Sahmatah: Memory of Stones

In this Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee of the Levant, playwrights Hanna Eady and Ed Mast authored a dirge for the 500+ Palestinian villages destroyed in 1948 by the Nakba, “catastrophe,” which accompanied the creation of Israel. Eady—who plays “Sidi”—recreated the joyous life and horrific destruction of a tiny village of olive growers based on interviews with a Nakba survivor, conducted over the bare stone ruins of the man’s ancestral home in Israel. Sidi, the grandfather, relives this string of vignettes with his skeptical grandson (Gabe Franken), giving voice to the ghosts of the villagers as they were forcibly “resettled.” Eady and Mast handled an explosive topic with a grace and poignancy that drove some audience members to tears. The onstage chemistry of Franken and Eady was instrumental in keeping the narration accessible and engaging as well as evocative. Though not the least apologetic for its starkness, the play doesn’t sermonize and allows viewers to form their own perspective on the ongoing tragedy in Israel/Palestine. Ultimately, Sahmatah transcends politics to give a human face to the mortality statistics we read in the “World” section of the newspaper. JENNA NAND 7:30 p.m. Mon.-Tues. Ends Nov. 25.

Mondays, Tuesdays, 7:30 p.m. Starts: Oct. 28. Continues through Nov. 25, 2008

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