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Premiere of new work from prominent Palestinian writer/director with Palestinian actors about journeying to the moon. Jan 3-7, 2019
92 backers pledged $25,935 to help bring this project to life.
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With just $3000 more ($6000 with our matching donor) we will make the goal on Friday. Please share this campaign with other champions like yourselves. And Thank You Again!!!

GREY ROCK

Who is entitled to dream? Set in the present day, and reflecting on 1969 during the first moon landing (exactly 50 years ago), Grey Rock tells the story of an ordinary man in a small West Bank Village determined to go to the moon.  The play addresses the chaos that ensues within his family as he builds a space rocket in his shed. The 5 member cast of Palestinian actors from across the West Bank and inside of Israel perform GREY ROCK in English.

Developed through a devised process of improvisations with actors, playwright/director Amir NIzar Zuabi sculpts and scripts his play as he builds to final production. In this way, Zuabi is creating this humorous play exploring ways US culture has permeated and influenced Palestinian culture. 

Grey Rock is presented by La MaMa Theatre in New York City, Jan 3-7, 2019.

Rehearsals in Ramallah  Nov 26 (From left) Motaz Malhis, Alex Aron, Khalife Natour, Ivan Azazian, Amir Nizar Zuabi, Fidaa Zidan, Alaa Shehada
Rehearsals in Ramallah Nov 26 (From left) Motaz Malhis, Alex Aron, Khalife Natour, Ivan Azazian, Amir Nizar Zuabi, Fidaa Zidan, Alaa Shehada

Making GREY ROCK

Producer Alexandra Aron began this project three years ago to create a mechanism for having the voices of Palestinian theater artists heard in the US. She teamed up with playwright/director Amir Nizar Zuabi, one of the most significant theater artists to emerge from Palestine in the past years. Together they built this project, focusing on the effects of US culture on Palestinian culture and consciousness.

They traveled through the region, conducting workshops actors in the West Bank and inside Israel to assemble a diverse company of actors. Many have not been able to work easily with each other because of challenging borders and checkpoints. 

Questioning Palestinian conceptions of the US,  a participant in an early workshop made a comment about the enormous impact of watching the Americans land on the moon. This comment was the spark! The acting company has met every few months for workshops as this project has developed. The moon story presents a compelling vehicle for investigating the influence of the US on Palestinian culture. Grey Rock is about the inalienable right to dream.

To strengthen the reach and impact of the project, performances will include a Talk Back with special guest panelists. Educational programs involving teens in New York and other parts of the US, as well as in the Middle East, are also being developed around the project. The Grey Rock Youth Project involves Virtual Education platforms for young people to discuss the work.

Alaa Shehada studying his lines outside the rehearsal room
Alaa Shehada studying his lines outside the rehearsal room
Reading the new scene!
Reading the new scene!
Motaz Malhees, Fida Zidan, Alaa Shehada, Khalifa Natour & Amir Nizar Zuabi rehearsing in Ramallah
Motaz Malhees, Fida Zidan, Alaa Shehada, Khalifa Natour & Amir Nizar Zuabi rehearsing in Ramallah

The Palestinian company and US design team

The five member acting ensemble from Palestine are Khalifa Natour, Ivan Kevork Azazian, Fida Zaidan, Alaa Shehada, and Motaz Malhees

The set and video is being designed by Tal Yarden and the lighting designer is Nicole Pearce.

Why we need support

We have developed this Project over the past few years, determining the participants and thematic material. Now we are charging towards the first production at La MaMa Theater. The visas have been secured and nothing stands in our way except the final financing. In addition to the regular production expenses we need your support to cover the cost of international travel and living expenses for the 6 member company. We have more than raised half of our $120,000 budget through grants and foundations.  Help us close the gap!

All donations are deductible to the extent allowed by law. Donations are made to GOH Productions, a non profit 501(c)3 organization, who will provide the required donor letters.

Rehearsing in windy Ramallah. Nov 11, 2018
Rehearsing in windy Ramallah. Nov 11, 2018

WHO WE ARE

THE REMOTE THEATER PROJECT (RTP) brings theater artists who are geopolitically isolated to New York City to develop new work, and helps them tour internationally to have their voices heard outside the confines of their region and reach. This inaugural production is the product of an unusual collaboration between NY theater producer Alexandra Aron and Amir Nizar Zuabi, a world renowned Palestinian director and playwright.  www.remotetheaterproject.com

This project is about honoring a frequently misunderstood culture and allowing the voices of these artists to be heard directly.

AMIR NIZAR ZUABI (Playwright/Director)  is an award winning theater writer & director and is the Artistic Director of ShiberHur theater company. He is also an Artistic Associate of the Palestinian National Theater, an Associate Director of Young Vic London as well as a member of the United Theaters Europe for artistic achievement, and an alumnus of the Sundance Theater Program. Writing and directing credits include I am Yusuf and This is my Brother, In the Penal Colony, Alive From Palestine, Oh My Sweet Land, The Beloved (co-produced by ShiberHur/Young Vic) Three days of Grief, West of Us the Sea, Mid Spring Musical, Dry Mud, Against A Hard Surface (ShiberHur) Last Ward, Who Killed you Asmahan?.

Directing credit includes: Samson and Delilah (Flanders Opera, Antwerp) Jidarriya by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish (Edinburgh International Festival, Bouffes du Nord and world tour). Forget Herostratus, Le Mallade Imaginer, War or More, Comedy of Errors (Royal Shakespeare Company)

ALEXANDRA ARON (Producing Artistic Director) Theater Director/Producer, Alex has helmed dozens of shows in the US and abroad. Projects include It Can Happen Here by Judith Sloan at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center, Salome: Woman of Valor  by Adeena Karasick, music by Frank London at Chutzpah Festival, Vancouver, & Ashkenaz Festival Toronto.  She created A Night in the Old Marketplace with Glen Berger & Frank London which has been presented in venues around the world. Alex has overseen the release of 40 recording as a producer with Soundbrush Records. www.alexandraaron.com

BONNIE SUE STEIN (co-producer) is the Executive Director and founder of GOH Productions, an arts services organization based in NY, focusing on the creation and development of global and local arts projects. Since 1988, she has produced projects in NYC, East/Central Europe, former Soviet Union, Asia and the Middle East. Stein is a consultant to numerous organizations in production and international exchange.  With La MaMa Theatre, she has co-produced and consulted on many projects since the mid 1980s. www.gohproductions.org

LA MAMA THEATRE  In its coming season, La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club will continue doing what won it the 2018 Regional Theater Tony Award: presenting a diverse slate of challenging performances. The theater’s 2018-19 offerings include a variety of theater, dance and spoken word presentations, and GREY ROCK is proud to be part of this season.  

“I feel each season is shaped by the artists and what they’re exploring and experimenting with,” said Mia Yoo, the artistic director of La MaMa, in an interview. “We really feel as though we’re jumping off the cliff with those artists because a lot of times we don’t even know what the work is going to be until it opens on our stage.”

Project Advisory Committee:

Faisal Al Jubiri (Arts Management Consultant), David J. Diamond, (Co-Director, La MaMa Umbria International), Roberta Levitow (Co-founder and Director, Theatre Without Borders), Lisa Robb (Former Executive Director, The Center for Arts Education) and Shalva Wise (JVP Artist Council & Projects Coordinator).

FOR MORE INFO: PLEASE WATCH THIS 8 min VIDEO ABOUT THE PROJECT

Risks and challenges

We've cleared one of the biggest challenges of the project which is securing the visas for all the participants. There is always a risk that there are issues at the border, but by having a full financed production budget we are in a stronger position to insure that the artists safely cross the borders to present this play in New York in January.

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    Countdown

    An intimate Palestinian feast hosted by cast and crew following the run of the show. Plus your name in the program, 2 complimentary tickets to the show and an invitation to the opening night party.

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    Private Dinner with Amir Nizar Zuabi, and a personal tour through Palestine by the members of the company (air travel not included)

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Funding period

- (30 days)