Genre: Drama
written and directed by Misa Shulman

"Desert Sunrise" describes a natural, simple bonding by people who are supposed to be afraid of each other. It is a drama the arises out of a chance encounter between an Israeli soldier and a Palestinian man of this region. Taking refuge in a desert wadi, the two men are initially antagonistic, but each embodies an openness that exists within the majorities within both societies. They seemingly overcome their root distrust for each other until they are joined by the Palestinian man's beloved, who embodies an odd, impermeable shell of ideology and radical zeal that neither of the men can penetrate.

As the three reach into their own pasts, they not only begin to find similarities, but also begin to understand the psychological and social fabric behind their political beliefs. Using humor, music, poetry and dance the play unfolds toward its sorrowful yet hopeful ending. Over the course of one memorable night the process of mutual understanding and forgiveness begins, halts, gets rejected, but is ultimately embraced by the pained characters.

The play uses English, Hebrew and Arabic dialogue between the three characters and is interspersed with choral odes, performed by onstage musicians and adapted by Shulman from various translations of Aeschylus' "Agamemnon." It also employs Indonesian shadow techniques that are shared with Egyptian puppetry.

The choral odes are scored by Israeli musician Yoel Ben-Simhon (composer; appearing on tenor, oud, guitar and percussion). He is an Israeli Jew of Moroccan descent. Art direction and set design are by New York artist Celia Owens. Lighting design is by Itai Erdal, who is from Israel but now based in Vancouver.

About the Company: Theater For The New City

THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY (TNC) is a Pulitzer Prize winning community cultural center that is known for its high artistic standards and widespread community service. One of New York’s most prolific theatrical organizations, TNC produces 30-40 premieres of new American plays per year, at least 10 of which are by emerging and young playwrights. Many influential theater artists of the last quarter century have found TNC’s Resident Theater Program instrumental to their careers, among them Sam Shepard, Moises Kaufman, Richard Foreman, Charles Busch, Maria Irene Fornes, Miguel Piñero and Academy Award Winners Tim Robbins and Adrien Brody. TNC also presents plays by multi-ethnic/multi-disciplinary theater companies who have no permanent home. Among the well-known companies that have been presented by TNC are Mabou Mines, the Living Theater, Bread and Puppet Theater, the San Francisco Mime Troupe and the Ma-Yi Theater Company, which won an OBIE Award for its 1996 TNC production, FLIPZOIDS. TNC also produced the Yangtze Repertory Company’s 1997 production of BETWEEN LIFE AND DEATH, which was the only play ever produced in America by Gao Xingjian before he won the 2000 Nobel Prize for Literature. TNC seeks to develop theater audiences and inspire future theater artists from the often-overlooked low-income minority communities of New York City by producing minority writers from around the world and by bringing the community into theater and theater into the community through its many free Festivals. TNC productions have won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and over 40 OBIE Awards for excellence in every theatrical discipline. TNC is also the only Theatrical Organization to have won the Mayor's Stop The Violence award.

Open:   09/29/05
Close:   10/23/05

Thursday-Saturday at 8:00 pm
Sundays at 3:00 pm

(Thursday, October 13 show--Yom Kippur--will be at 9:00 pm)

Theater:   Theater For The New City
Address:   155 First Avenue
New York, NY 10009
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Take the L train to 1st Avenue or the 6 train to Astor Place

Buy Tickets Online or Call: at 212-254-1109
Company: Theater For The New City         Official Web Site: