Rumi's Mathnavi: A Theatre Adaptation

Rumi's Mathnavi: A Theatre Adaptation

by Joe Martin
Rumi's Mathnavi: A Theatre Adaptation

Rumi's Mathnavi: A Theatre Adaptation

by Joe Martin

Paperback(2nd ed.)

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In conjunction with UNESCO's designation of 2007 as the "Year of Rumi," Joe Martin (Yousef Daoud) released a stage adaptation of Rumi's Mathnavi. For ten years, Rumi had been the best selling poet in America. But until Joe Martin's book, most English speakers had found it almost impossible to get a sense of the world of his greatest work, the Mathnavi. The first edition of Joe Martin's dramatic adaptation provided that opportunity. But the first edition has been unavailable for about five years.

The second edition will again give a wide audience an authentic taste of Rumi's six-volume work, in a reader's edition, accompanied by photographs from the 2005 production of the play. The adaptation utilizes loyal renderings directly from the Persian and Reynolds Nicholson's famous six-volume Persian and English version of the major work by the man often called the Shakespeare of the Middle East. Rumi's spiritual philosophy and strangely postmodern ability to shift between genres-from parables, to commentaries, to lyric flights of poetry-combine to make his work the most all embracing, open-hearted and powerful of texts to come out of the Islamic world. Rumi's writing is one of the single greatest antidotes to the "clash of civilizations" thinking used by ideologues on two sides to challenge the peace of the world. A dozen key parables and songs demonstrating the Sufi philosophy of the Unity of Being provide the body the text.

Rumi's Mathnavi was first sponsored by the Center for Global Peace and the Department of Performing Arts at American University in a reader's theatre version in 1999 and 2000. Versions of it have been produced at the La MaMa ETC main stage in New York and elsewhere. In 2006, the piece toured the East coast cities as a theatre-for-peace project-with discussions hosted by Quakers, conflict resolution specialists, Imams, Rabbis, a Sufi Sheikh, and well-known peace activists including Iraqi-American Andy Shallal. Performed in the traditional Sufi circle with live musicians and Persian dance, it became a ritual realization of Rumi's book. UNESCO in conjunction with the Turkish Embassy -- representing the country where the Persian poet lived most of his life-has issued a medallion for the year of Rumi, recognizing his present importance for the world. The events scheduled for this year that also honor Rumi and his incomparable poetic work include a documentary film on current-day students of Rumi and a CD of his poetry set to music. A feature film on the life of Rumi is currently in the works.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781587750335
Publisher: Coyote Arts LLC
Publication date: 10/15/2020
Edition description: 2nd ed.
Pages: 108
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.22(d)

About the Author

Joe Martin is a playwright, novelist and theatre director, whose works comprise an international, curious, formal exploration into the border regions between the spiritual cosmos and the political world. He is the recipient of various grants and awards as a writer and director - including a Fulbright Senior Fellowship in Theatre, and grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, the American Scandinavian Foundation, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, among others. In 2002, Martin was selected as a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Theatre. For over a decade he has directed Washington's laboratory theatre, Open Theatre/DC.

Table of Contents

Production History

Notes on Rumi and His Meaning for Spiritual Evolution


Production Note

Act I

  • Prologue
  • Song of the Ney
  • The Bedouin and His Wife: Part I
  • The Pear Tree of Illusion
  • The Bedouin and His Wife: Part 2 - "Men and Women"
  • The Story of an Exchange Between the Linguist and the Helmsman
  • The Bedouin and His Wife: Part 3 - The Water Carrier
  • The Elephant in the Dark House
  • How Moses Took Offense at a Shepherd's Prayer

Act II

  • How Some Sufis Sold a Traveler's Donkey to Pay for a Night of Music
  • The Person Who Imagined Seeing the New Moon
  • The Frozen Snake
  • The Man Who Prayed for an Income without Labor in the Time of King David
  • Rites of Return: Wedding the Beloved

Afterword: Why Put Rumi on Stage?

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