Sunday, March 23, 2008

Glass Houses

Unbeknownst to most of my blog junkies, I appear to have unwittingly spawned an enormous controversy.

My article, "Who Will Speak for Me?," about the strong focus of Israeli drama on the Palestinian situation, was selected to run in the May/June issue of AMERICAN THEATRE magazine, the national publication of the Theatre Communications Group. I felt honored that they selected it, and it is a significant feature article.

Senior Editor Randy Gener decided to augment it with commentary about the cultural boycott against Israel advocated by some Arab nations and others, soliciting opinions from a diverse group of theatre practitioners, among them Ari Roth, artistic director of Theatre J in Washington DC.

Ari sent his commentary to his entire email address book, it seems, prompting many more comments.

I first learned about the cultural boycott commentaries from Najla Said, the daughter of of the late Palestinian intellectual Edward Said, with whom I met recently about a project I'm involved in: producing South African Yael Farber's staging of "King Lear" with Palestinian and Israeli actors, with her executive producer Tommy Kriegsmann. Najla told me she had been solicited to send in a written commentary.

I've become a sort of master of the adage "no good deed goes unpunished," and my well-intentioned piece about how Israeli theatre artists (most of whom are left-leaning, human-rights protecting advocates) seem to be promoting the cause of Palestinians under their nation's occupation, has exploded into something much bigger and more portentous.

We'll all have to see the issue of AMERICAN THEATRE to see where it lands initially, and then the following issues for the repercussions.

Until next time...


PS--many thanks to my friend Deborah Leiser-Moore of Melbourne, Australia, who took the photo from which I ripped off my nice new headshot!

1 comment:

LolaDiana said...

Wow! Congrats, that is so exciting!