Robert Myers is the author of over fifteen plays, which deal with history, race and cultural encounters. They include Atwater: Fixin’ to Die (Playscripts, 2007), about the political adviser to George H. W. Bush, which has had over a dozen productions in the U.S., including MCC Theatre in New York and Church Street Theatre in Washington, DC, both directed by George Furth, with Bruce McIntosh (Helen Hayes “Best Actor” nominee), West Bank Theatre in New York (directed by Ethan McSweeny, with Dylan Baker), and Pegasus Players in Chicago (directed by Gary Griffin); The Lynching of Leo Frank (Playscripts, 2007), based on the infamous Leo Frank case, at Pegasus Players (directed by Jonathan Wilson; Joseph Jefferson Award for “Best New Work”); Dead of Night, about the official murder of Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, which was optioned for film by Forest Whitaker (directed by Jonathan Wilson); Mesopotamia, at Yale’s Whitney Humanities Center (directed by Evan Yionoulis); Unmanned, about Drone Pilots, with Bruce McIntosh at Metta Theater in Taos and Teatro Paraguas in Santa Fe in 2016; Drone Pilots (directed by Judith Kampfner), a radio play for BBC Radio 4; and Twilight Country a headline event at the Pittsburgh Humanities Festival, with Kathleen Chalfant and Anita Dashiell-Sparks.
Robert wrote comic monologues for Dick Shawn, best-known for his role as Hitler in the film The Producers, and a regular column of political satire for Paul Krassner’s The Realist. He has written articles for the New York Times, Theatre Research International, Studies in Latin American Popular Culture, Brasil/Brazil, PAJ, Middle East Critique and other publications. He has translated and adapted over half a dozen major contemporary plays from Arabic with Nada Saab. These include Baghdadi Bath, by Jawad al-Assadi (La Mama Theater, New York, directed by Zishan Ugurlu, 2009; staged reading Dartmouth University, with Aasif Mandvi and Sean Krishnan, 2006; published in PAJ, 2008); The Dictator (Between the Seas Festival, New York, 2015, directed by Sahar Assaf, produced by Robert Myers; published in PAJ, 2014); The Rape, by Sa’dallah Wannous (Irwin Theater, Beirut, 2015, produced by Robert Myers, directed by Sahar Assaf); and Rituals of Signs and Transformations, by Sa’dallah Wannous (Babel Theater, Beirut, 2013, produced by Robert Myers, directed by Sahar Assaf; published in Four Plays From Syria, by CUNY’s Martin Segal Theater Center, 2014). Latin America, al-Andalus and the Arab World: Essays on Cultural Transmission and Artistic Reimaginings, edited by Robert Myers and the basis of a summer institute at Georgetown University sponsored by the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, will be published by AUB Press in 2021. Sa’dallah Wannous: Syrian Playwright and Public Intellectual, edited by Robert Myers and Sonja Mejcher-Atassi, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2021. Sentence to Hope: A Sa’dallah Wannous Reader, translated and edited with Nada Saab, was published by Yale University Press in 2019. Modern and Contemporary Levantine Political Theater, also translated and edited by Myers and Saab, was published in 2018 by Brill.
Robert Myers has a PhD from Yale University with a specialty in Spanish, Portuguese and Hispano-Arabic literature. He has taught literature and theater at Rutgers, Dartmouth, Wesleyan, American University of Beirut and at UniRio, Brazil’s foremost theater school, as a Fulbright scholar. He is the recipient of a Franke Fellowship from Yale, a MacArthur Foundation grant, the Sheikh Hammad Translation Award (First Prize, 2020, with Nada Saab), two Fulbright awards for Brazil and Jordan, a New York State Individual Artist grant and a Joseph Jefferson Award for “Best New Play”. He has lectured on political theatre, historical theatre, Orientalism and Middle Eastern theatre at Yale, CUNY, Cornell, McGill, Carnegie-Mellon, Kenyon, the University of Rio de Janeiro and the Centro Cultural de la Cooperación in Buenos Aires. He is a Professor of English, director of the Theater Initiative and director of the Alwaleed Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR) at the American University of Beirut, where he teaches courses in contemporary theater, world theater, Latin American literature and other subjects.