Aftermath Play Details Iraqi War Through Interviews

The documentary play Aftermath, based off interviews of Iraqis who had fled Iraq as a result of the violence that had infiltrated their country, recently debuted in San Francisco and will be running from June 7-30 at Stagewerx theater. Originally premiering in New York with high ratings, writers of the play Jessica Blank and Erik Jenson moved Aftermath to the Bay Area where local people, primarily of Iraqi descent, are casted. Charles Kruger of the Examiner describes the play:

It is presented with the simplest possible staging. There is a group of chairs. There is a wall on which is projected, briefly, a view of the city of Baghdad. A woman begins speaking to the audience in Arabic. After a few moments of confusion, a translator arrives and introduces himself. We quickly understand the conceit of the play: the audience represents a reporter from an American magazine, interviewing a group of Iraqis for an article about their wartime experiences.

Over the next 80 minutes (without intermission) numerous individuals tell their stories. There is the successful dermatologist who found himself, eventually, faced with the task of amputating arms and legs. There is the man who saw his young cousin tortured and murdered by American soldiers. There is an Imam who is arrested and imprisoned as a terrorist at Abu Graib because the security guards at his Mosque protected it with rifles (which had been cleared by the American authorities).

The stories are told with a disarming simplicity and directness that gives them all the ring of truth. The cast, all of them Iraqi, are uniformly excellent. They hardly seem to be acting. They speak with a direct simplicity that cannot fail to move.

The play is a success as literature, as theatre, as art and as politics. People should see this.

For more information or to purchase tickets, please click here.

To view the rest of Charles Kruger’s article, visit http://www.examiner.com/review/aftermath-theatre-period-debuts-with-moving-exploration-of-iraqi-war-experien

It is presented with the simplest possible staging. There is a group of chairs. There is a wall on which is projected, briefly, a view of the city of Baghdad. A woman begins speaking to the audience in Arabic. After a few moments of confusion, a translator arrives and introduces himself. We quickly understand the conceit of the play: the audience represents a reporter from an American magazine, interviewing a group of Iraqis for an article about their wartime experiences.

Over the next 80 minutes (without intermission) numerous individuals tell their stories. There is the successful dermatologist who found himself, eventually, faced with the task of amputating arms and legs. There is the man who saw his young cousin tortured and murdered by American soldiers. There is an Imam who is arrested and imprisoned as a terrorist at Abu Graib because the security guards at his Mosque protected it with rifles (which had been cleared by the American authorities).

The stories are told with a disarming simplicity and directness that gives them all the ring of truth. The cast, all of them Iraqi, are uniformly excellent. They hardly seem to be acting. They speak with a direct simplicity that cannot fail to move.

The play is a success as literature, as theatre, as art and as politics. People should see this.