The Sultan’s Dilemma
BY: Tawfiq al-Hakim
TRANSLATOR: Denys Johnson-Davies
COLLABORATORS: Egyptian American Society, Side Project Theatre Company, Silk Road Theatre
DIRECTOR: Adam Webster
When the Sultan finds out that he has not been properly emancipated from his former slave days, he can either rule by the sword or the law. Choosing the latter, he puts himself up for auction with the request that he be freed by his new owner. He is bought, but will his conditions be met? An exploration of patriotism, freedom and faith.
BY: Sudraka, Abridged from Arthur Ryder’s “The Little Clay Cart”
COLLABORATORS: Consulate General of India, Rasaka Theatre Company
DIRECTOR: Lavina Jadwani
The most powerful of all surviving Sanskrit plays is The Toy Cart, which was composed in the reign of King Shudraka, about the sixth century. The unknown author, who enjoyed the royal patronage, gives a graphic picture of social life in medieval India. Rife with romance, sex, court intrigue and comedy, the plot of the play has numerous twists and turns. The main story is about a young man named Charudatta and his love for Vasantasena, a rich courtesan. The love affair is complicated by a royal courtier, who is also attracted to Vasantasena. The plot is further complicated by thieves and mistaken identities, thus making it a hilarious and entertaining play.
BY: Jennifer Tremblay
TRANSLATOR: Shelley Tepperman
COLLABORATORS: Consulate General of Canada, Alliance Francaise de Chicago
DIRECTOR: Patrizia Acerra
From the celebrated Quebec dramatist, Jennifer Tremblay, comes this moving and masterfully crafted tour-de-force. A woman invites us into her kitchen. Her neighbor is dead. Is she culpable for the death? The woman, who prides herself on never letting anything slip by, has overlooked an item on her list. A riveting tale of everyday to-do lists in which the essential and the ordinary are inextricably entwined.
BY: Lukas Barfuss
TRANSLATOR: Neil Blackadder
COLLABORATORS: Consulate General of Switzerland, Goethe-Institut Chicago, Swiss Benevolent Society
DIRECTOR: John Green
In a poverty-stricken country whose natural resources have been plundered by companies from the developed world, geologist Henry and his engineer Edward search for untapped oil reserves while Henry’s wife Eve cowers in a basement in the city, mistreating her indigenous servant Gomua. When the two men return having finally discovered more oil, previously concealed truths–about the three of them but also about the interaction of western and non-western societies–come explosively to the surface.
BY: Toshiki Okada
TRANSLATOR: Aya Ogawa
COLLABORATORS: Consulate General of Japan
DIRECTOR: Anna Bahow
An offbeat comedy of 21 century manners, ENJOY follows the romantic adventures of 20 and 30-something workers at a Tokyo manga cafe. The play explores the Japanese youth culture looking at theIr future in uncertain economic times.
The Golden Dragon
BY: Roland Schimmelpfennig
TRANSLATOR: David Tushingham
COLLABORATORS: Goethe-Institut Chicago
DIRECTOR: Marty Lyons
Five characters share a strange and intricate story in The Golden Dragon asian restaurant, located somewhere in central Europe. Against a background of exotic orders and swiftly changing images, the lives of 15 people entwine, strangers who live and work on top of one another in a modern multi-ethnic community. The play centers on a young Chinese man suffering from a toothache, and his sister, imprisoned only a few feet away from him.
BY: Marie NDiaye
TRANSLATOR: Susie Lindeman
COLLABORATORS: The Cultural Services at the Consulate General of France in Chicago, Alliance Francaise de Chicago, Trap Door.
DIRECTOR: Beata Pilch
A chilling one-act by Senegalese-French writer Marie Ndiaye about an affluent woman who becomes obsessed with her new nanny. Hilda deals with the themes of power, class and control. This is Ndiaye’s first play.
Tables and Beds
BY: Emilio Williams
COLLABORATORS: Instituto Cervantes of Chicago, Teatro Luna
DIRECTOR: Alex Meda
“Tables and Beds” is a new award-winning play by Emilio Williams about the comedy of falling in love and the tragedy of falling out of love. It’s a hilarious dissection of the constant conflict between passion and routine and a tribute to the unconditional love of life-long friends. When Mar, a New York reporter, learns that a crime has been committed in her old home in Connecticut, she decides to go down memory lane to the places where years ago she was happy with her husband Tomas. Mar brings along Tedd, her best friend, who is also starting to feel the pains of boredom in his own relationship with Charlie. The play takes place in the tables and beds that bring us together and pull us apart; places where past and present, reality and dreams collide; spaces that blur the fine line that separates platonic from erotic love, and romantic love from the profound affection of friendships.