Pen World Voices event poster

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center presented World Voices: International Play Festival 2018 livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 16, Tuesday 17, and Saturday 21 April.

As part of the 2018 PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, The Segal Center will showcase play readings by ten of the world’s most respected dramatists, including Edouard Elvis Bvouma (Cameroon), Mihaela Drăgan (Romania), Elfriede Jelinek (Austria), Yonatan Levy (Israel), Stefano Massini (Italy), Magali Mougel (France), Ana Luz Ormazábal (Chile), Aristide Tarnagda (Burkina Faso), Wei Yu-Chia(Taiwan), and Liwaa Yazji (Syria). With writers hailing from four different continents, the International Play Festival generates a conversation on art, politics, dreams, war, and philosophy, meant to give American audiences a rich awareness of global dialogues. Readings will be followed by a discussion with the playwright.

Monday 16 April

Suzy Storck (France)
4:00 p.m. EDT (New York) / 3:00 p.m. CDT (Chicago) / 1:00 p.m. PDT (San Francisco)
Written by Magali Mougel.
Directed by Sara Rademacher. Translated by Chris Campbell.
Discussion moderated by Nicole Birmann Bloom.
Another unbearably hot evening. Suzy Storck sits by the window. A glass of wine. A bottle. Three. Her husband has left. Maybe he’s coming home. Maybe he’s not. The radio buzzes. And still, the sun will just not set.

Del Duma / Tell Them About Me! (Romania)
6:00 p.m. EDT (New York) / 5:00 p.m. CDT (Chicago) / 3:00 p.m. PDT (San Francisco)
Written by Mihaela Drăgan.
Directed by George Eli. Translated by Claudia Campeanu.
Discussion moderated by Diana Benea.
|Real stories about how four Roma women deal with life, social pressure, early marriage and dreams of escape. A serious solo-comedy performed by the Roma author.

Intractable Woman (Italy)
8:00 p.m. EDT (New York) / 7:00 p.m. CDT (Chicago) / 5:00 p.m. PDT (San Francisco)
Written by Stefano Massini.
Directed by Lee Sunday Evans. Translated by Paula Wing.
Discussion moderated by Kate Loewald, Valeria Orani, and Elena Kostyuchenko.
A “theatrical memorandum” on Anna Politkovskaya, the Russian activist-journalist who exposed details of Russia’s war in Chechnya and fought government suppression, before her ruthless killing. In 2002, she was awarded the PEN Center USA Freedom to Write Award. In association with The Play Company, New York and Umanism NY (Valeria Orani, Director) as part of the Italian Playwrights Project. With additional support from Italian Cultural institute (Giorgio Van Straten, Director).

Tuesday 17 April

Goats (Syria)
4:00 p.m. EDT (New York) / 3:00 p.m. CDT (Chicago) / 1:00 p.m. PDT (San Francisco)
Written by Liwaa Yazji.
Directed by Zishan Ugurlu. Translated by Katharine Halls.
Discussion moderated by Saphe Shamoun.
As the coffins pile up in a small town in Syria, a party leader decides to offer a goat for each martyred son. A father learns the hard way about the surreal reality of politics, war, martyrdom, and life. Presented with additional support from South-South Forum at Dartmouth College, Eman S. Morsi.

Ways of Loving (Burkina Faso)
6:00 p.m. EDT (New York) / 5:00 p.m. CDT (Chicago) / 3:00 p.m. PDT (San Francisco)
Written by Aristide Tarnagda.
Directed by Kareem Fahmy. Translated by Heather Jeanne Denyer.
Discussion moderated by Heather Jeanne Denyer.
Accused of murder, a woman dreams of the sun, the hills, and the wind while facing trial. She has no right hand with which to promise to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

On The Royal Road: The Burgher King (Austria)
8:00 p.m. EDT (New York) / 7:00 p.m. CDT (Chicago) / 5:00 p.m. PDT (San Francisco)
Written by Elfriede Jelinek.
Directed by Stefan Dzeparoski. Translated by Gitta Honegger.
Discussion moderated by Luisa Muhr.
A blind female seer with bleeding eyes, Miss Piggy, channels a confused Tiresias as she tries to get a handle on the bizarre behavior of Donald Trump’s persona.

Saturday 21 April

A Fable For Now (Taiwan)
2:00 p.m. EDT (New York) / 1:00 p.m. CDT (Chicago) / 11:00 a.m. PDT (San Francisco)
Written by Wei Yu-Chia.
Directed by Mei Ann Teo. Translated by Jeremy Tiang.
Discussion moderated by Melissa Wansin Wong.
Tales of war, the environment, and personal regret collide as mankind hurtles towards a surreal apocalypse in the company of a belligerent duck, bears of at least three different varieties, and a truly extraordinary chicken.

In War as in Games (Cameroon)
4:00 p.m. EDT (New York) / 3:00 p.m. CDT (Chicago) / 1:00 p.m. PDT (San Francisco)
Written by Edouard Elvis Bvouma.
Directed by Gisela Cardenas. Translated by Heather Jeanne Denyer.
Discussion moderated by Heather Jeanne Denyer.
After learning that the war is over, a lonely child soldier with a Kalashnikov tells a young girl the story of his life. For him, it is nothing more than a video game with animated characters.

Agnetha Kurtz Roca Method (Chile)
6:00 p.m. EDT (New York) / 5:00 p.m. CDT (Chicago) / 3:00 p.m. PDT (San Francisco)
Written & Translated by Ana Luz Ormazábal.
Co-directed by Amelia Bande and SeungHyun Hwang.
Discussion moderated by Fabian Escalona.
A fictional Chilean philosopher and performance artist returns to her country after 30 years of self-exile. A conference play about language, identity, community, and immigration–both from and to Chile.

Saddam Hussein – A Mystery Play (Israel)
8:00 p.m. EDT (New York) / 7:00 p.m. CDT (Chicago) / 5:00 p.m. PDT (San Francisco)
Written & Co-Translated by Yonatan Levy.
Directed & Co-Translated by Amir Farjoun.
On the brink of military defeat, Saddam and his doppelgangers retreat to the bunker—and embark upon a spiritual quest. Blending politics, metaphysics, poetry and nonsense, the play follows the tyrant’s initiation into the esoteric secret of oil.

The PEN World Voices: International Play Festival 2018 has been made possible by the support of Susan and Jack Rudin(†) and Marvin Carlson, Sidney E. Cohn Chair, The Graduate Center CUNY.

The PEN World Voices: International Play Festival was conceived, created, and curated by Frank Hentschker since 2007 in collaboration with PEN World Voices Festival. The 2018 Festival is produced by Yu Chien Liu, in collaboration with Frank Hentschker. Assistant Producer: Paloma Estévez.

PEN America world voices logo

Founded by Michael Roberts, Esther Allen, and Salman Rushdie in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, PEN World Voices is the only international literary festival in the world with a human rights focus. It attracts the world’s best-known writers and has garnered broad global acclaim as one of the world’s premier literary events. Since its founding, PEN World Voices has presented more than 1,500 writers and artists from 118 countries, speaking 56 languages. The 2018 festival will run from April 16-22, 2018. www.penworldvoices.org
Chip Rolley, Director, World Voices Festival, PEN America
Kim Chan, General Manager

 

About the playwrights:

magali mougel headshot
Photo courtesy of the artist

Magali Mougel (France), a finalist to the Grand Prix de littérature dramatique, has been writing prolifically for the theatre since 2014 and has been staged throughout France. She taught at the Université de Strasbourg, the Institut littéraire de Bern, and at ENSATT, Lyon. She is an associate playwright at the Scènes du Jura and joined the artistic collective at the Théâtre de Sartouville Yvelines CDN.

 

mihaela dragan headshot
Photo by Nihad Nino Pusija

Mihaela Drăgan (Romania) is an actress and playwright who lives and works in Bucharest and Berlin. In 2014, she founded Giuvlipen Theatre Company together with other Roma actresses. In 2015 she appeared in the feature film Aferim directed by Radu Jude, which won the Silver Bear for directing at the Berlin International Film Festival. She is currently working in Berlin at the Maxim Gorki Theater.

 

stefano massini headshot
Photo by Attilio Marasco

Stefano Massini (Italy) is a Pier Vittorio Tondelli Award winning playwright, director, and the artistic consultant at the Piccolo Teatro di Milano. Inspired by the 2008 economic banking crisis, Massini wrote the The Lehman Trilogy. Translated into 14 languages, the trilogy will be staged in July 2018 at the National Theater in London by Sam Mendes.

 

liwaa yazji headshot
Photo by Florian Riemann

Liwaa Yazji (Syria) is a playwright, poet, filmmaker, and screenwriter, educated in both English Literature and Theater Studies in Syria. Her play Goats premiered in The Royal Court, London, in 2017. Her play Q&Q was selected for the International Women Playwright Conference 2018. She is currently a co-writer on HEIM, a German TV series. Her first documentary Haunted premiered in 2014 at FID Marseilles.

 

aristide tarnagda headshot
Photo by Lansman EmileCie

Aristide Tarnagda (Burkina Faso) studied at Jean-Pierre Guingané’s Théâtre de la Fraternité. In 2013, he directed his own play And if I was going to kill them all Ma’am? on a mainstage at the Avignon Theatre Festival, while another of his plays, Red Earth was included in the Off-Festival. He is the Artistic Director of the Récréâtrales Festival, one of the largest Pan-African performance festivals, based in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

 

elfriede jelinek headshot
Photo courtesy of the artist

Elfriede Jelinek (Austria) was born in 1946. She grew up in Vienna and now lives in Vienna and Munich. She has received numerous awards for her literary works, which include not only novels but also plays, poetry, essays, translations, radio plays, screenplays, and opera librettos. Her awards include the Georg Büchner Prize and the Franz Kafka Prize for Literature. In 2004, she was awarded with the Nobel Prize for Literature.

wei yu-chia headshot
Photo courtesy of the artist

Wei Yu-Chia (Taiwan) studied playwriting at the Taiwan University’s Drama Department. She won the 2014 Taiwanese Literature Award for Playwriting with A Fable for Now. Other plays include Mama/Popstar (nominated for the 2015 Taipei Literature Award for Playwriting) and A Child from Nankoku (nominated for the 2017 New Taipei Award for Playwriting).

 

edouard elvis bvouma headshot
Photo courtesy of the artist

Edouard Elvis Bvouma (Cameroon) is a playwright, actor, director, novelist, and short story writer from Cameroon. His plays have been staged throughout Africa and Europe, including the mainstage of Avignon’s Theatre Festival. Bvouma has received multiple awards, including the Grands Prix Afrique du Théâtre Francophone. His plays are published by Lansman Editeurs.

 

ana luz ormazabal headshot
Photo courtesy of the artist

Ana Luz Ormazábal (Chile) is the award-winning artistic director of the ANTIMÉTODO Collective. Integrating practices of creation and research, she has developed work for the collective as a writer, dramaturg, and director. Ana teaches at Universidad Católica’s Theatre Department and is scheduled to begin work on her AL PACINO project at Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center.

Yonatan Levy (Israel) is a playwright, poet, Waldorf educator, and director. His work Saddam Hussein – A Mystery Play was featured in the Theater der Welt Festival and the Schaubühne Berlin. His new opera, The Sleeping Thousand (Music by Adam Maor), will premiere at the Luxembourg Grand Theatre in 2019. Levy also co-founded the Shakked Waldorf High School and the Sheik Abreik Festival for Civilian Culture, both in Kiryat Tivon, Israel.

About HowlRound TV
HowlRound TV is a global, commons-based peer produced, open access livestreaming and video archive project stewarded by the nonprofit HowlRound. HowlRound TV is a free and shared resource for live conversations and performances relevant to the world's performing arts and cultural fields. Its mission is to break geographic isolation, promote resource sharing, and to develop our knowledge commons collectively. Participate in a community of peer organizations revolutionizing the flow of information, knowledge, and access in our field by becoming a producer and co-producing with us. Learn more by going to our participate page. For any other queries, email tv@howlround.com, or call Vijay Mathew at +1 917.686.3185 Signal/WhatsApp. View the video archive of past events.