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"Come for the show, stay for the woe" is the motto of the morbid circus at the center of the French puppet company Stereoptik. In this sad circus the catastrophes pile up, one after the other. The trapezist crashes to the ground; the animal trainer is devoured by his lion; the human cannonball never returns from outer space. Luckily, there's a clumsy juggler to breathe a little color into the proceedings.
If the circus is dark, the tone is light. Music and images accompany the action, and the story is laced with poetic moments and a healthy dose of irony. The visual magic of the theater meets the childlike wonder of the circus.
For family audiences.
My Heart Is in the East is a duet (with puppets) that takes place in two time periods: present-day Iraq, Beirut, and New York City; and 11th-century Cordoba, where Muslims and Jews lived in a peaceful coexistence inspired by vibrant poetic exchange. Following each performance is a poetry contest. This play is a humorous, passionate, and poetic exploration of history as a model for building peace.
Inspired by Ancient Cordoba and workshopped in Iraq, London, and New York, this international play returns to New York to continue a cultural conversation about freedom, identity, and the possibility of peaceful coexistence. Playwright Jessica Litwak spins a beautiful duet between a Jewish American woman and an Iraqi Muslim man. Bound together by circumstance, these two people from such different walks of life confront their insecurities, fears, and desires.
Exploring these tensions through puppetry and poetry, the play invites the audience to question the role that art can play in creating community, and conversation, and most importantly, peace. Each performance will be followed by on opportunity for the audience to try their hand at poetry composition and a dynamic guided discussion on interfaith issues, featuring noted scholars, journalists, and cultural and civic leaders.