An Iraqi Shakespeare troupe from the American University of Iraq Sulaimani (AUIS) is in Oregon performing and holding talkbacks with audiences. This group has spent the past few days at Oregon Shakespeare Festival and is performing in their Green Showseries this week.
Tonight, July 9, at 7:30pm, AUIS students will be in Portland and perform a few scenes then hold a Q&A on the Morrison Stage at Artists Repertory Theatre. The event is FREE and open to the public.
The troupe consists of 10 student actors at the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani, who started an appreciation-type club, and ended up doing an English-language Shakespeare production in a public theatre, the first ever of its kind in Iraq. They are a mix of North and South, Sunni and Shia, Arab and Kurd--representing extremely different communities in an astoundingly diverse nation. (AUIS program website)
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival heard about AUIS and invited them to Ashland, to perform between now and July 8, as part of the OSF’s Green Show. More information here.
Learning of the group’s engagement at OSF, the Middle East Studies Center at Portland State University reached out to OSF and Portland Shakespeare Project, and they to Artists Rep, to further enrich the cross-cultural experience and bring this group to Portland.
Artists Rep is partnering with OSF to raise $1,000 to support the costs of their stay and food on the Portland leg of their tour. To make a donation to this cause, click here and select “Iraqi Shakespeare Artists” in the donation category. To watch a terrific video produced for their Kickstarter campaign to afford the trip click here.
National media is following this tour. There is also a documentary in progress with well-known filmmaker Michael Galinsky whose most recent work is the award-winning Battle for Brooklyn.
The event in Portland is co-sponsored by Portland Shakespeare Project and the Middle East Studies Center at PSU, with additional support from Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Artists Repertory Theatre.
This event comes just before Portland Shakespeare Project opens their summer "Season of Lear" on July 11 on the Morrison Stage at Artists Rep. The summer offerings presented in rotating repertory, begin with Lear's Follies, an adaptation of King Lear by C.S. Whitcomb, directed by PSP Artistic Director Michael Mendelson. On July 18, PSP presents the startlingly new staging of King Lear by William Shakespeare, directed by Jon Kretzu. For more about Portland Shakespeare Project, visit www.portlandshakes.org.