by Yussef El Guindi
directed by Blanka Zizka
originally produced at Wilma Theater,
through April 4, 2010
The World Premiere of Language Rooms is a subversive dark comedy about two Arab-American interrogators at an undisclosed American facility somewhere in the world. They strive to prove themselves the best at their jobs in the midst of absurd office politics and management constantly questioning their loyalties and dedication to “the company.” Language Room comes from an exciting new playwright, Egyptian-born Yussef El Guindi, who was recently recognized by The American Theatre Critics Association with its 2009 Osborn New Play Award for an emerging playwright. This play will spark debate about family relationships, identity, the War on Terror, and the corruption of the American Dream. Shifting between comedy and political suspense, the play conjures up a surprising twist not to be given away.
From Language Rooms Director and Wilma co-Artistic Director, Blanka Zizka:
“The politics of the ‘War on Terror’ have changed the character of the United States. We now know the U.S. built secret prisons in countries like Poland, Egypt, and Germany, in an attempt to rewrite American rules for detention of terrorism suspects. Language Rooms takes place in one of these ‘black holes.’
I’m fascinated with plays that capture the world in motion, undergoing dramatic changes, and that explore characters caught in that motion, how they act, how they behave, what kind of decisions they make. When characters are in the midst of a dramatic historical moment – where politics create pressure on personal relationships – their actions reveal who they are.
What I like so much about Language Rooms is that it deals with the world we live in right now, without suffering from ideological or political agendas or predictability. Just the opposite: the play is fresh, inventive and fiercely original. It explores the absurd reality that can ensue from pursuing a dream without noticing that the dream has lost its moral standing, leaving merely insistence on loyalty.”
Set Design:Ola Maslik