You are here

Making Literature Fly: Baghdad & Iowa Link Up in Bilingual Book Wings Collaboration

 

[Click to Enlarge] Heather Raffo's new play, SHELTER DRILLS, will premiere at Book Wings March 11th, 2014.
[Click to Enlarge] Heather Raffo's new play, SHELTER DRILLS, will premiere at Book Wings March 11th, 2014.
On March 11, 2014 at 9am CT (5pm Baghdad time) a team of more than forty actors, writers, directors, translators, engineers, producers, and information technology specialists at the University of Iowa will link up with the University of Baghdad to present Book Wings, a collaborative theatre initiative that uses the latest digital and new media technologies to bring together stage spaces—in this case, 6,500 miles apart—to produce one integrated, interactive theatre experience. Artistic and production teams in Baghdad and Iowa City have been working together for more than six months to prepare for the performance, despite almost daily violence in Iraq.

The Book Wings marathon will include six new plays commissioned for the project on the central theme of “Courage” from distinguished playwrights in Iraq and the United States. 

[Click to Enlarge] Zoom meeting software will allow audiences in Baghdad, Iowa City, and online to experience the show together.
[Click to Enlarge] Zoom meeting software will allow audiences in Baghdad, Iowa City, and online to experience the show together.
These include David Kranes, former artistic director of Robert Redford’s Sundance Playwrights Lab, Catherine Filloux, award-winning human rights and social justice playwright and co-founder of Theatre Without Borders, Mosul-based playwright, novelist, and journalist Hassab Allah Yahya, the author of many critical works on the current state of theatre in Iraq, and Baghdad-based playwright and director Sarem Dakhel. The Baghdad production with also feature the youngest writer commissioned in the project’s three-year history, 21-year-old rising star Ammar Ali, who has twice won the Best First Play Award at the University of Baghdad Theatrical Festival, first for If the Donkey Spoke and most recently for Love in Recent Days. Read the plays.

Book Wings arose out of a three-year partnership between the world-renowned Moscow Art Theatre and the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program as a way for actors, directors, writers and creative thinkers of all stripes to meet and collaborate in the virtual world, fostering cross-cultural conversation and sparking new dramatic ideas.

[Click to Enlarge] Emerging Iraqi playwright Ammar Ali's play MY RIGHT will premiere on the University of Baghdad stage.
[Click to Enlarge] Emerging Iraqi playwright Ammar Ali's play MY RIGHT will premiere on the University of Baghdad stage.
  The pioneering 2012 performance was so successful that a Book Wings partnership was formed with the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center for 2013 and with the University of Baghdad for 2014, with plans to establish a collaboration with South Africa in 2015.

The bilingual show is free and open to the public, and will be viewable worldwide via live Internet stream at: http://www.writinguniversity.org/page/book-wings-live-streaming Watch parties at CultureHub in New York City, Qatar University, Sultan Qaboos University (Oman) and elsewhere will be tuning in from around the world. Audience members in Iowa City, Baghdad, and online are invited to Tweet comments and questions for the live question and answer session following the performance using the hashtag #bookw.

Book Wings is made possible by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at U.S. Department of State, the University of Baghdad, and the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program, Department of Theatre Arts, the Virtual Writing University, Information Technology Services, and UITV

More on Book Wings.

Drupal theme by pixeljets.com D7 ver.1.1