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Istijmam at IU

Exploratory Theater from Algeria

Friday, September 9, 2016, 7:30pm

Wells-Metz Theater

The US debut tour of one of the Arab world’s most striking experimental theater companies comes to Bloomington for one performance of “Apples” (Et-Teffeh), September 9, 7:30pm, at the Wells-Metz Theater.

Synopsis: A displaced factory worker, an old trade unionist, and an actor serendipitously meet in a public restroom, brought together by a vain pursuit of a precious piece of fruit and the need for a clean, calm space to rehearse Julius Caesar. Embodied by Algerian-based experimental theater company Istijmam, these three characters form the core of Et’teffeh (Apples), a physically charged, satiric fable that captures the frustrations, absurdities, and uncertainties of everyday life in a society emerging from decades of authoritarian rule. Performed in English with some Algerian Arabic.

Playwright Abdelkader Alloula wrote Et’tefeh following Algeria’s 1988 uprising, which foreshadowed the Arab Spring: it ended 30 years of single-party dictatorship but led to a decade of civil war. Alloula was assassinated outside his home in 1994 for his commitment to secular democracy and political pluralism.

Istijmam is on tour as part of the public-private arts partnership Center Stage, dedicated to bringing artists from abroad to American audiences to foster person-to-person diplomacy. For more on the play and the company, please see: http://centerstageus.org/artists/istijmam

The IU-Bloomington performance is made possible by generous support from the College Arts & Humanities Institute; the College of Arts & Sciences; the School of Global & International Studies; the Hutton Honors College; the Departments of Anthropology, Folklore & Ethnomusicology, Near Eastern Languages & Cultures, Comparative Literature, and Theater, Drama & Contemporary Dance; the Programs in African Studies, Cultural Studies, and Islamic Studies; and the Center for the Study of the Middle East. This event is free and open to the public.