NYT Critic’s Pick
OH MY SWEET LAND
written and directed by Amir Nizar Zuabi
performed by Nadine Malouf
The Play Company (various locations). September 8, 2017—October 15, 2017
THEY CALL IT A CIVIL WAR, BUT THERE IS NOTHING CIVIL IN THIS. NOTHING CIVIL AT ALL.
Step into the kitchen. The onions are cooking on the stove and meat is on the cutting board waiting to be chopped. Our host is preparing kubah, a traditional Syrian dish. While she cooks, she tells us the story of meeting Ashraf, a Syrian exile, and falling in love with him as he desperately tries to help those he was forced to leave behind. When he vanishes, she impulsively trails him to her homeland—one she has never known, now consumed by war. As the meal comes together and then falls apart, we learn the stories of brutality, grace, and humanity of the Syrian refugees she meets along the way.
In its U.S premiere, writer and director AMIR NIZAR ZUABI and PLAYCO will present OH MY SWEET LAND for the first time in home kitchens and community spaces creating a theatrical experience that will be close, personal and lift what’s happening in Syria out of the news cycle and into a simple human interaction that allows us to hear and feel in a different way.
Oh My Sweet Land was created by Amir and the actress Corinne Jaber from their experiences traveling amongst Syrian refugee camps in Amman, Jordan. In his forward to the published script, Amir writes:
We met people in the harshest moments of their life, yet still they were generous, full of grace, hope and even humour. This piece is inspired by their stories but more than anything it is inspired by their spirit – that elastic rubber-like ability humans have to adapt and to weather the storm.
Oh My Sweet Land had its world premiere in Lauseanne, Switzerland and has been seen in London at The Young Vic, Dublin at the Abbey Theater, in Amsterdam, Abu Dhabi, Mumbai, and Toronto. The script is published by Bloomsbury.
Running time: approximately 75 minutes without intermission
Photo by: Pavel Antonov