Sahmatah - Memory Of Stones - A Palestinian Story
New Image Theater will revive a SAHMATAH: MEMORY OF STONES, a play by Hanna Eady and Edward Mast that premiered in Seattle in 1996, opened in Israel/Palestine in 1998, and has been playing in the Middle East and Europe for a decade.
Sahmatah was one of over 500 Palestinian villages which were destroyed during the founding of Israel in 1948. Some residents were driven out of the country. Some still live nearby but even 60 years later are not allowed to return and rebuild their homes.
In SAHMATAH: MEMORY OF STONES, a one-act play for two actors, an old man takes his grandson on a pleasant walk over a meadow of pine trees and scattered stones. But as they walk, the memory of the place rises from the ground itself, and the grandfather leads his grandson through the appalling story of the destruction of Sahmatah, and of the people that once lived where nothing but pine trees grow now.
The play will open on October 28, sixty years to the day after the destruction of Sahmatah in 1948.
"Two characters, Habeeb and his Grandfather, peel away the layers of Sahmatah's history like an onion . . . It is a universal weeping that could just as easily be for the Cherokee Nation or the people of Bosnia." -- Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"The audience that watched the playin Sahmatah came out in love with the theater: the actors, the writers, the director, and stage hands." -- al-Ettihad
In early 1998, authors Hanna Eady and Edward Mast were invited to stage the play with Palestinian actors at al-Midan Theater, formerly called the Arab Theater of Israel, based in Haifa. Eady translated the play into Arabic, and the two authors spent a month in residence in Israel, with Eady directing the play and Mast presenting a workshop in playwriting for local Palestinian authors. The culmination of their stay was the opening night of the play, staged on the site of the former village itself. The village land is used to pasture cows and horses now, but for this event, space was cleared and many of the still-living former residents of Sahmatah were able to host an audience of over 200 Palestinians, Israelis, news services, and theater professionals. Al-Midan Theater has kept the play in repertory ever since, touring to other countries in the Middle East and Europe.
For this Seattle revival, Hanna Eady will for the first time play the role of the grandfather. "I've directed the play with two good actors in two languages. Maybe it's aged me enough now," says Eady. Eady is an Israeli Palestinian who worked as an actor in Israel for years before coming to the United States to study theater and then to get his MFA in directing at the UW.
Hanna Eady founded New Image Theater in 1990, and has presented theatrical works about Bosnia as well as the Middle East.
SAHMATAH: MEMORY OF STONES will be presented by New Image Theater in association with New City Theater at the newly-opened Shoebox Performance space at 1404 18th Ave on Capitol Hill. Opening will be on Tuesday, October 28, and performances will be on Mondays and Tuesdays through November 25, with no performandes Nov. 10-11. For informaton and reservations, call (206) 774-6438 or go to www.newimagetheater.org
what: SAHMATAH: MEMORY OF STONES
a play by Hanna Eady and Edward Mast
when: October 28 - November 25 Mondays and Tuesdays 7:30 pm
where: Shoebox Performance Space, 1404 18th Avenue, between Madison & Union
CONTACT: Hanna Eady (206) 612-7317 firstname.lastname@example.org
New Image Theater will revive SAHMATAH: MEMORY OF STONES, a Palestinian story of destruction, heritage and remembrance. Monday and Tuesday nights, October 28 through November 25 at the Shoebox Theater in the Central District. For reservations and information: (206) 774-6438 www.newimagetheater.org
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
New Image Theater will revive SAHMATAH: MEMORY OF STONES, a Palestinian story of destruction, heritage and remembrance. Running Monday and Tuesday nights, October 28 through November 25 at the Shoebox Theater in the Central District. For more information: (206) 774-6438 www.newimagetheater.org
contact: Hanna Eady 206.612-7317 email@example.com
October 28 - November 25 Mondays-Tuesdays 7:30 pm
SAHMATAH: MEMORY OF STONES, a play by Hanna Eady and Edward Mast
The Shoebox Performance Space
1404 18th Avenue , between Madison & Union
contact: Hanna Eady (206) 612-7317 firstname.lastname@example.org
New Image Theater presents a revival of SAHMATAH: MEMORY OF STONE, a Palestinian story of destruction, heritage and remembrance. Sahmatah was one of 500 Palestinian villages destroyed in 1948. The play premiered in Seattle in 1996, opened in Israel/Palestine in 1998, and has been running in Middle East for over ten years. For more information: (206) 774-6438 www.newimagetheater.org