Koffi Kwahulé, from the Ivory Coast
Lenin Al-Ramly, from Egypt
Zdenka Becker, from Austria
Leung Shing Him, from Hong Kong
Jon Fosse, from Norway
Chong Mui Ngam, from Hong Kong
Buddhadeva Bose, from India
Philip Boehm, from the U.S.
Klaus Pohl, from Germany
The Setting: On an empty stage, in a virtual space, the cast of this drama gathers for the first scene of their respective plays to be presented simultaneously….
Koffi Kwahulé's Little Stain introduces a mischievous spirit, the son of lightning, who visits a bourgeois family frozen in their own domestic drama while watching television in Africa.
Lenin Al-Ramly's A Peace of Women presents Aristophanes' Lysistrata redux, with a chorus of women denying their husbands their affection during the current war in Iraq.
(Aside: Liesl Schillinger interviews Ellen Stewart on her own wild Classical cycle, Seven.)
In Zdenka Becker's Scent of Wheat, an aging poet muses on the role of writers during wartime, the Balkan conflict, art, beauty, sex, trauma, God, burying someone you love, and unfinished translations.
Seven, by Leung Shing Him, portrays a misogynist Hong Kong real estate agent and his victim, a girl implicated in the crime, trading perspectives in a sophisticated thriller.
Night Sings Its Songs, by Norway's leading playwright Jon Fosse, takes us deep into one fateful night where a young man and woman, in a relationship haunted by unfulfilled desires and ambitions, try to reconnect.
Alive in the Mortuary, by Chong Mui Ngam takes us to Uganda, where a doctor and a poet debate the relative value of the poetic and the scientific in a mortuary.
Buddhadeva Bose's The Ascetic and the Courtesan presents an ancient Hindu legend of a drought, an ailing king, and the royal marriage intended to reverse the fortunes of the kingdom.
Philip Boehm's Zeke is a postmodern response to Franz Kafka's story "A Report to an Academy," in which the grandson of an educated ape muses on Americana.
And Klaus Pohl's Canary illuminates various facets of the diamond district in New York City.
Credits: The lion's share of the plays selected for this issue were curated by Theatre Without Borders, an informal, voluntary group of theatre artists around the world.
Also in this Issue
Life is full of unexplainable things. But, moreover, it is full of me. To be better heard, I repeat, ladies: it is full of me. From this you will deduce that I too am one of those unexplainable things,…
The Holocaust extended its reach beyond the neighborhood. Traces of Shoah lurked in the most surprising places, like the little shops where Dad went to order wallpaper or buy light bulbs. He often took…
Words Without Borders is proud to present the following interview conducted by Liesl Schillinger, speaking with Ellen Stewart in May, 2004. Ellen Stewart had just completed her epic Classical cycle Seven,…
Monologue for the Stage A Tragicomedy * Dedicated to a great poet, who understands that despite Sarajevo, life offers something more than death. * Darkness. In the distance the sound of airplanes is heard…
TRANSLATOR'S NOTE: Natta Syng Sine Songar by Jon Fosse was first presented by the Rogaland Theatre in Stavanger, Norway in 1997. The English translation, Night Sings Its Songs, was translated and directed…
The setting is inside the mortuary of a hospital in an African country at war, Angola. Two corpses are covered by white sheets. In the original play, the text in italics is spoken in English, and otherwise…
A Play in Four Acts *** Author's Note: Tapasvi o Tarangini (The Ascetic and The Courtesan) was published in five consecutive issues of the magazine Desh in 1966, after which it was published as a book…
Esteemed Gentlemen of the Academy! I feel honored by your invitation to present the academy with a report on my former life as an ape. I am afraid, however, that I will be unable to comply with your request.…