Past Event

Truth Serum Blues a Play by Ismail Khalidi and Bassam Jarbawi

This play will run May 18-21, 2006 (Note: Sunday, May 21st showing is at 3p). Tickets are available through the Victory Gardens box office at 773.871.3000.

What is terrorism? Patriotism? Loyalty? Sedition? What is freedom of speech and freedom of imagination? Truth Serum Blues freely tackles such questions head on through music, poetry, photography, and film.

Join The Public Square at the IHC for Lavender magazine’s pick for Best Solo Performance 2005 and a play that challenges current conceptions and mainstream portrayals of Arab Americans. The Pulse of the Twin Cities noted “[Khalidi’s] beautiful writing ranges from a kind of hip-hop spoken work to a Greek chorus to chilling hallucinatory interrogations.”

Talk-backs with Khalidi and local scholars and activists will follow these performances.

Delving inside the mind of the main character, infusing memories and questions about family, exile, and home in the post-9/11 era, Truth Serum Blues glides back and forth between Guantanamo, Urban America, and the Middle East. Kareem is a young Arab-American trying to make his way to the “American Dream.” 9/11 and the “War on Terror” change all that. Kareem finds himself at Guantanamo Bay, stripped of his rights, tortured for information, and lost in his own memories.

Playwright and performer Ismail Khalidi graduated from Macalester College in 2005. He made his playwriting debut with Truth Serum Blues at the Pangea World Theater in Minneapolis. Khalidi has performed in several theatrical productions, including With Love from Ramalla and his work has been published in Mizna and Electronic Intifada . He recently received the Playwright Center’s Many Voices residency award, a SASE/Jerome greant, andan Emerging Voices grant.

Jerusalem-born playwright Bassam Jarbawi graduated from Macalester College in 2005 and is currently attending Columbia University’s Film School.

Truth Serum Blues is brought to you by The Public Square at the Illinois Humanities Council, Arab American Action Network, University of Chicago Human Rights Program, and Pangea World Theater present.

Truth Serum Blues is a part of Pangea Theater’s “Voices of Exile” project, whichwas created to highlight the voices of refugee and immigrant communities currently living in Minnesota andserve as a record of the struggles of exile, adjustment, and self-determination and the richness of artistic expression of exile communities.

For more information, please contact Catherine Chandler at 312.422.5580.