World Premiere of Umanned | March 11-27, 2016
Unmanned, a play about two drone pilots – an aging former fighter pilot from Alabama who is afraid to fly and a young video game whiz from Cleveland who has never been in a plane – premiered on March 11, 2016 in Taos and on March 18, 2016 in Santa Fe at Teatro Paraguas. The play featured performances by actors Jacquelyn Cordova and Bruce McIntosh, both of Metta Theatre in Taos, as well as live music by the celebrated Chicago-based musician Michael Miles.
Staged Reading of Unmanned | March 1 & 3, 2016
The Humanities Center at Carnegie-Mellon University presented a staged reading of Unmanned, a play about two drone pilots who work for a private contractor out of a trailer in the American Southwest. He is aging fighter pilot from Alabama who is afraid to fly, and she is a young video game whiz from Cleveland who has never been in a plane. Each performance was followed by a discussion with playwright, director, cast, and one or more CMU faculty focusing on the issues raised by the play. Directed by Anya Martin; starring Mark Staley and Hayley Nielsen, with Delana Flowers; sound design by Angela Baughman.
March 1 at 7:00 PM and March 3 at 4:30 PM in Rangos 1, CUC
The English-language version of The Rape, by Syrian playwright Sa’dallah Wannous, translated by Robert Myers and Nada Saab, directed by Sahar Assaf, and produced by Robert Myers, AUB and LAU, premiered at LAU’s Irwin Theatre on March 18, 2015. Written in 1989, the play treats a number of themes that are directly related to current political, social and military questions, including the use of rape as an interrogation tool and the use of sabotage against civilians as a strategy of political conflicts between Israel and Palestine. Event details here.
English Language World Premiere of The Dictator by ‘Issam Mahfouz | September 10 & 12, 2015
Translated by Robert Myers and Nada Saab, The Dictator by ‘Issam Mahfouz, Lebanon’s best-known playwright, appears in the January 2015 edition of PAJ: A Journal of the Performing Arts. Presented by Beirut’s Tahweel Ensemble Theatre and AUB’s Theatre Initiative and directed by Sahar Assaf, The Dictator is an absurdist classic with a minimalist mixture of Ionesco, Plautus and Beckett, with fierce and frequently hilarious jabs at despotism in the Arab world and beyond. The play opens at the Between the Seas Festival, on Thursday, Sept. 10 (9pm), and Saturday, Sept 12 (2pm), at the Wild Project, 195 E. 3rd Street in New York and will be performed by two of Lebanon’s most gifted young actors, Sany Abdul Baki and Raffi Feghali.
Get more information and purchase tickets here.
Listen to an interview with Robert Myers about The Dictator here.
Sponsored by LAU/NY and MEMEAC/CUNY, this event brought together a group of professors and actors from the recently established Tahweel Ensemble Theater. The eclectic evening combined live acting, film clips, and commentary reflecting transformations in the Beirut theater scene. The actors staged scenes from The Dictator by Lebanese writer Issam Mahfouz. Film clips of the group’s Beirut productions included Sa’dallah Wannous’s The Rape and Rituals of Signs and Transformations, as well as Watch Your Step, a piece about the Lebanese Civil War.
The event took place on Monday, September 14 (7 pm), at LAU/NY, 211 E. 46th Street.
A new play by Robert Myers, set in 1948, about two women, one a liberal white southern writer, another an African-American mother of a recently returned World War II veteran from West Virginia. They meet in Asheville, North Carolina in 1948 and help each other overcome recent traumas by reading Dante’s Inferno together. The play was read at the Pittsburgh Humanities Festival, organized by David Shumway of Carnegie-Mellon University, March 27 and March 28, with the renowned actors Kathleen Chalfant and Anita Dashiell-Sparks.
Written by Sa’dallah Wannous, translated by Robert Myers and Nada Saab, directed by Sahar Assaf, and produced by Robert Myers and AUB, Rituals of Signs and Transformations received its English-language world premiere at Babel Theatre in Beirut in December 2013. The translation, which was supported by a grant from the MacArthur Foundation, received readings at CUNY’s Martin Segal Theatre Center, Silk Road Rising, and Adelphi University with the New York Theatre Workshop. The play appears in Four Plays from Syria: Sa’dallah Wanous, edited by Marvin Carlson.
BBC Radio 4’s Drone Pilots
In September 2013, BBC’s Radio 4 broadcast Drone Pilots, a radio play adapted from Robert Myers’ stage play Unmanned. Unmanned has received staged readings at Silk Road Rising (directed by Sandeep Das), the New Group (directed by Evan Yionoulis), Metta Theatre (with Bruce McIntosh), Blank Theatre (directed by Kirsten Sanderson), and University of Illinois Center for International US Studies.
Staged Reading of Mesopotamia | October 21-22. 2011
Mesopotamia, a play about Gertrude Bell and the British occupation of Iraq, received a staged reading at the Whitney Humanities Center at Yale on October 21 and 22, 2011. It was directed by Evan Yionoulis, who teaches at the Yale Drama School, and the renowned actor Kathleen Chalfant played Gertrude Bell. The performance was accompanied by an exhibition of photographs and documents in the Whitney Gallery about Gertrude Bell, curated by Robert Myers and Miriam Ayres. Both events were co-produced by the Council on Middle East Studies, the American University of Beirut, the World Performance Project and the Whitney Humanities Center.