January 27, 2008

NYC Road Trip!

Charlie just bought her tickets to see George Packer's new play, Betrayed. It's based on his searing New Yorker article about the plight of Iraqi interpreters (an issue that he has followed relentlessly), but it's not a straight political play:

The play that goes up onstage tonight bears a strong resemblance to my original script (which has just been published by Faber & Faber), but several months of readings and rehearsals and countless conversations with the play’s brilliant and coolheaded director, Pippin Parker, have transformed it. (We’re continuing to tweak lines, within a few hours of tonight’s performance). To sum up the changes, the play has moved farther away from journalism and closer to theatre. It’s about a political issue, but it’s not a political play. What matters are the relationships between the characters and the questions they raise. Where do one’s deepest loyalties lie—to a country, a job, a friend, or oneself? How can a friendship between a Shiite and a Sunni during a civil war, or between an Iraqi and an American during an occupation, survive? What does it mean to be a collaborator? What does it take for a human being to give up hope?

Readers should make their way to SoHo, post-haste. (Don't live in New York? Hey, neither does Charlie. Make a weekend of it.) And if you haven't read the original article, you owe it yourself to do so.