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Event Calendar

Love in Afghanistan

OCT 11 – NOV 17, 2013

By resident playwright Charles Randolph-Wright

Directed by Lucie Tiberghien

in the Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle

Who’s Who

Cast


Melis AkerMELIS AKER
(Roya) is delighted to make her Arena Stage debut. Previous regional credits include I Capture the Castle (Cassandra), Double Indemnity (Lola), These Shining Lives (Pearl) at Stoneham Theatre; and Vinegar Tom (Betty) with Whistler in the Dark Theatre. Melis is from Turkey, holds a BA in Drama/minor in Philosophy from Tufts University, and a summer certificate from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Tufts highlights include Oedipus & Antigone (Antigone), Macbeth (Lady Macbeth), The Importance of Being Earnest (Lady Bracknell) and Elektra (Elektra). Melis also attended the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Proof (Catherine) and Simon Studio's Bard at the Bar at the Players Club in New York. She thanks Charles and Lucie for this wonderful opportunity, Faheema for her inspiration, the talented cast for their friendship, her family and friends for their unyielding support — a shout-out to Anne, Baba, Nane, Dede, Babaanne, Fely, Damla and Charlie. Back

Khris DavisKHRIS DAVIS (Duke) is excited to be making his DC debut at the Arena Stage in Love in Afghanistan. He has worked primarily out of Philadelphia at theaters like the Quintessence Theatre Group (Othello, Antigone and various other classics) and the Adrienne Theater (First Breeze of Summer). Khris has worked regionally at the Philadelphia Theatre Company (Ruined), The Walnut Street Theatre and the Arden Theatre Company. Khris has also appeared in an episode of HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm. Back

Joseph KamalJOSEPH KAMAL (Sayeed) returns to Arena Stage where he was last seen in Anthems: Culture Clash directed by Charles Randolph-Wright. He has also worked at the Shakespeare Theatre Company and at Center Stage in Baltimore. He just completed a production of Prometheus Bound at The Getty Villa in Los Angeles. He has appeared on Broadway in Dinner at Eight at Lincoln Center and off-Broadway at several theaters including New York Theater Workshop, The New Group, The Atlantic Theater and The Culture Project; regionally at La Jolla Playhouse, Berkeley Rep, The Huntington Theater and ACT Seattle among others. Film and television credits include Preaching to the Choir (directed by CRW) and guest star appearances on NCIS, 24, Law & Order, The Unit and Lincoln Heights (directed by CRW). He currently resides in Los Angeles, California.
www.josephkamal.com | Back

Dawn UrsulaDAWN URSULA (Desiree) makes her first appearance at Arena Stage. Other Washington area appearances include Prudence in The Convert at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, where she is a company member, and Ruth in A Raisin in the Sun at Everyman Theatre, where she is also a company member. She earned a 2011 Helen Hayes nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress (and Ensemble) and 2011 Baltimore City Paper Best Actress Award for the aforementioned roles, respectively. Dawn has performed locally and regionally with such theatres as Hangar, True Colors, The Kennedy Center, Rep Stage, Imagination Stage, Round House and African Continuum. TV credits include HBO’s The Wire and PBS’ Prince Among Slaves. She is a founding member of Galvanize. For more information please visit www.dawnursula.com | Back

Creative


CHARLES RANDOLPH-WRIGHT
(Playwright) is a resident playwright at Arena Stage where his plays Blue and Cuttin’ Up premiered prior to productions all over the U.S. Charles directed Sophisticated Ladies, Guys and Dolls (both starring Maurice Hines), Oak and Ivy, Anthems, Señor Discretion Himself and Ruined at Arena Stage. Charles most recently directed the smash hit Motown The Musical on Broadway. Other directing credits include Porgy and Bess (75th anniversary international tour), Through the Night (with Daniel Beaty in NYC and LA), They’re Playing Our Song (in Portuguese in Brazil), Love/Life (starring Brian Stokes Mitchell, Lincoln Center), The Diva is Dismissed (starring Jenifer Lewis, NYSF Public Theatre) and Blood Knot (featuring music by Tracy Chapman, ACT). Other playwriting credits include The Night is a Child (starring JoBeth Williams, Pasadena Playhouse), Homework (with Kim Coles, Crossroads) and Just Between Friends (Bea Arthur on Broadway). Charles directed the award-winning film Preaching to the Choir. His TV directing credits include Lincoln Heights, South of Nowhere and the European Freestyle campaign for Nike. Charles has written screenplays for HBO, Showtime, Disney and Fox, and produced and wrote the series Linc’s. Charles is an honors graduate of Duke University where he was an A.B. Duke Scholar. www.randolph-wright.com

LUCIE TIBERGHIEN (Director) is thrilled to make her Arena Stage debut with Love in Afghanistan. Other directorial credits include Don’t Go Gentle, Stephen Belber (world premiere, MCC at The Lucille Lortel Theatre); Blood and Gifts, JT Rogers (La Jolla Playhouse); Blind, Craig Wright (world premiere, Rattlestick Theater); Geometry of Fire, Stephen Belber (world premiere, Rattlestick Theater and New York Stage and Film); Hoodoo Love, Katori Hall (world premiere, Cherry Lane Theater); A Small Melodramatic Story, Stephen Belber (world premiere, LAByrinth); Great Falls, Lee Blessing (world premiere, Humana Festival); We Are Here, Tracy Thorne (CATF); The Winning Streak, Lee Blessing (George Street Playhouse); The Pavilion, Craig Wright (Rattlestick Theater and CATF); Flag Day, Lee Blessing (world premiere, CATF); Augusta, Richard Dresser (world premiere, CATF); The Last Schwartz, Deborah Laufer (CATF); and Quandj’avais cinq ans je m’ai tué, Howard Buten (Théâtre Jean Vilar, Paris). Lucie has directed many projects at Juilliard for their Playwright's Festival: Mine, Laura Marks; Hurt Village, Katori Hall; and Air Conditioning, Tommy Smith. Translations into English include An Ordinary Day, Eric Assous; and Only the End of the World, Jean Luc Lagarce. Translations into French include Stephen Belber's Tape and Match (three month run at Le Théâtre de la Madeleine in Paris in 2010 and a four-month tour throughout France and Switzerland in 2011/12). Lucie is French and was a dancer in Paris until she moved to New York in 1995. Back

DANIEL CONWAY (Set Designer) is pleased to make his debut at Arena Stage. His current projects include The Tempest for American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, MA directed by Aaron Posner and Teller, with music by Tom Waitts and choreography by Pilobolus; End of the Rainbow directed by Mark Clements; Noises Off directed by K.J. Sanchez; and A Christmas Carol directed by Aaron Posner for The Milwaukee Repertory Theatre; A Spoonful of Water for The Studio Theatre, directed by K.J. Sanchez, and Company for Signature Theatre directed by Eric Schaeffer. His recent productions include The Game’s Afoot for The Cleveland Playhouse and The Last Five Years for Signature Theatre directed by Aaron Posner. Daniel has designed over 25 productions for The Studio Theatre here in Washington, D.C. including the recent The Aliens directed by Lila Neugebauer. Nominated 12 times he received the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Set Design twice, most recently for Stunning at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company directed by Anne Kaufman. Back

KATHLEEN GELDARD (Costume Designer) is making her first appearance at Arena Stage with this project. Her regional credits include Raisin in the Sun, Invisible Man and Ruined (Huntington Theatre); First You Dream (Kennedy Center); Invisible Man and Sucker Punch (Studio Theatre); Last Five Years, Shakespeare’s R & J, Xanadu, Brother Russia, Really Really, Sunset Boulevard, Sweeney Todd, Les Misérables, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, and the world premieres of The Boy Detective Fails, The Hollow, Walter Cronkite is Dead, Chess and Sycamore Trees (Signature Theatre). She has designed for La Jolla Playhouse, Berkeley Rep, Center Stage, Vineyard Playhouse, Studio Arena Theatre, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Round House Theatre, Imagination Stage, Olney, Folger Theatre and Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. She received a 2012 Bay Area Critics Circle nomination for Ruined, Berkeley Rep; a 2012 IRNE nomination for Ruined, Huntington Theatre; and a 2009 Helen Hayes nomination for The Neverending Story, Imagination Stage. In 2011 Kathleen was named an Artistic Associate of Signature Theatre. Back

MARK LANKS (Lighting Designer) is thrilled to be making his Arena Stage debut. He has designed in the D.C. area at Signature Theatre (Helen Hayes Nomination for Les Misérables), Studio Theatre, Olney Theatre Center, Ford’s Theatre, MetroStage, Catholic University, Everyman Theatre, George Mason University, Strathmore Music Center and the Library of Congress. Mark designed Glory Days on Broadway at the Circle in the Square. Other regional theater credits include Tulsa Opera, Stoneham Theatre (IRNE nomination for The Sparrow) and The Cape Playhouse. He is the Event Services Manager at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland College Park. Mark received a BA from Susquehanna University and an MFA from Boston University. Back

ELISHEBA ITTOOP (Original Music and Sound Designer) is excited to make her design debut at Arena Stage. In the Washington area, her designs and original music have been heard at The Kennedy Center, Woolly Mammoth, Folger Theatre, National Gallery of Art, Studio Theatre and Olney Theatre. Regional credits also include Center Stage, Everyman Theatre, Chautauqua Theater Company, Alliance Theatre, Virginia Stage Company, Children's Theatre of Charlotte and the Center for Puppetry Arts. Elisheba was a resident sound designer at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center for the 2010 and 2011 National Playwrights Conferences, recipient of the Kenan Fellowship at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and winner of the 2008 USITT Rising Star Award. Elisheba earned her MFA at North Carolina School of the Arts. For Alan P. www.elishebaittoop.com

CHRISTI B. SPANN (Stage Manager) returns to Arena after serving as ASM on Good People; My Fair Lady You, Nero; and Ah, Wilderness!. Other D.C. credits include The Bard's Broadway and Merry Wives of Windsor with the Shakespeare Theatre Company. Christi spent 12 seasons on the stage management staff at the Denver Center Theatre Company and four summer seasons with The Great River Shakespeare Festival. She received a BA from the University of Richmond. Back

JOCELYN CLARKE (Dramaturg) is the American Voices New Play Institute dramaturg at Arena Stage. He is also the theater adviser to the Arts Council of Ireland and a member of the artistic team of Sundance Institute’s Theatre Lab. He has taught dramaturgy at the Kennedy Center, Trinity College Dublin and Columbia University. He is an associate artist with The Civilians and Theater Mitu in New York. He has written five adaptations for director Anne Bogart and her SITI Company — Bob, Alice’s Adventures Underground, Room, Score, Antigone and Trojan Women (After Euripides). The First Cosmonaut, his new theater project about the first cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin for the Blue Raincoat Theatre, will open in Sligo in October. He is currently working with the Theatre Mitu on a new collaboration Hamlet/Ur Hamlet, which will premiere in Abu Dhabi in late 2014. Back

GARY LOGAN (Dialects) returns to Arena Stage, having worked on Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune a few seasons ago. His other credits include Design for Living, The Way of the World, Julius Caesar, Shakespeare Theatre Company; Master Class (with Tyne Daly), Kennedy Center; August: Osage County, Our Town, The Beaux Stratagem, Everyman Theatre; Henry V, Othello, Folger Theatre; Shenandoah (with Scott Bakula), State of the Union, Ford’s Theatre; The Real Thing, Venus in Fur, Frozen, Studio Theatre; and over 70 productions with the Denver Center Theatre Company and the Stratford Shakespeare Festival of Canada. He was also the Voice and Dialects Coach for the epic Tantalus, the Royal Shakespeare Company, (Sir Peter Hall, director). A Tyrone Guthrie Award recipient, Gary is the author of The Eloquent Shakespeare:  A Pronouncing Dictionary for the Complete Dramatic Works, With Notes to Untie the Modern Tongue (University of Chicago Press). Back

JACK DOULIN (Casting) has been the Casting Director at New York Theatre Workshop since 2000. Productions there include Fetch Clay/Make Man, Peter and the Starcatcher, Aftermath, Homebody/Kabul, Far Away, A Number, The Beard of Avon, Hedda Gabler, The Misanthrope, The Little Foxes and All that I will Ever Be. For SoHo Rep he has cast Blasted, Elective Affinities, The Ugly One, Uncle Vanya, among many others. Other New York credits include The Persians, Andre Gregory’s productions of Uncle Vanya (with Julianne Moore and Wallace Shawn). Regional credits include productions at Long Wharf, The Goodman Theatre, Hartford Stage, The American Repertory Theatre, Seattle Rep, The Chautauqua Theatre Company, Pig Iron Theatre, The Philadelphia Theatre Company, Studio Theatre, the Wilma Theatre and Arena Stage. Upcoming projects include Caryl Churchill’s Love and Information for NYTW and David Adjmi’s Marie Antoinette for SoHo Rep. Jack also teaches at ESPA and in the drama division of the Juilliard School. Back