Modern Studio with Knoxville Area Women in Black (Sept. 15-17, 2017)
In partnership with the Knoxville Area Women in Black, WALLS staged a production at Modern Studio in Knoxville, Tennessee, in September 2017. The production was part of a yearlong commemoration of the Knoxville chapter’s fifteenth anniversary standing against illegal Israeli settlements and for Palestinian rights. These dates intentionally coincided approximately with the horrific Sabra and Shatila massacre of 1982, in which a large number of Palestinians were killed. The production was favorably reviewed by the Knoxville Theatre Club.
Students for Justice in Palestine at Saint Joseph’s College
The FringeNYC cast of WALLS returned to the NYC stage on March 15, 2016, sponsored by Students for Justice in Palestine at Saint Joseph’s College. Students for Justice in Palestine chapters around the country work to advance the dialogue surrounding Palestinian rights on college campuses. For more information, visit www.nationalsjp.org.
New York Premiere
WALLS premiered in New York City in August 2016 as part of The 20th Annual New York International Fringe Festival. The production received favorable reviews from Theatre Is Easy, CurtainUp, and Show-Score. Members of the cast were featured on The Artsy Fartsy Show on WBAI 99.5 FM.
FringeNYC Cast and Crew
Ellen Nikbakht (Diaspora Child)
Ellen Nikbakht, a junior Theatre/Art Education majors at UTK and a Memphis native, is grateful for the opportunity to be involved in this beautiful show. Regional credits include: Les Misérables and Anne Frank (Playhouse on the Square) and A Christmas Carol, The Threepenny Opera, and Mr. Burns (Clarence Brown Theatre). “Many thanks go to David and Summer for choosing me to be in this impactful show and my parents for supporting me with whatever I do.”
Ruba Mansouri (Mother Palestine)
Ruba Thérèse Mansouri is thrilled to make her debut at The New York International Fringe Festival. Born and raised in the Middle East where she started her training in the performing arts, Ruba continued her education in Colorado then finally made her move to NYC in 2009. Ever since, she has worked in many aspects of show business: tv, film, opera/theatre, and is a working voiceover artist. A couple of her favorite roles: portraying Officer Barrel in Urinetown: The Musical with the Hackensack Theatre Company & Tracey Turnblad in the Cabaret show with Darknight’s Production “What I Always Wanted to Do-The Musical 2015. You can follow Ruba at www.rubatheresemansouri.com “Thank you Summer and David for trusting me with this beautiful piece in honoring my Palestinian brothers and sisters.”
Anton Obeid (Baba)
From the bank to the plank! Since end of 2009 (following a 20-year career in the investment banking industry in New York, London and Hong Kong), Anton has been pursuing his passion through a more honest means of expression: on stage and in front of the camera. Theater credits: Le Problème (lead, production of ARACA Project, in French/English), Arsenic and Old Lace (Dr Einstein), Many Mansions (lead), The American Wife, The Blue Room, Measure for Measure, The Play Is the Thing, Romeo and Juliet, The Seagull, The Three Cuckolds. Film credits: Last Night (Toronto International Film Festival Official Selection), 36 Saints, The Dictator (opposite Sacha Baron Cohen), The Lobby Writer, Front of House, Good Days Bad Days, Happiness. Education: Anton studied acting at HB Studio and Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York City. Anton also has Ivy-League education from Columbia University with Masters in Computer Science and Chemistry. www.AntonObeid.comIn between all, Anton climbed Kilimanjaro, hiked the Arctic Circle, ran the Milford Track to the Tasman Sea, sailed the Magellan Strait in Patagonia/Tierra Del Fuego, bungee-jumped 300 ft into Skippers Canyon and skied the French, Austrian, and Italian Alps. Oh yes! He also survived a civil war in his home country of Lebanon.
Joey Odom (DudeBro, Prom Date, Aliyot, Rapist)
Joey Odom is thrilled to be a part of Walls: A Play for Palestine! Past credits include: New York: Orpheus & Eurydice (Theaterlab). West Coast: A Willow Grows Aslant (La Jolla Playhouse), Midsummer Night’s Dream (Puck), Dreamland, Orpheus & Eurydice, The Butterfly Who Became a Cocoon, Original the Musical, Pinocchio. Commercial: Chubbies, Panera. BA from UCSD. This fall he will be pursuing his MFA in Acting at Columbia University. Enjoy the show!
WALLS premiered at the Clarence Brown LAB Theatre at the University of Tennessee, in Knoxville, January 14-17, 2016. The premiere served as Summer Awad’s senior thesis project and was followed by a panel discussion on the themes of the play. All three evening performances as well as a Sunday matinee performance were filled to capacity. Audience members had excellent feedback about the show:
A very impressive play! We are proud of what you did and what you stand for.
This production blew me (and my husband and daughter, herself a former actress) totally away. It was a powerful experience, rich in history and cultural references and personal detail. BRAVO!!!!
I am speechless. “Walls” is beautiful and impactful. The play was so well written. You should be very proud. Bravo.
Thanks Summer, outstanding play!Three stories and three characters wonderfully weaved together, great acting. The sense of not-belonging here, and longing for an identity lost or never found, talks to so many of us, Palestinians and not. As probably many others, I cried during your play, for the beauty and the complexity of the characters, and for Palestine.Waiting for other works like this!