Saturday, October 11, 2008

Iraq looks to theater for life

The LA Times published this piece about a play that audiences in Baghdad are braving the terrors of war to see:
the crowds keep coming, braving the city's frequent explosions and horizon of curling smoke.
It's a parody of Iraq's struggling political landscape called "Bring the King, Bring Him!"
"This is the boldest play in Iraq," he says. "It will make the politicians sensitive. You know, the role of the actor is no less important than the politician. My actors, literally, break through barricades to make life. That's honorable."
The company feels a great sense of urgency about helping to find a direction for the new nation:
"There is hope," he says. "But we Iraqis are passing through a critical point. There's patriotism, but a lot of chaos. . . . We need this change, yes, but the question is where will this situation take us? We don't want people saying, 'God bless the old days.' They were the worst days and we don't want Iraqis imagining that they were better than today. This can't happen."
We may be needing the theater in the way the Iraqis do one day soon.  

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