Shakespeare in Kabul

Overview

In 2005, a group of actors in Kabul performed Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost to the cheers of Afghan audiences and rave reviews from foreign journalists. For the first time in years, men and women had appeared on stage together. The future held no limits, the actors believed.

In this fast-moving, fondly told, and frequently very funny account, Qais Akbar Omar and Stephen Landrigan capture the triumphs and foibles of the actors as they extend their Afghan passion for poetry ...

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Shakespeare in Kabul

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Overview

In 2005, a group of actors in Kabul performed Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost to the cheers of Afghan audiences and rave reviews from foreign journalists. For the first time in years, men and women had appeared on stage together. The future held no limits, the actors believed.

In this fast-moving, fondly told, and frequently very funny account, Qais Akbar Omar and Stephen Landrigan capture the triumphs and foibles of the actors as they extend their Afghan passion for poetry to Shakespeare's. Both authors were part of the production. Qais, a journalist, served as assistant director and interpreter for Parisian actress, Corinne Jaber, who had come to Afghanistan on holiday and returned to direct the play. Stephen, himself a playwright, assembled a team of Afghan translators to fashion a script in Dari as poetic as Shakespeare's. This chronicle of optimism plays out against the heartbreak of knowing that things in Afghanistan have not turned out the way the actors expected. Yet.

Stephen Landrigan is a former journalist who has reported for The Washington Post and BBC Radio, among others. He went to Afghanistan in 2004 and now lives in Massachusetts where he works with the School of Leadership, Afghanistan (SOLA) that prepares young Afghan women to study at major American universities.

During the Taliban era Qais Akbar Omar ran a carpet factory in his home, providing employment for forty young women. He is the author of A Fort of Nine Towers.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781907973208
  • Publisher: Haus Publishing
  • Publication date: 5/15/2012
  • Pages: 280
  • Sales rank: 829,433
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Landrigan is a former journalist who has reported for The Washington Post and BBC Radio, among others. He went to Afghanistan in 2004 to chronicle a innovative education program. He became fascinated by Afghan carpets, and stayed on in Afghanistan for nearly seven years in order to understand everything he could about the making of carpets and the culture from which they come.
His play, Pan Beaters, won first prize in London Weekend Television’s Plays on Stage Awards in 1989. He worked for many years in post-Communist Eastern Europe on economic development projects. He now lives in Massachusetts where he works with the School of Leadership, Afghanistan (SOLA) that prepares young Afghan women to study at major American universities.

Qais Akbar Omar is the grandson of Kuchi nomads, and the fourth generation of his family to be actively engaged in the carpet trade. During the Taliban era, Qais set up a carpet factory in his home to provide employment illegally for some forty young women in his neighborhood. He designed the carpets his factory produced. A graduate of Kabul University’s Faculty of Journalism, he taught himself English to assist the international development effort that swept into Afghanistan in 2002. He worked with US Agency for International Development and the Asia Development Bank to strengthen the Afghan carpet industry. He was invited to be a Visiting Scholar at the University of Colorado in 2007 to research environmentally-sound carpet washing methods, and was a featured speaker on Afghan carpets at the Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag, Holland in 2008. A gifted natural storyteller, Qais is the author of the autobiographical account of the years of turmoil in Afghanistan, A Fort of Nine Towers. He lives in Kabul where he manages his family’s carpet business while writing novels.

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Table of Contents

Exposition Stephen Landrigan

1 Prologue: Kabul. March, 2005 3

2 A Cry of Players: Kabul. March, 2005 14

3 Selection a Play: Paris. April, 2005 22

4 Finding Funds 31

5 Making the Script: Kabul. May and June, 2005 34

Climax Qais Akbar Omar

6 Casting: the Boys: Kabul. May, 2005 47

7 Casting: the Girls: Kabul. May, 2005 59

8 Casting: searching for Marina: Kabul. June, 2005 72

9 Rehearsals, Act One: Kabul. June, 2005 79

10 Rehearsals, Act Two: Kabul. July, 2005 85

11 Tea with Shakespeare: Kabul. June and July, 2005 94

12 Meaning of Love: Kabul. June, 2005 107

13 Behind the Scenes: Kabul. June, 2005 114

14 "This Theatre of Heaven": Kabul. August, 2005 122

15 Rehearsals, Act Three: Kabul. August, 2005 130

16 Exists and Entrances: Kabul. August, 2005 138

17 Expulsion of the Russians: Kabul. August, 2005 147

Resolution Qais Akbar Omar Stephen Landrigan

18 Performance: Kabul. August 31, 2005 155

19 The Queen's Palace: Kabul. September 4, 2005 167

20 The Light Garden of the Angel King: Kabul September 4, 2005 175

21 Applause: Kabul. September 8, 2005 184

22 Encores: Kabul. September 2005-April 2006 189

23 Mazar-e-Sharif: Mazar-e-Sharif. May, 2006 201

24 Herat: Herat. May, 2006 210

25 Curtain: Kabul. December, 2009 226

Authors' Note 230

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