MFA Lab Series: The Orange Garden

The Orange Garden

May 4 – 6
Hal & Martha Hyer Wallis Theater
1949 Campus Drive, Evanston

By Joanna Garner
Directed by Hassan Al Rawas

A young Peace Corps volunteer lands in Iran in 1972 and is quickly swept up into a dangerous romance and the growing fire of revolution. This remarkable new play won the 2016 Keene Prize for Literature and illuminates the complications of falling in love with people and places by weaving together Rumi's poetry, 1960s rock music and the lyricism of the Persian language.

A post-show discussion with playwright Joanna Garner and director Hassan Al Rawas will take place following 8:00PM performance on Saturday, May 5.

Running Time: 100 Minutes, one 15 min intermission

JOANNA GARNER (Playwright) is a playwright and musician based in Seattle, Washington. Her work has been developed nationally and internationally, including at the Banff Playwrights Colony, Tofte Lake Center, Seattle Repertory Theatre, On the Boards, ZACH Theatre, Kitchen Dog Theater, Great Plains Theatre Conference, groundswell playwrights conference, National Winter Playwrights Retreat, Annex Theatre, Live Girls! Theater, 14/48: The World’s Quickest Theater Festival, the NEWvember New Plays Festival, Theatricum Botanicum, with Austin’s acclaimed Rude Mechs, and at the New York and Hollywood fringe festivals. Her political drama about Iran, THE ORANGE GARDEN, was a winner of the 2016 Keene Prize for Literature and included on the 2016 Kilroys List. An accomplished songwriter and musician, Joanna’s original country musical, 100 HEARTBREAKS, was workshopped in Seattle Rep's New Play Program, with the Northwest Playwrights Alliance, and was presented at the country’s largest arts and culture festival, Bumbershoot. It premiered at the Sahara Lounge in Austin where it was nominated for an Austin Critics’ Table Award for Outstanding Musical. Her short play about falling in love with lightning, CHARGED, was published in the November 2015 issue of Bare Fiction Magazine and another short play, Cat Cafe, was a finalist for this year’s Humana Festival of New Plays Heideman Award. This summer, her immersive exploration of food and sex, PLEASE OPEN YOUR MOUTH, premiered at Café Nordo in Seattle. Joanna will be the 2018 Resident Playwright at Chance Theater in Southern California, developing two new plays with the support of the company. She has an MFA in Playwriting from The University of Texas at Austin.

HASSAN AL RAWAS (Director) hails from Beirut, Lebanon but was raised in Kuwait City, Kuwait. As a director and performer, he is interested in Middle Eastern narratives, and finding the commonalities between Eastern and Western theatre traditions. He is the founder of the IMPROVengers, Kuwait’s first and only improv comedy troupe, and he is a member of SiK Productions, Kuwait’s premier English language community theatre. Past work includes SYLVIA by A.R. Gurney, LES MISERABLES and a stage adaptation of the novel, SAMARKAND by French-Lebanese author, Amin Maalouf. Since coming to pursue his MFA in Directing at Northwestern, Hassan has directed AN EVENING OF ARABIC PLAYS, and he assisted Bill Brown on the Wirtz Center’s production of COMPANY. Hassan holds a MA in Theatre from Northwestern University (2003) and a BA in Communication Arts from Xavier University (2000).

Scenic Designer: Sotirios Lividitis
Costume Designer: Raquel Adorno
Lighting Designer: Anthony Forchielli
Sound Designer: Grover Hollway
Fight Choreographer: Britian Willcock
Stage Manager: Aleah Matthews-Runner

Performance Schedule
FRI   8:00PM
SAT  2:00 & 8:00PM
SUN  2:00PM

Ticket Prices
General Public: $10
NU Students $6/Adv. $10/door
Tickets are nonrefundable after final purchase.
Exchanges are available. An exchange fee of $3.00 is applied per ticket.