to tell him: Michael L., young and fresh, you inspired me to travel beyond the boundaries once again! Thank you!

Zeinab Jalalian Sentenced to Death in Iran!

Executions in Iran must be ended! How should we end this brutality? How? How?
Zeinab is sentenced to death!

Read her letter:
Dear Human right organizations

My name is Ms Zeinab Jalalian (زینب جلالیان)
I am 27 years old Kurdish female ,political prisoner, in Iran prison.
My Death sentenced was confirmed by Iranian Supreme Court.
I am currently ill ,because of torture and I don’t have any lawyer to defend me. i want to tell you that . trial took only few minute.
Court told me: “You are a God's enemies. Have to be hanged very soon” That was all my court process

I asked judge to give me permission to say good bye, to my mother and family,
Before execution, he told me "shut up" and rejected.

Zeinab Jalalian (زینب جلالیان)


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Saturday, November 28, 2009


In one of in-class writing exercises for Experimental Playwriting course at DePaul University I asked my students to write a direct-address monologue that uses the audience as a specific person or persons. Todd’s monologue is one of the good ones! Todd brought vitality and enthusiasm to our class with his great sense of humor and acting skills.
Here is his scene:

By Todd A Brownlie

(A Gypsy Fortune-Teller with a thick accent sits at a small table facing the audience. On the table is a crystal ball and some tarot cards spread out.)


Ah… Velcome, my child. Velcome to Madame Ogilvy’s humble shop. Please, have a seat before me.
Yes. Zere you are. I knew you vere comingk. I knew you vere comingk hours before you came. I can see very far into zee future, see? I can also see very far into zee past. I can see zis very moment as vell. I am zat powerful of a psychic! But, enough of all zat. You come to me wiz kvestions, yes?
(waves hand to audience as if to silence them)
No, no… you needn’t ask me anyzing. I know all and see all, my child. I vill answer all of your kvestions and you don’t even have to answer me or respond. I am zat powerful of a psychic! Allow me to consult zee Tarot…
(begins flipping cards out onto table)
Ah… A ten of hearts, a jack of hearts, a kveen of hearts, a kingk of hearts… and vat is Zis? Vhy, it is an ACE of hearts! A Royal Flush! It is all very clear to me now… you are in love viz someone of Royalty. Prince Edvard, no doubt! But as zee Tarot says, zis romance is but a Flush. Perhaps zat is because he lives so very far avay?
(waves hand to audience as if to silence them again)
Tut, tut, tut! Please, do not interrupt Madame Ogilvy. She must now seek advice from zee spirits vizin her Crystal Ball. Zis vill take my total concentration. Zee complete concentration of a powerful psychic. I ask zat you remain completely kviet.
(makes meditative humming noises to self with eyes closed while waving hands over crystal ball)
Hm… Zey are speakingk to me now. Yes. Yes. Zey say, “For English, press one. Para espanol, oprima numero dos.” Hm…
(eyes still closed, speaking to crystal ball)
Vat? My account number? Vell, I dunno. I can give you my name and address, vill zat vork?
I’m sorry. I can’t understand you. Can you connect me viz someone who can speak English? Yes. I can hold.
(eyes still closed, drumming fingers on table impatiently for several moments)
Oh! Aha! Zey are speakingk to me now. Zey tell me… zey tell me zat you are havingk financial problems, yes? Zey say you vere bettingk at zee horse tracks. Lost two zousand dollars. Zey are laughingk at you. Zey say you should have bet on zee horse zey call ‘Daddy’s Viddle Princess.’
Ah! Zey also tell me zat you vill get your promotion at ValMart! You vill no longer be a Greeter. You vill be a part-time Cart Pusher. Congratulations!
(opens eyes and leans back exhausted)
Vell, my dear. Madame Ogilvy is only so powerful of a psychic. I am tired and can no longer concentrate. I have told you everyzingk I can tell you. Your fee is twenty dollars. Please pay and find your way to zee door. Good night…

The difference between Obama and Brown!

The difference between Obama and Brown!

Sohrab's mother speaks!

Read and listen in Jense digar
Sohrab Erabi's mother speaks about her son. (In Persian)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Jane Goodall... Reason for Hope

Jane Goodall speaks in Bill Moyers Journal
Watch the interview.

BILL MOYERS: When you and David Greybeard were communing, what language were you speaking?

JANE GOODALL: Well, we didn't. I tried always not to use chimp language in the wild because we really do try and look through a window. And now we know how dangerous it is to, you know, transmit disease from us to them. So we keep further away, which is sad for me.

BILL MOYERS: But I ask the question, because it seemed to me, watching the documentary, watching the films, is that there was some language being spoken, some prehistory language. Means of communication without words that communicated even feelings.

JANE GOODALL: This was this wonderful situation when right in the early days, I was following David Greybeard. And I thought I'd lost him in a tangle of undergrowth. And I found him sitting as though he was waiting, maybe he was. He was on his own. I don't know. And I picked up this red palm nut and held it out on my palm. And he turned his face away. So, I held my palm closer, and then he turned; he looked directly into my eyes. He reached out-- hold out your hand with a nut on it. He took it. He didn't want it. He dropped it. But at the same time, he very gently squeezed my fingers, which is how a chimp reassures. So, there was this communication. He understood that I was acting in good faith. He didn't want it, but he wanted me to reassure me that he understood. So, we understood each other without the use of words.

Urgent Action: Stop the Execution of Zeynab Jalalian!

Urgent Action: Stop another execution!
"Ms. Zeinab Jalalian, a 27 years old member of a Kurdish party (PKK), has received the death sentence based on allegations of “Apostasy” and being a member of Kurdish group “PKK”.

She was arrested in Kermanshah city, Iran by security forces and transferred to Sepah Pasdaran’s (Guardians of the Revolution) intelligence office. Revolution court in Kermanshah city conducted a brief trial, lasting only a few minutes. Based on her membership of a Kurdistan political party she was accused of Fighting God and was given the death penalty.
She ran away from home at 10, as her family did not agree with her going to school and so it was that she joined PKK. She has never used a gun.


As I’m reading my students’ plays for Experimental Playwriting course at SNL-Depaul University, I’m noticing a tremendous progress on their use of technique, structure and creativity. Students were expected to learn from multi-disciplined play texts, screenings, discussions and exercises. Most of them had never written a play, nor read or seen one. The explosion of their creativity through the course was astonishing! Now their plays are amazingly skillful!
In one of in-class writing exercises I asked them to write a direct-address monologue that uses the audience as a specific person or persons. Kevin’s monologue is one of the good ones!

By Kevin Evanski

"When, I came through the yard; I could see someone pulled them from the vines. It looked like someone took a hacksaw to them. Trampled around in there like it was a sand box. Well, my garden is no beach, and I know who it was that was in there to. She is always drooling over the tomatoes. She just couldn’t wait, probably wanted to use them for that stinky sauce I smell cooking all the time.

My tomatoes used for sauce, Huh! I won the first prize for quality tomatoes in the quality tomato championship. She did not know I am from the quality tomato capital. And, she uses my tomatoes for her stinky, garlicky, onion sauce. My tomatoes are for eating fresh, not boiled down into garlicky onion sauce. I know it was her, I seen the footprints, tiny ones.

Maybe I will put those crappy plum tomatoes out there; see how she likes that, for her precious sauce. She didn’t even have the decency to wait until they were fully ripe. I can hear her now, “Louis’s tomatoes aren’t all that good”. Anyone who is worth there salt in tomato growing knows that you have to wait until they are fully ripened. I can smell that repulsive sauce from across the street. I don’t want any of her crappy sauce.

What does she know, she better keep her dam hands off my tomatoes.

Like I have time to grow tomatoes for the whole neighborhood… What a joke, I just don’t have the time or the room to grow all these tomatoes. She comes, takes my tomatoes, and then starts bragging about them to the whole neighborhood, I can’t have all these people wanting my tomatoes.

I asked her for some of her onions last season, NO she said.

She offered me squash, I don’t like squash. I needed onions.

You think that she would invite me over for sauce, nope. Never invited me over for sauce. Who wants that stinking sauce anyway, I don’t want that sauce. I wouldn’t have gone if she did ask me. She just better stay out of my garden. NO! NO onions for me. One little onion I asked her for, one stinking little onion, and she said no. But now, but now she is after my tomatoes, sneaking in here. I should go out there and pull all the tomatoes right now.

Oh, there they are, I see her and her stinking garlic sauce-eating friends. Hey! Keep your dam hands off my tomatoes."
17 November 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Anna Deavere Smith

Anna Deavere Smith in Bill Moyers Journal.
"While politicians and the media war over "the public option" and "bending the cost curve," acclaimed actress-playwright Anna Deavere Smith and her one-woman play "LET ME DOWN EASY" give voice to questions of life and death, sickness and healthcare."
More about Anna...
Anna in Four American Characters

Thanksgiving? or Thanks Taking?

I received this email today:
"Achomawi Indians, Chemakum Indians, Chukchansi Indians, Clayoquot Indians, Coast Salish Indians, Cowichan Indians, Haida Indians, Hupa Indians, Hesquiat Indians, Karok Indians, Klamath Indians, Koskimo Indians, Kwakiutl Indians, Lummi Indians Makah Indians, Nootka Indians, Puget SoundSalish Indians, Quileute Indians, Quinault Indians, Cochiti Indians,

Havasupai Indians Hopi Indians Hualapai Indians Isleta Indians, Jemez Indians,Jicarilla Indians, Keresan Indians, Laguna Indians, Maricopa Indians, Mohave Indians, Navajo Indians, Pima Indians, Qahatika Indians, Taos Indians,Tewa Indians, Tigua Indians, Tohono O'Odham, Indians Yuma, Indians White,

Mountain Apache Indian, Tribe Yavapai Indians, Zuñi Indians,Cahuilla Indians, Chemehuevi Indians, Comanche Indians, Cupeño Indians, Diegueño Indians ,Mono Indians, Northern Paiute Indians, Shoshonean Indians, Washo Indians,

Arapaho Indians, Arikara Indians, Assiniboine Indians, Atsina Indians, Brule Indians, Cheyenne Indians, Chipewyan Indians, Cree Indians, Crow Indians, Dakota Indians, Hidatsa Indians, Kainah Indians, Mandan Indians, Oglala Indians, Osage Indians, Oto Indians, Piegan Indians, Ponca Indians, Quapaw Indians, Sarsi Indians, Siksika Indians, Teton Indians, Wichita Indians, Indians, Cayuse, Chinookan Indians, Kalispel Indians,

Klikitat Indians, Kutenai Indians, Nespelim Indians, Nez Perce Indians, Salish Indians, Salishan Indians, Spokane Indians, Tlakluit Indians, Umatilla Indians, Walla Walla Indians, Yakama Indians, Kato Indians, Maidu Indians, Miwok Indians, Pomo Indians, Wailaki Indians, Wintun Indians, Yokuts Indians and Yuki Indians."

Sankofa -

Reach Back into Your rich Past.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

This Land is your Land

"Woodrow Wilson "Woody" Guthrie (July 14, 1912 – October 3, 1967) is best known as an American singer-songwriter and folk musician, whose musical legacy includes hundreds of political, traditional and children's songs, ballads and improvised works. He frequently performed with the slogan This Machine Kills Fascists displayed on his guitar. His best-known song is "This Land Is Your Land", which is regularly sung in American schools. Many of his recorded songs are archived in the Library of Congress. Guthrie traveled with migrant workers from Oklahoma to California and learned traditional folk..."
Tear the Fascists Down

pina bausch mon amour

A short film on Pina Baush, the German dancer!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Guernica! (The Power of Art)

Guernica by Pablo Picasso
"On February 5, 2003 a large blue curtain was placed to cover this work, so that it would not be visible in the background when Colin Powell and John Negroponte gave press conferences at the United Nations. On the following day, it was claimed that the curtain was placed there at the request of television news crews, who had complained that the wild lines and screaming figures made for a bad backdrop, and that a horse's hindquarters appeared just above the faces of any speakers. Some diplomats, however, in talks with journalists claimed that the Bush Administration pressured UN officials to cover the tapestry, rather than have it in the background while Powell or other U.S. diplomats argued for war on Iraq."

Amazing Sand Animation (The Power of Art)

Amazing art, a mild Guernica in nine minutes!
"Kseniya Simonova is an Ukrainian artist who won Ukraine's Got Talent 2009. She uses a giant light box, dramatic music, imagination and "sand painting" skills to interpret Germany's invasion and occupation of Ukraine during WWII."

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Lovers' Wind / Vent Des Amoureux

The Lovers' Wind
A well- known French filmmaker, Albert Lamorisse (The Red Balloon's director), under the auspices of Iran's Ministry of Culture and Art, produced the poetic film "Lovers' Wind" (1969). Eighty-five percent of this dramatically visual film is shot from a helicopter, providing a kaleidoscopic view of the vast expanses, natural beauty, historical monuments, cities and villages of Iran. The "narrators" of the film are the various winds (the warm, crimson, evil and lovers' winds), which according to folklore, inhabit Iran. They sweep the viewers from place to place across the Iranian landscape, introducing the incredible variety of life and scenery in Iran. The camera, defying gravity, with smoothness and agility, provides a bird's eye view, caressing minarets and domes, peeking over mountain tops beyond, gliding over remote villages to reveal the life enclosed within the high mud-brick walls, bouncing along with the local wildlife, following the rhythmic, sinuous flow of the oil pipelines and train tracks, and hovering over the mirror-like mosaic of the rice paddies that reflect the clouds and sky. More...

What is that?

-What is that?
-A Sparrow!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Red Balloon

The wind blew and the blue balloon flew away from Kian's delicate fingers. He screamed, then stared at the balloon as it disappeared in the vast blue color of the sky.
I looked at him from behind the window. Not wanting him to know that I was watching him....He didn't see me, but saw the reflection of the blue on the window glass.
He came reluctantly inside, nagging. He didn't want to play with Milan's red balloon.
- Look!...Here's the blue balloon!
Kaveh said, as looking up waving his hands.
We all played with an imaginary balloon, jumping around...laughing. Thinking of The Red Balloon by Albert Lamorisse and Dodesukaden by Kurosawa.
I came home, looking for my VHS copy of The Red Balloon, a 1956 fantasy short film, directed by Albert Lamorisse to give it to Kian as a gift, but I couldn't find it! Some one must have snatched it in my absence!!
I found it on youtube. I watched it again. I couldn't hold my tears when the red balloon was stoned to death! When it gradually became lifeless! I remembered Dua Khalil Aswad...and...

The Red Balloon

Death at workplace!

Sixteen deaths per day!

Monday, November 16, 2009

To Those Born After


To the cities I came in a time of disorder
That was ruled by hunger.
I sheltered with the people in a time of uproar
And then I joined in their rebellion.
That's how I passed my time that was given to me on this Earth.

I ate my dinners between the battles,
I lay down to sleep among the murderers,
I didn't care for much for love
And for nature's beauties I had little patience.
That's how I passed my time that was given to me on this Earth.

The city streets all led to foul swamps in my time,
My speech betrayed me to the butchers.
I could do only little
But without me those that ruled could not sleep so easily:
That's what I hoped.
That's how I passed my time that was given to me on this Earth.

Our forces were slight and small,
Our goal lay in the far distance
Clearly in our sights,
If for me myself beyond my reaching.
That's how I passed my time that was given to me on this Earth.


You who will come to the surface
From the flood that's overwhelmed us and drowned us all
Must think, when you speak of our weakness in times of darkness
That you've not had to face:

Days when we were used to changing countries
More often than shoes,
Through the war of the classes despairing
That there was only injustice and no outrage.

Even so we realized
Hatred of oppression still distorts the features,
Anger at injustice still makes voices raised and ugly.
Oh we, who wished to lay for the foundations for peace and friendliness,
Could never be friendly ourselves.

And in the future when no longer
Do human beings still treat themselves as animals
Look back on us with indulgence.

Bertolt Brecht

Executions in Iran

Ehsan Fattahian was executed last Wednesday! And I could do nothing to save him but scream inside....

Now Nemat Safavi from the city of Ardebil, Mehdi P. from Tabriz, and Mohsen Gh. from Shiraz are sentenced to death in different courts in Iran, based on accusations of homosexual acts.

I received this email just now:

"They were under the age of 18 at the time of arrest and have been kept in prison since then. In Nemat's case, he was jailed for five years so that he would reach the legal age (according to Islamic law) at which death sentences can be carried out.

Human rights activists working on Nemat's behalf have determined that the authorities in Ardebil are claiming Nemat does not even exist. Having observed many similar cases before, IRQR considers this statement to be reason for even greater worry.

Mehdi and Mohsen are awaiting their execution despite the fact that they have both pleaded innocent and have denied the allegations. There is not one single witness in either of the cases, and even the judge himself has no evidence whatsoever to prove that the plaintiffs are guilty. (According to Islamic law, the accused person would accept his guilt four times, or there would be four male adults testifying on the crime committed, before a court can legally rule on someone's guilt.)

Nevertheless, the judge has ruled that Mehdi and Mohsen be sentenced to death by the powers vested in him by Islamic punishment rules, which allow a judge to issue a verdict based on his own personal knowledge, even when no physical evidence or witnesses were available.

IRQR is requesting the Iranian government to do the followings:

.Stop the executions immediately

.Give unrestricted access of Human Rights committees and organizations to these cases

.Allow these plaintiffs to be tried in legal courts of law following the international standards, which clearly indicate that no one should be executed for the crimes they have committed when they were children (below age 18 in Iran).

IRQR is asking all individuals, organizations and human rights activists to take action and help us to stop these unlawful and barbaric executions."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Urgent! Urgent! Save Ehsan Fattahian's Life!

Urgent!! Ehsan Fattahian will be executed tomorrow November 11 in Central Prison in Sanandaj!
His crime is only crying for freedom! Will execution silence people who strive for breathing?
Read Ehsan's letter below:

"I never feared death. Even now, as I feel its odd and honest presence next to me, I still want to smell its aroma and rediscover it; Death, who has been the most ancient companion of this land. I don’t want to talk about death; I want to question the reasons behind it. Today, when punishment is the answer for those who seek freedom and justice, how can one fear his fate? Those of “us” who have been sentenced to death by “them” are only guilty of seeking an opening to a better and fair world. Are “they” also aware of their deeds?" Read more...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

War, Change and Hope

The 29th Annual Women and Theatre Program (WTP) Conference took place in Teatro Pregones in Bronx, New York in August 7th, 2009.
The theme of this year’s conference was the Balancing Act of Innovation: War, Change, and Hope.

What do we really mean when we talk about “Hope” when we know that hope is another side of “Despair”? In difficult times, “Hope” has always been a necessity for us to strive for life to survive as human species. This year’s conference strongly held up the solid pillar of solidarity to motivate us, the WTP members, for insightful challenges and decisive changes in the time of war.
The conference began at 8: AM, containing of seven panels and roundtables. The first panel: Staging woman and War: Problems and Possibilities, organized by Lindsay Cummings (Cornell University) and Maria Beach (Oklahoma State University) was the most popular panel with sixteen diverse participants included a wide range of scholars, directors, dramaturges, playwrights and performers. This roundtable was structured to discuss some of practical, aesthetics and ethical questions we face when we stage women’s involvement in war and any systematic violence related to war. The subgroups were divided into four groups and four themes: Activism; Adaptation; Women, War, and Culture; And Arts and Violence. The discussion began with questions Lindsay posed to participants to engage the group for a determining and productive conversation, as some of the participants brought handouts, summarizing their projects to the audience.

Groups are as follows:

Activism: Norma Bowles, Maria Beach, Domnica Radelscu, Lindsay Cummings

Adaptation: Jane Barnette, Sydney O’Donnell, Katherine Sogolow, Lisa Parkins

Women, War, and Culture: Eleanor Owiki, Yasmine Rana, Ezzat Goushegir, Kate Roark

Art and Violence: Joan Lipkin, Jenny Connell, Sherry Engle, Shelley Salamensky

Some of the questions addressed the panelists were:
* How does the increasing of militarization of everyday life impacts us as artists?
* How do we approach the staging of violence against women without replicating that violence?
* What counts as a “War Play” and how does gender impact acts of categorization?

The discussion opened up a lively conversation among the panelists as well as the audience.

In the second panel entitled The Female Body in the Age of Trauma and Terror, Emily Klein focused on Eve Ensler and Kathryn Blume’s plays explaining the defense mechanism of the survivors of war, rape and violence and how they face their problems.

In the presentation of Women in Border/War Zone, Cecilia J Aragon presented a vivid picture of women in the Mexican Revolution, indicating the role of sensuality and sexuality in the work of Mexican playwrights specifically in Soldaderas. She delineated how women used their body as a political resistance and a source of creativity and power.

Barbara Ellen Logan’s presentation under the title of “Inside the Empire” discussed Empire as a rape fantasy in fairy tales such as Cupid and Psyche, Beauty and the Beast, as well as Migdalia Cruz’s play FUR. She explained how these myths allegorize the violence of colonizers, raping women as colonized with the expression of “love” and “marriage”.

At 1: PM Ashley Lucas the president of WTP introduced Guerrilla Girls the internationally known theatre company. The performance of New York based Guerrilla Girls on Tour was the highlights of this year’s conference. With energetic, humorous, original and critical performance of their show, Guerrilla Girls believe that being silent about violence against women is a form of violence. They use mask and physical theatre techniques to portray a wide spectrum of characters and serious subjects on women while keeping empty space with minimum technical elements to convey their social and political message in an engaging and interactive environment.

Guerrilla Girls on Tour performed excerpts from “If you can stand the Heat: the History of Women and Food” Portraying four dead women artists: Josephine Baker, Aphra Behn, Julia Child and Beatrix Potter. It was a poignant and lively performance with an enthusiastic interaction between the actors and the audience.

In the informational panel on Women, Theatre and War; Performance as activism, the participants focused on genocide and human rights issues as they indicated the theatre activists whose activism relates to theatre in the war zones such as Baghdad, or about Guantanamo prison as well as Women in Cambodia and Bosnia.
On the review of Jane Chambers play contest, Pricilla Page and Maya Roth gave a historical report on the Jane Chambers award, while they mentioned that the majority of this year’s play submissions were about war, activism and more lyrical in language and tone.
Sally Oswald and Dominique Morrisseau winners of 2008 Jane Chambers awards read excerpts of their plays; “Pony” a respond to George Buchner’s play Woyzeck, and “Retrospect for Life” a play about abortion.
Erin Kaplan The winner of Jane Chambers Student Competition in 2009 had a reading of her play “Collateral Bodies” a captivating piece about women who are victims of domestic violence, public stoning, bride burning, genital mutilation, women’s trafficking, rape and poverty from all over the world.

The two performances of this year were Dominica Redulesca’s play “Naturalized Woman: A quilting Surrealist Project” and Yasmina Beverly Rana’s play “Images of Women in War”.

Dominica Redulesca

Yasmina Beverly Rana

Lunch and dinner was served by Sunlight Restaurant in a beautiful backyard of the theatre with tall sunflowers as birds were singing from a cage in the next door neighbor’s house, while WTP business meeting was held.

Cecilia J Aragon, Ezzat(Myself) and Ashley Lucas the president of WTP
Pictures in this blog are by Joel Simpson

Claude Lévi-Strauss

"The world began without the human race and will certainly end without it."
Claude Lévi-Strauss

Claude Levi-Strauss died in October 30, 2009

Death to No One!

Iranian's new chant is: Death to No One!
"When on November 4, you see throngs of young Iranians chanting "Death to No one!" they are not just challenging the brutal theocracy that is distorting their history and abusing their youth, they are also raising a gentle accusatory finger at their own parental generation."

Soheila Ghadiri

Soheila Ghadiri a young poor girl from a village in Kurdistan Was executed in October 21, 2009
She grew up under the rain, on the pavements of lonely streets of Tehran, and was an unwanted guest of cold parks and was a piece of meat for hungry wolves!
She killed her 5 day-old baby girl because she did not want her daughter to have the same destiny as hers!
She was as lonely as Atefeh Sahaaleh when she was executed!
Read her last words to no one and to the world!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Red Leaves

Oneness of World- Hearts

The madness of this world
Cannot be conquered
By the sadness or the power
Of the world,
But only by the oneness
Of the world – hearts

By: Sri Chinmoy