Theater for the New City
Crystal Field, Executive Artistic Director,
A NIGHT WITHOUT A BLANKET
two Stories by Ghassan Kanafani
The Slope and A Present for the Holiday
performed by Margo Lee Sherman
directed by Juanita Lara
Theater for the New City
155 First Avenue @10th St.
Thursdays - Sundays April 7 - 24, 2016
A NIGHT WITHOUT A BLANKET is a solo dramatization of two stories by Ghassan Kanafani performed by Margo Lee Sherman and directed by Juanita Lara. Kanafani is known for his major contribution to modern Arabic literature, his stories and novels describe the political, social and human realities of the Palestinian people at a critical period in history.
The Slope and A Present for the Holiday are two stories from his book ‘Palestine’s Children’ and capture a very real account of the lives of the Palestinian people as told through the voices of Palestinian children. In The Slope, a child tells the story of his father, a shoe repairman, who works day and night to earn enough money to send his children to school. In A Present for the Holiday, a journalist’s sleep is disturbed by a phone call from a man who proposes delivering presents to the children living in a refugee camp in Jordan. He plans for an elaborate event with high society figures and media.
First published over 50 years ago, these stories are as relevant and important today as ever, opening a window into the world of the Palestinian people, often through the eyes of their children.
Ghassan Kanafani (1936-72) was a celebrated Palestinian writer whose vision and writings inspired thousands to create and dream. In 1948, when he was 12, his family was expelled from Palestine, settling in Damascus. When he was 16, he became a teacher in the refugee camps. He studied literature at the University of Damascus, was a teacher and journalist in Damascus and Kuwait. In 1960 he moved to Beirut to become editor-in-chief of a daily newspaper. He worked as a journalist and editor by day; at night he wrote short stories, novels, essays and plays. Kanafani’s writings reveal in literature the plight of oppressed peoples everywhere. He and his niece were killed in the explosion of his booby-trapped car in Beirut in 1972. His work has been translated into 17 languages and published in more than 20 countries. Kanafani's work is universal and remains as timely today as before.
Margo Lee Sherman is an internationally acclaimed performer of solo dramas and a formative member of the Bread and Puppet Theater. She has created more than 30 solo dramas and performed at international theater festivals in Eastern and Western Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. She is a resident artist at New York's Theater for the New City. Margo premiered her show, “What do I know About the War?” at Theater for the New City. She toured the United States and performed at the Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theatre, the American University in Cairo, Egypt, the International "Maria" Festival in Kiev, Ukraine, the Women On Stage for Peace Festival in Bogota, Colombia and at the Magdalena Festival in Santa Clara and Havana, Cuba. She has taught in the United Sates and internationally, most recently at Teatro Dripy in Santa Clara, Cuba and the International Meeting of Women in Action at the American Consulate in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan. In 1989, she was the first actor permitted to perform the plays of Samuel Beckett (Not I and Footfalls) in the former Czechoslovakia after a 20-year ban on Beckett's work. Her performance is featured in Waiting For Beckett, an award winning PBS Special that has been televised nationally and in Europe.
Juanita Lara is a writer and photographer who has been performing and producing theater in New York and Latin America for over eight years. She is a member of ID Studio Theater where she has produced and performed in various theater productions in New York, New Jersey and New Haven, Conn. She currently performs in “The Trilogy of Juan Rulfo,” three plays based on the book “El Llano en Llamas” (The Burning Plain) by Juan Rulfo, that premiered at Theater for the New City, as part of a community theater project with the Mexican Immigrant community of Staten Island. She was an executive producer for “A Bicycle Country” by Nilo Cruz and “Crossing Niagara” by Alonso Alegría that participated in the International Iberoamerican Theater Festival in Bogotá, Colombia in 2012. In 2014 wrote and produced “Granny Apple” that premiered at the Manhattan Repertory Theater’s Playwright Series. In the fall of 2015 she toured with “Maximum Security” by Piedad Bonnett as director of photography in the Manizales Alternative Theater Festival in Manizales, Colombia. She is currently working on a new play anticipated for this fall.
Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave. (at E. 10th Street)
Thurs- Sat: 8PM
Sundays: Sun. 3PM
Theater for the New City