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Reading from the world stage

BY DEVYN YOUNG | SEPTEMBER 18, 2014 5:00 AM

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For 47 years, a selected group of authors from around the world have attended the University of Iowa International Writing Program. Their fall residency is a 10-week program consisting of 29 writers from 29 countries, spanning from Iceland to Afghanistan to Venezuela.

Tonight, the UI Theater Department in conjunction with the IWP will present Global Express, a series of play readings by the IWP residents. UI actors will read excerpts of these plays for an audience with the playwrights present.

Boaz Gaon discovered the IWP through a newspaper ad in Israel describing the program and the scholarships available.

Gaon’s play, The Return to Haifa, is based on a classic Palestinian short story about a couple who return to their house in Hafia in 1967 after escaping years earlier. When they fled, they left behind their 5-month-old son. The parents discover that the son was raised by a Jewish widow who took over their house. Throughout the play, they discover who their son ultimately became.

“I hope that [the audience] will understand the human implications on what has been going on in Israel and Palestine for the last 40 years,” Gaon said.

Cynthia Edul of Buenos Aries said she just hopes the Iowa crowd will simply like her play, What the Broken Heart Spoke, which centers on a family that returns to the beach where they used to spend the holidays for the first time after the father of the family has died.

Laurynas Katkus of Lithuania, on the other hand, is not having a play read at Global Express. Instead, actors will read three of his love poems.

“I have no clue what kind of audience will be there,” Katkus said. “I guess it will be fun; I hope it will be fun. I’ve been to the rehearsal, and I was impressed by the readings they gave and the directions the director gave to the actors.”

To these three writers, the IWP has been a great experience.

“It’s an important and prestigious program in the world for writers. It’s the kind of program that gives you all the opportunities to work on your own work,” Edul said. She also said the program will give a writer the important tools he or she needs to become better.

“It’s a very renown program,” Katkus said. “It’s unique in the United States; I do not know of another program for international writers. It’s been a wish of mine for a long time to come here. I am very glad I was accepted.” “I hope that [the audience] will understand the human implications on what has been going on in Israel and Palestine for the last 40 years,” Gaon said.

To these three writers, the IWP has been a great experience.

“It’s an important and prestigious program in the world for writers. It’s the kind of program that gives you all the opportunities to work on your own work,” Edul said. She also said the program will give a writer the important tools he or she needs to become better.

“It’s a very renown program,” Katkus said. “It’s unique in the United States; I do not know of another program for international writers. It’s been a wish of mine for a long time to come here. I am very glad I was accepted.”


THEATER
What: Global Express
When: 8 p.m. today
Where: Theater Building Theater B
Price: Free. Tickets available at the door


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