Theater: ‘Welcome to Ramallah’
Encore Performances Of Play About Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando speaks with the co-director of "Welcome to Ramallah."
"Welcome to Ramallah" premiered in San Diego 2 years ago and now Art N Fashion Magazine is bringing it back for an encore performance. Co-director Paola Hornbuckle talks about the play's topicality.
"Welcome to Ramallah" was written by Jewish playwrights Sonja Linden and Adah Kay. It focuses on 2 Jewish sisters and 2 Palestinian men who get stuck in an apartment together at curfew. As time passes, their tangled pasts are revealed as is a good chuck of history about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Co-director Paola Hornbuckle knows the material can be controversial but insists that the play tries to address the complexity of the issues.
"Both sides are, have a type of emotional and familial ties to the same land. And both sides feel very conflicted about these ties to the land. Also some of the war crimes are exposed -- from both sides -- some we know more about, and some we know less about."
Hornbuckle, who also runs Arts N Fashion Magazine that is producing the play, says works about the Middle East are a hard sell and even harder when they portray a Palestinian perspective. But she says the play can be used as a starting point for discussion.
"The people coming to this are going to be so moved and so inspired at the end because at the end the message is that of hope, that Jewish and Palestinian have lived in peace, that they are cousins in a way and that they can live in peace again if they just maybe get to know, and sincerely talk about the issues."
"Welcome to Ramallah" runs this Friday and Saturday and next at Swedenborgian Hall on Tyler Avenue in San Diego.
Suggested film viewing: "Waltz with Bashir," "Lemon Tree," "Paradise Now," "Sleeping with the Enemy/Behind Enemy Lines"
And here is a list from the Israel Film Center.