Writers Out Loud: Playwrights on Palestine/Israel
Join us on Monday, June 28 at 6 p.m. EDT for the first in a series of Writers Out Loud digital events exploring Palestine and Israel.
Playwrights Rimah Jabr, Stephen Orlov, and Samah Sabawi sit down with guest host Zachary Couture for a conversation about their arts practice and its connection to the situation in Israel and Palestine. This is the first in a series of two online events in 2021 exploring Israel and Palestine through the eyes and work of writers.
About the Writers:
Rimah Jabr is a theatre director, playwright and Ph.D. student in Theatre and Performance Studies at York University. Rimah studied theatre-making at the RITCS in Brussel. She wrote several plays that were produced in Belgium, Canada and Palestine; Including “High Heels and Stuffed Zucchini”, and ‘Raya’ for young audiences. In Toronto, she co-wrote and co-performed “Two Birds One Stone” with Natasha Greenblatt. Rimah is currently an artist in residency at The Theatre Centre in Toronto to develop “Broken Shapes” with visual artist Dareen Abbas. She made an audio drama “This is Not what I want to tell you”, wrote “Ghurba”- a play for children-, and co-writes “When you are free, I’ll be free” with Johnny Wideman. In film, she is co-writing the feature film “Deluge” with filmmaker Grace Wang. During the pandemic, Rimah made her first short film “The day I shall pray”, and she created This Gen Podcast with Why Not Theatre launched in June 2021.
Stephen Orlov is an award-winning dramatist, whose plays have been showcased in such theatre centres as London, Chicago and Montreal. He co-edited with Melbourne-based Palestinian playwright, Samah Sabawi, their award-winning Double Exposure: Plays of the Jewish and Palestinian Diasporas, the first anthology worldwide of drama, prose or poetry by Jewish and Palestinian writers. In 2018, Stephen’s play Sperm Count, was a finalist of QWF’s inaugural Drama Prize, and its sequel, Birthmark enjoyed sold-out shows during Teesri Duniya Theatre’s premiere run. In 2016, Guernica Editions published Freeze, his hit at the Centaur Theatre. Other plays include Isolated Incident, co-written with Rahul Varma, Salaam-Shalom, and Bow Ties. Stephen is now completing Engagement, Birthmark’s sequel and the third of his dual-Diaspora trilogy. Stephen has served on the executives of Playwrights Guild of Canada and Playwrights Canada Press. He leads workshops on script writing, most recently for PGC, QDF, National Arts Festival of St. Lucia, and Osher Institute at Dartmouth College.
Samah Sabawi is an author, playwright and poet. A recipient of multiple awards both nationally and internationally, Samah’s theatre credits include the critically acclaimed and award-winning plays Tales of a City by the Sea and THEM. In 2020 Samah received the prestigious Green Room Award for Best Writing in the independent theatre category and was shortlisted for both the NSW and Victorian Premiere Literary Awards. Samah co-edited along with Stephen Orlov the anthology Double Exposure: Plays of the Jewish and Palestinian Diasporas, winner of the Patrick O’Neill Award and she co-authored I Remember My Name: Poetry by Samah Sabawi, Ramzy Baroud and Jehan Bseiso, edited by Vacy Vlazna, winner of the Palestine Book Award. Samah hosts the webinar/podcast series The Book Room and has recently received a Doctor of Philosophy from Victoria University for her thesis ‘Inheriting Exile, transgenerational trauma and the Palestinian Australian Identity.