written by John Rwothomack and Fidaa Zidan, developed with Alex Aron
RTP’s next production is a new work from actor/writers John Rwothomack (UK/Uganda) and Fidaa Zidan (Palestine). Since February 2020, Rwothomack and Zidan have been collaborating on a play that examines the relationships between their two countries, Uganda and Palestine, both having been powerfully influenced by Britain as part of its colonial empire.
A Palestinian woman has an accidental encounter with a Ugandan man in the Old City of Jerusalem, that changes the outcome of their lives. We journey into the history of these characters through prisons in three countries (Uganda, Palestine, UK) . Through their intersecting lives, we delve into the history of these independent nations and cultures.
Lines is being developed with RTP’s Artistic Director, Alexandra Aron, working remotely through zoom. Workshops are scheduled for Dec. 2020 in England, August 2021 in Palestine and a world premiere is planned for November 2021 at the Kampala International Theatre Festival. Lines will premiere in the US in 2022.
Maine (new) Citizens Project
In the past ten years, Southern Maine has seen an influx of asylum-seekers and refugees from around the world. A proud sanctuary city, Portland has welcomed them, offering even undocumented immigrants assistance as they wait to enter the system. Seeking to amplify the voices of young refugees and their stories, RTP is partnering with local arts organizations, to create a production with teens and young adults originally from the Middle East and East Africa. The performance will take place in a local public park, outdoors in May, 2021.
This public performance is designed to interact virtually with a global initiative bringing awareness to the plight of displaced children, spearheaded by Britain's Good Chance. The Walk, taking place from April to July 2021, is the journey of a Syrian girl's search for her mother across Europe. Represented by an astonishing 10' tall puppet created by the world-famous Handspring Puppet Company, "little Amal" will walk from Turkey to the U.K. interacting with arts groups in every town, village and city along the route. RTP is honored to be the only U.S. organization creating a performance inspired by and designed to connect directly in real time to this tremendous project.
Remote Theater Project: East Africa
(R & D)
Working with Tebere Arts Foundation in Kampala, Uganda, RTP is gathering artists from five countries Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania to create a new theater pieces that reflects on the relationship of East African to the US.
GREY ROCK written and directed by Amir Nizar Zuabi
"Grey Rock forces its audience to face the big questions and leaves them enamored with the hope of its characters... It changed my world ... run, don't walk, to see it. It might just change your world too." Broadway World Minneapolis
“…building a rocket is also a clear allegory for making art, for creating something so extraordinary that the whole world must notice.” – Alexis Soloski, The New York Times
GREY ROCK had its premiere at La MaMa Theater in New York City in January, 2019. Starring Khalifa Natour, as Yousef the former TV repairman building a rocket to reach the moon, Grey Rock has profoundly moved audiences around the world.
Grey Rock tour 2019-20:
Melbourne International Arts Festival Oct 9-12, 2019
Under the Radar Festival at the Public Theater, NYC Jan 8-19.
Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis Jan 23-26
Kennedy Center, DC Jan. 31- Feb 1
Kimmel Center, Philadelphia Feb 6-9
In 2018, the Remote Theater Project commissioned Amir Nizar Zuabi, one of the leading theater directors and playwrights in the Middle East. Together we reached out to Palestinian actors throughout the West Bank and Israel to create an acting ensemble for the project.
Set in the present day, Grey Rock tells the story of a young Palestinian so enamored with the 1969 American moon landing that he muses, “shouldn’t Palestine, the land of prophets, also have a presence on the moon?” Without money or technology, but with the help of his bemused West Bank neighbors, he sets out to build a space shuttle. Grey Rock explores the influence that America has had on Palestinian culture.
Actors were invited into the project after auditions in four cities: Jenin, Ramallah, Haifa and Bethlehem. A select group participated in a series of developmental workshops throughout 2018. The final cast of 5: Khalifa Natour, Ivan Azazian, Fidaa Zidan, Alaa Shehada and Motaz Malhees came in New York and performed at LaMaMa Theatre Jan, 2019. The same cast performed GREY ROCK at the Melbourne International Arts Festival in 2019 and returned to the US for a 5-week tour including The Kennedy Center, The Public Theatre/ Under the Radar, The Guthrie Theatre and the Kimmel Center.
All performances were in English, and each venue included post-production discussions in English and Arabic.