Denison Theatre Presents "Homebody/Kabul"
Date of Event: February 16, 2007
Posted: February 12, 2007
Many people -- from government policy experts to interested citizens -- are examining Afghanistan, its history, its long, tortured relationship with the West and its current political and humanitarian crisis. "Homebody/Kabul," a play written by Tony Kushner and set in Afghanistan's capital city, opens at 8 p.m. on Friday (Feb. 16) in Ace Morgan Theatre (211 W. College Street). Additional performance dates are Feb. 17 and Feb. 20-24. Tickets are available at the box office or by calling 740-587-6231. General admission is $8, senior citizens $5, and students $4.
Directing this Denison production is Associate Professor John Sipes. "Homebody/Kabul," first performed in New York City in 2001, centers around the disappearance of an eccentric British woman (the Homebody) and the search for her by her husband and daughter. In their quest for the truth and closure, the lines between real and unreal, the political and the personal, are intentionally blurred and are fully ambiguous.
"It's the first real family drama I wrote," said Kushner. "As much as it's about Afghanistan, there's a tortured family at one of the two hearts of the work, and that's what I am endlessly tinkering with."
"When doing a 'political' play one should concentrate on the personal and the human, and the history and politics will come alive as an inextricable part of the human drama," says director Sipes. "In our production we will concentrate on the story of the tortured family, the disintegrating family, their loss, their suffering, and their grief. We will not, however, abandon the story of Afghanistan and its people -- one informs the other; one is a metaphor for the other."
Sipes joined the Denison faculty in 2005. He earned his bachelor's degree at Loyola University and a master of fine arts at Indiana University. Sipes taught at Illinois State University, was artistic director of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival, and for the past decade has been the resident movement director, as well as a fight director and director, at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
Kushner is the Pulitzer Prize winning author of "Angels in America." Among his other works are "A Bright Room Called Day," "The Illusion," "Slavs" and "A Dybbuk." In addition Kushner co-authored the screenplay for "Munich" (2005).
The role of the Homebody will be played by Elizabeth Norment, Actors' Equity Guest Artist and Vail Artist-in-Residence. During her career, Norment has been featured in four movie productions ("Murder in Mind," "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion," "Runaway," and "The Woman in Red") as well as a long list of TV hit programs ranging from "The Twilight Zone" and "Mad About You" to "L.A. Doctors" and "Law and Order."
"Homebody/Kabul" features Denison seniors Gavin Roddy as Zai Garshi, Gretchen Vogt as Priscilla Ceiling, Jordan Fehr as Khwaja Aziz Mondanabosh, and Sebastian Orr as Milton Ceiling; junior Lowell Byers as Quango Twistleton; sophomores Adam Schreck as man ensemble, Evan Hill as border guard, Gonzalo Tuesta as the Munkrat, Jordan Wolff as Dr. Qari Shah, Kate Watts as Afghan woman, Laura Kamin as Mahala, Nicholas Bailey as Mullag Aftar Ali Durranni, and Stephen Geering as man ensemble; and first-year student Allison Brogan as woman ensemble. Working as student staff for the production are junior Lesley Lighthiser as assistant stage manager, sophomore Laura Judson as stage manager, sophomore Amanda Moore as assistant lighting designer and first-year student Kathleen Munford as assistant stage manager.
CALENDAR LISTING: Denison University, Granville -- Denison Theatre presents "Homebody/Kabul" directed by John Sipes; 8 p.m., Friday (Feb. 16) through Saturday (Feb. 17), and Tuesday (Feb. 20) through Saturday (Feb. 24), in Ace Morgan Theatre (211 W. College Street). The play is open to the public and general admission is $8; senior citizens $5, and students $4. Call 740-587-6231 to reserve seats and confirm information.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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