What’s it prefer to be a Palestinian born and raised in Israel? Dwelling?, by Hend Ayoub, is an autobiographical one-woman play a couple of younger lady’s exploration of this twin id. Ayoub and Director Carey Perloff’s manufacturing is entertaining and important.
We first meet Hend as a energetic 5-year-old, carrying a princess crown and carrying a wand. She is singing a well-liked Purim track in Hebrew. Alongside along with her greatest buddy, Avigail, daughter of a distinguished native Rabbi, she is en path to a Purim celebration.
Purim celebrates the victory of Queen Esther, the Persian King Ahasuerus’ spouse, who helped save the Jews from the evil vizier, Haman. It’s conventional to eat Hamantaschen, typically referred to as Haman’s ears, a tricornered pastry full of poppyseed paste
It’s a charming scene damaged by an unsightly actuality. The battle in Lebanon is raging, elevating tensions even among the many youngsters. Hend is known as a “stinking Arab,” and though her greatest buddy defends her, the damage runs deep. This preliminary change units the tone for the remainder of the play; Hend’s good intentions, caring nature, and pure abilities are continuously pissed off by occasions and prejudices completely past her management.
At 11, Hend is reprimanded for bringing a Palestinian flag to her Arab college.
As a youngster, Hend can’t discover work in a Haifa restaurant, besides an American one: McDonalds.
As soon as Hend lastly finds her true calling as an actress, she has problem discovering work in Israel as a result of “she is an Arab.” When she tries once more in Egypt, considered one of solely two international locations open to her on the time along with her Israeli passport, she is rejected for roles as a result of she is a “Jewish Arab.”
Ayoub has a exceptional capability to carry out a staggering number of characters, from her grandmother complaining in regards to the info in Israeli textbooks (“Ask me.. the e book? I ought to write my very own e book!”) to a suspicious airport agent checking her baggage on her first airplane journey, to her older brother, Jalal, who loves her however typically treats her with big-brotherly condescension. Her scenes along with her imaginative, devoted mom are a spotlight of the manufacturing.
Occasions within the historical past of Israel and Palestine are deftly woven into the textual content: the Balfour Declaration of 1917, when the British International Secretary Arthur Balfour expressed the British authorities’s help for a Jewish homeland in Palestine. The Six Day Battle of 1967. The Palestinian uprisings towards occupation: the primary intifada (1987–1993), and the second intifada (2000–2005). Could 14, 1948, is the date of the founding of Israel as an unbiased Jewish state. On Could 15 of that very same yr, the Palestinians bear in mind the Nakba, throughout which their society was destroyed and a majority of Palestinian Arabs had been displaced. Later there are the unspeakable horrors of the Holocaust.
Hend faces severe private loss through the course of the play. She should address employment discrimination, prejudice towards Arabs, and a world that usually appears detached to her most deeply held desires. But she by no means loses her humorousness or her dedication to maneuver ahead regardless of how distant or unachievable her objectives might sound.
The Egyptian casting director tells Hend to go house. She responds with the next speech:
Dwelling! The place is that? I don’t have any house sir trigger I’m not Israeli. The ISRAELIS hold making that very clear. I can’t be a waitress of their eating places, I can’t fly out of their airports with out being harassed. I can’t go to a Purim celebration despite the fact that I had the proper little Princess crown. After which I come HERE! And to you I’m the scum of the earth and a traitor as a result of I’m not “your sort of Arab.” “Go house?” Why don’t you inform me the place house is for folks like me?
By way of all of the discrimination, vitriol, clueless advisors, countless performing courses, and absurd expectations, she finds herself in America and turns into what her mom at all times needed her to be: An unbiased lady. An actress. And somebody who has a significant message for us all. Preserve going.
Operating Time: 80 minutes, with no intermission.
Dwelling? Or a Palestinian Girl’s Pursuit of Life, Liberty & Happiness performs by means of November 13, 2022, produced by Voices Competition Productions as a part of its Voices from a Altering Center East Competition, acting at The Nook at Whitman-Walker, 1701 14th Avenue NW (at R Avenue), Washington, DC. Tickets ($35 + price and tax) may be bought on-line.
COVID Security: All audiences should be masked. Voices Competition Productions’ Security Practices are right here.
Dwelling? Or a Palestinian Girl’s Pursuit of Life, Liberty & Happiness
A Workshop Manufacturing
Written and carried out by Hend Ayoub
Directed by Carey Perloff
Dramaturg: Salma S. Zohdi
Lighting/Projections Marketing consultant: Devin Kinch
Properties Marketing consultant: Elizabeth Lengthy
Sound Designer: Alistair Edwards
Grasp Electrician: Cassandra Saulski
Manufacturing Stage Supervisor: David Elias
Competition Manufacturing Supervisor: Keta New child
Behind the strains: A chat with Hend Ayoub, the actor whose efficiency in ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ radiates fury, hope, and pleasure at Area Stage (interview with Hend Ayoub by Ravelle Brickman, January 30, 2020)