Theatre Alumni Collaborate to Create 'Re-Reading Oppression: 3 One-Act Plays, a Mini Festival'

April 23, 2018

A group of Alumni are collaborating on Re-Reading Oppression: 3 one-act plays, a mini festival, which takes place next Monday, April 30th at 5:30pm at The Martin E. Segal Center. The evening consists of three readings of one act plays that address oppression, discrimination, and abuse portrayed by three significant playwrights from the U.S., England and Egypt, in the second half of the last century. All the plays are directed by graduates from the Directing Concentracion.


The event's schedule is the follwing:

5:30 pm 

Amiri Baraka’s The Dutchman (1964), directed by Alumnus Kareem Fahmy '07. "A powerful one-act drama, Dutchman is set on a New York subway train, the play is a searing two-character confrontation that begins playfully but builds rapidly in suspense and symbolic resonance," accordin to the play's description. Amiri Baraka is one of the most respected and widely published African-American writers. With the beginning of Black Civil Rights Movements during the sixties, Baraka explored the anger of African-Americans and used his writings as a weapon against racism.


6:30 pm

NJ Agwuna '18 directs Harold Pinter’s One for the Road. Considered to be Pinter's "statement about the human rights abuses of totalitarian governments," according to NYT Columnist Frank Rich. "The play is set in the room of a house where a family of three – a father, mother, and child – is interrogated and tortured," according to the event's website


7:30 pm

Night Traveller, by Egyptian free verse poet, editor, playwright and essayist Salah Abdul-Saboor and directed by Alumna Robin A. Eriksen '17 will close the evening of readings; "A black comedy set in a train – heading to an unknown destination – with three main characters: Narrator, Passenger, and Conductor. Throughout this absurdist narrative, the Conductor manipulating the Passenger’s identity by playing mind games and exerting oppressive practices," according to the play's description.


The concept of the mini-festival was developed by Alumna Salma Zohdi '16, who is also co-curating the event alongside Robin A. Eriksen.  “The impetus behind this series is to present a collection of narratives that have a weaved-in connective thread of oppressive dynamics. Since those dynamics – to their basic level – seem to be cyclical, transcending both time and geography, so does the resistance, making it a global, universal, and timely resistance,” Zohdi said during an interview. Zohdi graduated from the Dramaturgy concentration and is the Next Generation Fellow at The Segal Center.


The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center (MESTC), at CUNY Graduate Center, is a non-profit center for theatre, dance, and film affiliated with CUNY’s Ph.D. Program in Theatre. The center's primary focus is to bridge the gap between the academic and professional performing arts communities by providing an open environment for the development of educational, community-driven, and professional projects in the performing arts. As a result, MESTC is home to theatre scholars, students, playwrights, actors, dancers, directors, dramaturgs, and performing arts managers, as well as both the local and international theatre communities.


All readings will be followed by a brief conversation, and the event will conclude with a panel discussion and a Q&A with the directors, Frank Hentschker, Marvin Carlson, and more. The event is free, on a first come first served basis. Check the Facebook event here.