April 20, 2010
WVU Parkersburg Theatre Department presenting two one-act plays.CONTACT: Andrew Clovis, production director, 304-424-8295.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Theatre Department at West Virginia University at Parkersburg will present "Such a Beautiful Voice is Sayeda’s" and "Karima’s City," two one-act plays by Yussef El Guindi, this weekend.
Showtime is 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday (April 23 and 24) in the College Theatre (Room 1305) with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday (April 25). All performances are free and open to the public. Under the direction of Andrew Clovis, the plays are intended for a mature audience.
Clovis said the productions will emphasize the universality of the pieces.
"They deal hauntingly with what happens to an individual’s spirit when that individual is denied opportunity for self expression,” he explained.
Based on the short story, “That Beautiful Undiscovered Voice,” by Egyptian author Salwa Bakr, "Such a Beautiful Voice Is Sayeda’s" “lyrically examines the oppression of the human spirit," according to Clovis.
“In this short work, Sayeda, a dowdy house-wife, suddenly discovers a mysterious, potentially transformative new voice within herself,” Clovis said. “The conflicts that arise stem from the recognition that a woman spontaneously and inextricably singing can bring disgrace not only to herself and her family but to the society at large.”
Based on Bakr’s story, “Thirty-One Beautiful Green Trees,” "Karima’s City" revolves around the angst felt by Karima, a government worker, who sees the daily destruction of the once beautiful and magical city around her.
“Unlike the docile Sayeda, Karima challenges the injustices and inequities that she sees in her world," Clovis noted. "As she becomes more and more of an iconoclast, she tragically seals her fate in the judgmental, conservative society in which she struggles to express herself."
Following the Friday performance, an informal meet and mingle will be held in the college's Community Room. Egyptian-inspired finger foods will be provided by the college’s Multi-Cultural Awareness Coalition. Audience members will have the opportunity to question the cast, crew, and select faculty members about issues and themes relevant to the plays. The event is sponsored in part by WVU Parkersburg’s Social Justice Committee with assistance from the college's Office of Global Initiatives.
The 11-member ensemble is comprised entirely of WVU Parkersburg students and faculty. Nicole Knight plays the title role in "Karima’s City." Barbara Paul plays Sayeda in "Such a Beautiful Voice Is Sayeda’s." Other members of the cast play various and, in some cases, multiple roles in the two shows. Other cast members include Mariah Caltrider, April Creasy, Kurtis Decker, Matt DeVore, Eric Jones, Maureen Modessitt, Emily Paul, and Matt Stevens. Patrick Garvey is lighting designer for the production.