Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The International Voices Project

Last night was the last reading of the International Voices Project, premiering The Sultan's Dilemma by Tawfiq al-Hakim at Silk Road Theatre Project introduced by Fouad Teymour the Egyptian-American Professor of Chemical Engineering at IIT.
In IVP website Fouad states:
"Throughout history, leaders have had to choose between using force or legal means to deal with opposition and discontent. This strenuous moral test is the main dilemma facing Tawfiq al-Hakim’s “perplexed sultan” when he discovers that he was never manumitted before becoming the supreme ruler of the land.


As Al-Hakim explains throughout THE SULTAN’S DILEMMA, the use of force generally achieves fast results, but carries along the consequence of naked exposure to the eyes of the world—a hefty loss to regimes that prefer to hide behind masks of insincere benevolence and well-crafted artifice. On the other hand, abiding by the law curtails the free reign enjoyed by many regimes and forces them to compromise, but also shields them from being prosecuted or pressured to dissolve."

Professor Cherif Bassiouni (I was really delighted to see him there) spoke analytically on the history and universality of Hakim's play.

As an Iranian writer, I have always dreamed to be a member of an International theatre, art and literature. "World is my Home" was my favorite line of the well known poem by Nima Youshij, the prominent contemporary Iranian poet as I have been reciting constantly throughout my life. Coming to the U.S., I became a member of International Writing Program in Iowa city for six years where I met remarkable writers and playwrights from all over the world. I followed my interest in developing my knowledge in international theatre (as well as film and literature) as a global writer and playwright while I moved from one city to another.
Moving to Chicago, I had the opportunity to attend the last Chicago International Theatre Festival where I saw a breathtaking Greek production of “Persians” by Aeschylus along with more amazing plays in 1994. International Women Playwrights was also another source for me to travel to different countries and learn about other cultures.
Then there was a vacuum for several years! Until last year...the first year of IVP...

Patrizia Acerra, the founder and the curator of IVP

Now, IVP is in its second annual concert reading series in collaboration with eight foreign consulates and cultural institutions throughout the Chicagoland area. THE 2011 INTERNATIONAL VOICES PROJECT was run from May 13th to July 12th. Patrizia Acerra, the founder and the curator of IVP has done an outstanding work to create an excellent cultural atmosphere for Chicagoan who would want to expand their knowledge about the world we live in.

I particularly found Hilda by Marie Ndiaye from France, THE GOLDEN DRAGON by Roland Schimmelpfennig from Germany, the List by Jennifer Tremblay from Canada and The Sultan's Dilemma by Tawfiq al-Hakim, the best plays of the series.
Thank you for all the hard work behind the scene.

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