Events in Vancouver

Friday, April 26, 2013 | 7:00 PM

Room 4390
Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
149 W. Hastings St.

Arthur Milner will read from two plays about Israel/Palestine: Masada and Facts. A discussion will follow.

Recently, Facts ran for a month at the Finborough Theatre in London, U.K., and an Arabic translation toured nine cities in Palestine and Israel in the fall.

This event is presented in partnership with SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement and SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts.

FREE
For more information click here

Saturday, April 27, 2013 | 7:00 PM

Progress Lab 1422
1422 William Street

Pull The Pin: A Political Evening of Performance, Discussion & Klezmer Punk
Special Guest Arthur Milner

The central focus of this event will be a staged reading of Facts, a new political drama by Montreal Jewish playwright Arthur Milner. The play will be read by Marcus Youssef, Sean Devine and Parick Sabongui, directed by Marisa Smith. The event will also feature a performance from musician Geoff Berner and panelists from Seriously Free Speech, Independent Jewish Voices, the Canada Palestine Association, and the playwright Arthur Milner.

“Tensions rise until ideologies and resentments pour out like sweat…” ‐ Time Out London (Four stars and Critics’ Choice)

Co‐produced by Horseshoes & Hand Grenades Theatre and Neworld Theatre
TICKETS: $10 at http://pullthepin.eventbrite.com (Note: Advanced Sales Only)

For more information click here
Or contact:
Christine Quintana at 604.602.0007 / christine@neworldtheatre.com

Sunday, April 28, 2013 | 7:00 PM

Progress Lab 1422
1422 William Street

Playwrights Theatre Centre hosts an up close and personal reading by the writer from his play MASADA, followed by a conversation about his work. (In conjunction with Pull the Pin.)

For more information click here

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London UK production a big hit!

The Facts in London gang: Far left, Dan Brodie, Producer. From right to left, Philip Arditti (Khalid), Caitlin McLeod, Director, Arthur Milner, Playwright,

Info about the London, U.K., production (WornRed Productions at Finborough Theatre, February 24 to March 23, 2013
http://www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk/productions/2013/facts.php

More Photos can be see here:http://janehobson.photoshelter.com/gallery/Fact-Finborough/G000058uUJjzForQ/
And the video here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkhoNRXcRos

Links and excerpts from the reviews:

Time Out (4 stars and Critics’ Choice)
http://www.timeout.com/london/theatre/facts
-tensions rise until ideologies and resentments pour out like sweat
-a deservedly brilliant UK premiere
-striking in its lucidity
-Critics’ Choice for the week

Financial Times (4 stars)
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/119bbf1c-8270-11e2-8404-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2Mb11JKJT
-Milner’s play, in a taut and volatile production by Caitlin McLeod, proves gripping
-the current grievous tensions – and with them years upon years of conflict – press into the room. The tiny space becomes a pressure cooker.
-It’s a powerful piece that digs deep

Middle East Monitor
http://www.middleeastmonitor.com/blogs/culture/5428-theatre-review-facts
-It is a relief to watch a production in which the Muslim character does not play the hostile bad guy, terrorist, or the closet suicide bomber
-it is refreshing to watch a dramatisation that tries to make some kind of sense of this complex issue; and at times injects lightening humour into a devastating situation

A Younger Theatre
http://www.ayoungertheatre.com/review-facts-finborough-theatre-barrie-keeffe/
-consistently fascinating and morbidly absorbing
-[Michael Feast's] portrayal of Yossi … is one of the most powerful individual performances I have seen at the theatre for a long time. Milner’s writing is equally impressive
-Facts really ought to be seen by as many people as possible.

Theatre Guide London
http://www.theatreguidelondon.co.uk/reviews/facts13.htm
-An intense psychological drama, a meticulous police procedural, a history lesson, and a debate encompassing key aspects of the Israel-Palestine conundrum – Canadian playwright Arthur Milner fits all these into a high-energy ninety minutes. And a sensitive director and a cast who hold nothing back capture all the play’s power in a flawless production.
-it is impossible to rank the multifaceted, uninhibited and equally excellent performances of Philip Arditti (Palestinian), Michael Feast (Israeli) and Paul Rattray (suspect).

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Speaking in Bombs

Recently published in issue 34, volume 9 of Guerilla Magazine, Arthur speaks in an interview about Facts, the play’s tour through Palestine and the current politics of the the Israeli / Palestinian divide.

Read the full article here

Guerilla Magazine is a quarterly publication based in Ottawa, Canada, which features stories from artists, arts-workers and cultural observers.

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The European Premiere

The European Premiere and UK debut of the acclaimed playwright Arthur Milner

Facts will receive a new staging by UK director Caitlin McCleod in the 2013 season of the Finborough Theatre, London.

Arabic Tour Co-Producer, Abdelfattah Abusrour was on business in London shortly after the close of the Palestinian tour of Facts when he put a copy of the play in front of the Artistic Director, Neil McPherson of the Finborough. After reading the play, Arthur was asked if they could present it on their mainstage.

You can see Facts playing on the Finborough stage in London, Tuesday, 26 February to Saturday, 23 March 2013

Read more about the production here

 

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A letter diary from Arthur Milner

A “final report” (with pictures) from playwright Arthur Milner. To read it, click here.

Facts Tour Opening Night standing ovation in Bethlehem

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September 25

It feels like Christmas Eve in September as our team, including Ramzi, Kamel, Kristin, Samer, Martin, Arthur and myself have come together under one roof. That roof being the home of Dr. Abdelfattah and is Wife Nihil. The night is the eve of our big day: presenting the first show of our much-awaited tour through Palestine and Israel.

Unable to use the roads or pass the checkpoints, most Palestinians caught in transit on this night take refuge where they stand. What brought us here for this night? Yom Kippur. This is the highest of the high holy days as Israel literally shuts down, making it impossible for those of our team who live in Jerusalem to return home.

Here in Bethlehem, a fitting place for our Christmas Eve, we came together, shared in a feast around one table, drank tea, while some prayed upon rugs, and at once headed to bed.? Like any Christmas Eve when your relatives from out East come to stay the night, we like family, made sleeping arrangements together, some sharing rooms while others were scattered across the floor.

We seven travelers of mixed descent, without a home, are welcomed here by Palestinian folk with big hearts. There will be no presents in the morning, although it feels like there will, but instead I find myself excited most of all for a good cup of coffee and good conversation in the morning. It’s certainly more exciting than that present under the tree, which your cousin bought you out of holiday guilt.

Huddled around one table sharing in food, mixing in language, finding points of connection over a cigarette and tea; all of it because of another holiday just a few kilometres away, another holiday which brought three religions together at one table.

With our show upon us and no time to spare we’ll launch into production at the crack of dawn. Well, some of us will. Others will jump in as we build up to our 7:30pm performance. Are we ready? No. Will be ready? Yes.

It is 1am and I can barely contain myself, yet I should sleep. I will likely get up extra early just like on any Christmas morning. You know, because like any good holiday, one wants to make the most of it.

Dan Daley

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September 24

In response to several inquiries from friends in Canada about safety, and several exhortations to be careful, I would say: It’s not at all scary.

I’ve been here ten days and I have witnessed absolutely no anxiety over war or demonstrations or anything.
I was told that, a few days before I came, it was a quite tense on the streets of Bethlehem (and other Palestinian cities) during the demonstrations against the Palestinian government (over price and tax increases). But at least a temporary truce has been reached, and in the week that I’ve been here (doing a lot of walking and driving through the city) there’s been no tension at all.

I’ve spent almost all my time in Palestine, i.e., in Bethlehem in the West Bank and in (Palestinian) East Jerusalem, so I don’t know if there’s palpable anxiety in Tel Aviv or elsewhere in Israel. On a very fancy, very Israeli, shopping strip by Jerusalem’s Jaffa Gate, and in the very Israeli, popular strip on Jaffa Street, I felt and sensed no anxiety.

Against expectations perhaps, there is no evidence of elevated security. In fact, my own perception is that security at checkpoints is more relaxed than I’ve ever seen it. Others have confirmed the same impression.
Judging from Haaretz (Israel’s progressive daily, available in English translation), the likelihood of an attack on Iran, and the attendant fears, have dissipated. (I would say Israel has found a new diversionary tactic: the demand for international recognition of the rights of Jewish refugees from Arab countries post-1948.)

Facts opens in two days. Now that’s scary.

A.M.

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First days

Friday, September 14.
I got to Bethlehem this morning, after a 30-hour trip that went Ottawa-Toronto-(wait 5 hours)-Amsterdam-(wait 6 hours)-Tel Aviv Airport (arrive 2:30 am, so wait 4 hours)-shared bus/taxi to Jerusalem-bus to Bethlehem-taxi to Aida Refugee Camp. Dazed and confused, I walked into Abed’s office at Alrowwad Cultural and Theatre Centre where he and Dan, and several other Alrowwad staff were meeting. Abed is Dr. Abdelfattah Abusrour, former biomedical researcher, founder and now director of Alrowwad (co-producer of “Facts in Palestine)” and, oh yes, “Khalid” in Facts or (ha-qa-eq), as we call it here. Dan is Dan Daley, a Toronto theatre producer and associate producer of the Facts tour, in Palestine for almost a month, designing posters, making videos, writing, and basically making himself invaluable.

I was welcomed and embraced and offered coffee, and told that Friday and Saturday were the actors’ days off, and they and Samer, the director, were in Jerusalem or Ramallah, and we wouldn’t all get together until rehearsals resumed on Sunday, in Jerusalem. Which was fine with me, given my state. Salim, a man who supports all activities at Alrowwad, drove me to Abed’s house, where many of us would be staying, and I staggered into bed and slept for five hours. I woke in time for a wonderful dinner, with Abed, and his wife Nahil, and their two daughters, Safa and Rafa, and three sons, Canaan, Adam, Ahmad. Names courtesy of Amira Abusrour, our always helpful production assistant.

Sunday, September 16.
On Sunday, Dan and I took a bus from Bethlehem to Israel. The wall runs right along the northern edge of Bethlehem and getting through it means going through a checkpoint.

On my first visit to the West Bank, two and a half years ago, I’d been through the Qalandia checkpoint, said to be the biggest checkpoint in Palestine, between Ramallah and Jerusalem. Entering the West Bank, there was the long but normal delay of heavy traffic. But entering Israel, the bus pulled off to the side, and everyone started to get off. I was about to follow, when a passenger told me that if I have a foreign passport I can stay. A few people, some old, some clearly foreigners, waited on the bus until two soldiers armed with machine guns entered. They checked our papers and left. The bus pulled ahead, and 50 people re-entered. But I noticed: these were not the same people. The man who told me I could remain on the bus did not reenter. The family sitting across the aisle did not reenter. I understood: the people who had left would have to go through some kind of process and take a later bus.

On the same visit, I went through a Bethlehem checkpoint. Again, entering the West Bank presented no problems. I had a fantastic dinner in a Bedouin tent with Jamal Ghosheh and Kamel Elbasha, then general manager and artistic director, respectively, of the Palestinian National Theatre (PNT), during which they informed me that they wanted to produce Facts. At some point I told them about my experience at Qalandia. Kamel said I should get off the bus next time, so I would know what it was like for Palestinians. Returning to Israel, Jamal and the car were allowed through the checkpoint, but Kamel and I had to get out and find our way, at night, to an unmarked pedestrian entrance. Kamel was seething but quickly calmed down, as I became increasingly angry. We descended into an enormous underground room and followed others to a hallway. There were maybe 15 of us, a mixture of foreigners and residents. Buzzers buzzed, doors clanked and locked or unlocked, three or four at a time were able to pass through a floor-to-ceiling turnstile. Then we showed our documents to an Israeli soldier, almost invisible behind thick, darkly smoked and dirty glass. It was about 45 minutes before we emerged, into a somewhat more pleasant room, where there was poster of a family on a beach with a caption that read, “Welcome to your holiday”. In Israel? Security checks are always irritating; they don’t have to be demeaning. Kamel said: “Now you don’t have to get off the bus at Qalandia.”?

But this time, leaving Bethlehem, things were quite different. The bus pulled over at the checkpoint, but no one got off. Two soldiers armed with machine guns entered, checked our papers, and exited. A half hour later, we were at Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate. And a ten-minute walk from there brought us to the Palestinian National Theatre, where Samer, Abed, Kamel and Amer were rehearsing. This was very exciting.

A.M.

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SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED!

We are proud to announce the schedule for the tour of Facts in Palestine. Now just over a week away from our September 26th opening, the team is gathering in Bethlehem. Arthur (playwright) along with Dan (associate producer) and Martin (designer) will join Samer (director) and the cast for the last week of rehearsals.

We hope to see you in Palestine.  Tickets can be purchased at the door of the theatre on the night of or through alrowwad.org You can also call the Alrowwad Cultural & Theatre Society at +970-2-2750030.

Performances are in Arabic. Some theatres will offer English surtitles. Contact us to confirm beforehand.

See below or follow this link 

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Tickets will be on sale soon!

Facts will open on September 26th at the Dar Annadwa Addawliyya Centre in Bethlehem

Tickets will be released shortly.
Make your bookings through alrowwad.org or alrowwad-acts.ps or call +970-2-2750030

Tickets can also be purchased at the door of the theatre.

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