Wednesday, May 04, 2005

New play by Betty Shamieh premieres in San Francisco

Betty Shamieh’s
a world premiere production directed by Jessica Heidt
Northside Theatre

Developed at the Magic through the Martha Heasley Cox Raw Play Series and with generous support from The Tournesol Project.

Four Arab women from across the ages wait at the "Gates of Martyrs." As they struggle to come to terms with their culture, their lives, and their choices, this shockingly funny play skewers traditional views on sex, family, and terrorism.

Previews: Sat., May 7, 8pm;
Sun., May 8, 7pm;
Tues., May 10–Fri., May 13, 8pm

Opening Night: Sat., May 14, 8pm
Performances continue:
Sun., May 15, 2:30pm
Tues., May 17, 8pm
Fri., May 20–Sat., May 21, 8pm
Wed., May 25–Fri., May 27, 8pm
Thurs., June 2, 8pm
Sat., June 4, 8pm
Sun., June 5, 2:30pm
Tues., June 7, 8pm
Fri., June 10, 8pm
Sat., June 11, 2:30pm
Sun., June 12, 2:30pm
Tues., June 14–Wed., June 15, 8pm
Sun., June 19, 2:30pm

Betty Shamieh is a Palestinian-American playwright, who was born and raised in the Bay Area. Her play ROAR premiered at the New Group in April 2004 and was selected as a New York Times Critics Pick for four consecutive weeks. She performed in her play of monologues CHOCOLATE IN HEAT in three sold-out off-off-Broadway runs and at over twenty universities throughout the country. She has been awarded an NEA grant, New York Foundation for the Arts award, New Dramatists Van Lier Fellowship, Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio residency, Ford Foundation grant, and Sundance Theatre Institute residency. She has been selected as a 2005 Bunting Institute Fellow at Harvard/Radcliffe. Her next play has been commissioned by Trinity Rep (RI). Shamieh is a graduate of Harvard University and the Yale School of Drama, and is currently serving on the playwriting advisory board for the New York Foundation for the Arts.

Jessica Heidt, director, is thrilled to helm her first mainstage production at the Magic Theatre. She has worked at the Magic since 1998, when she began as in intern in the casting department. She then became Casting Director, Director of Education, Company Manager, and in 2003, Associate Artistic Director. She has worked with a vast array of playwrights on developmental readings and workshops over the years ranging from Neena Beber, to Catherine Filloux to Robert Clyman. Outside of the Magic Theatre most recently directed the world premiere of Apocrypha by Ignacio Zulueta, as well as in SFSU’s Greenhouse Project and the Best of Playground Festival. She serves as casting director for many Bay Area theatre and film productions including Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Traveling Jewish Theatre, Zoetrope LiveStory, and Hodge Productions. She also teaches at various Bay Area high schools and universities.

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