The Age: Palestinian Play Tales of a city by the Sea thwarted by real-life violence

By Annabel Ross

There is some bitter irony in the fact that the plan to premiere a Palestinian play in three different cities was thwarted by the very war it speaks of. Palestinian-Australian writer Samah Sabawi wanted Tales of the City and the Sea to debut in Australia and the Palestinian territories simultaneously. “The plan was that it would open in the West Bank, Gaza and Melbourne at the same time and in a way connect the Palestinians in the West Bank to the Palestinians in Gaza,” she says. “Unfortunately, the time we started casting and putting together the production team was when Gaza was under heavy bombardment.” That was in July, at the height of the recent conflict. Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/theatre/palestinian-play-tales-of-the-city-and-the-sea-thwarted-by-reallife-violence-20141028-11cjn0.html#ixzz3HPpWg1ia

Short video: La Mama Artistic Director Liz Jones on staging Palestinian theatre in Australia

Tales of a City by the Sea, a Palestinian story of love, separation and beautiful resistance will be staged in Melbourne November 12 – November 23 at La Mama.  Here is why:

TIMES:

NOVEMBER 12 – NOVEMBER 23
Wednesday 6.30pm
Thursday 7.30pm
Friday 7.30pm
Saturday 7.30pm
Sunday 4pm

Venue:

La Mama Courthouse
349 Drummond Street Carlton
03 9347 6948

TICKETS

Full $25
Concession $15
Phone bookings: 03 9347 6142

BUY TICKETS

Tickets can be booked up until 4pm on the day of the performance, otherwise try your luck at the door.

Please allow plenty of time to arrive at our venues, as we have a no latecomers policy.

Introducing our Melbourne Production Cast and Crew

The Creatives

Playwright and producer Samah Sabawi

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Samah Sabawi is a Palestinian-Canadian-Australian writer and commentator.  She has travelled the world and lived in its far corners, yet always felt as though she was still trapped in her place of birth Gaza.  The war torn besieged and isolated strip has shaped her understanding of her identity and her humanity.  So what else could Sabawi do but to indulge in Gaza’s overwhelming presence and to succumb to tell the stories.

Samah Sabawi is co-author of the book Journey to Peace in Palestine and writer and producer of the plays Cries from the Land and Three Wishes, both were successfully staged in Canada in 2003 and 2008. Sabawi’s writings have appeared in various media outlets including AlJazeera English, AlAhram, The Globe and Mail, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and many others. Her poetry has been featured in various magazines and books, most recently in an anthology published by West End Press titled With Our Eyes Wide Open: Poems of the New American Century. Samah Sabawi is currently co-editing an anthology of plays for the Playwrights Canada Press, Canada’s major publisher and distributor of Canadian drama. Her recent play Tales of a City by the Sea will be published as part of the anthology in early 2016.

Co-producer and actor Majid Shokor

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Majid has been acting for over 25 years. He also directed whilst teaching drama in Lebanon for four years and has written his own works. He has won many awards in his home country of Iraq and has been a member of the Iraqi National Theatre Company and a long-time member of the Iraqi Theatre Artists Syndicate.

Since arriving in Australia in September 2001, Majid has appeared in many plays in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide including, Kan Yama Kan directed by Robin Laurie. Getting in directed by Jean-Pierre Mignon, Subclass26A  directed by Bagryana Popov at 45 Downstaires for which he got Green Room Best Actor Award nomination 2005, Carrying Shoes Into The Unknown at LaMam, Homebody /Kabul by Tony Kushner directed by Chris Bendal , Theatre@ risk company and  The Cove season, 8 short plays by Daniel Keen and directed by Matt Scholton presented at the Dog Theatre, for which he got another Green Room Best Actor Award nomination 2009.

Majid was also seen at Belvoir St Theatre in The Cool Room which was presented by Performing Lines and In Our Name, a play Written and directed by Nigel Jamieson and was presented by company B.  His screen credits include a guest role in City Homicide and an actor and cultural consultant in the feature film Lucky Miles.

Majid holds a Master degree in Community Cultural Development with honor degree from VCA / Melbourne University.

Director Lech Mackiewicz

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Lech directed theatre in Poland, Korea, Japan and Australia, so his understanding of cross-cultural undertaking is based on first hand experience. In Japan Lech worked with the Japanese actors and creatives for Suzuki Company Of Toga and for ACM Mito. His work was seen at a number of international theatre festivals in Japan: Nagoya, Tokyo, Toga. Last year Lech worked on a bilingual co-production of Cho Cho by Daniel Keene for the National China Theatre and Melbourne Arts Centre. In Australia Lech co-founded Auto Da Fe Theatre Company with 2 NIDA graduates Justin Monjo and Jaime Robertson in 1987. In the 1990ies Lech received 3 individual grants from the Australia Council for Arts. He is also the 1991 winner of a New South Wales Performing Arts Scholarship.

Graduate of the National State Academy of Theatre in Cracow (Poland) in 1983, and from UTS Sydney in 1987. Directing secondment with the Moscow Arts Theatre 1991.  His directing credits include: KING LEAR for Playbox ( Melbourne) touring nationally and to Japan and Korea, THE HOUR BEFORE MY BROTHER DIES for Jaracza Theatre (Poland), KRAPP’S LAST TAPE for Auto Da Fe Theatre Co. (Poland, Australia, Japan) FELLINIADA (Belvoir. St. Theatre). SO CALLED K. for Mito Acting Company ( Japan), BECKETT IN CIRCLES for Suzuki Company of Toga (SCOT; Japan), AN OAK TREE for Teatr Wegierki (Poland), NaGL for Teatr Auto Da Fe ( Sydney) DITTO.A STORY ( La Mama Melbourne), KAFKA TANCZY for Teatr Zydowski (Warsaw) and most recently EVERYMAN & THE POLE DANCERS at Metanoia Theatre (Melbourne).

Given his experience as an actor and director who has lived and worked in Europe, Japan and Australia, Lech’s theatre-writing displays the space required for collaborative expression and the ambiguity to allow diverse cultural readings. “What marks this work as arresting and worth attending is the cultural prism that the writer and director, Lech Mackiewicz, “a Polish artist immigrant”, brings to this exercise of his view of living in Australia in 2010. At least I found it so – a provocative experience to take on board on several different levels: Content and style at least two of those levels, consciously (in time the subconscious, perhaps). Kevin Jackson’s Theatre Diary. On NaGL

Assistant Director Izabella Mackiewicz

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Izabella studied acting and theatre at the National Academy Of Theatre in Cracow (Poland) and UNSW in Sydney (Australia).

She collaborated with Lech Mackiewicz on a number of projects. Her most recent theatre credits include: NaGL (Auto Da Fe Theatre ;Sydney), Milobojcy (Teatr Nowy Zabrze; Poland), Ditto (La Mama; Melbourne), The Author ( Teatr Siemaszkowej Rzeszow; Poland), Skierniewicer ( Poland). She also appeared in some feature films and translated plays for theatre from English to Polish.

The Cast

Nicole Chamoun

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Nicole is thrilled to be making her theatre debut here at La Mama in this beautiful production.  Since starring as ‘Layla’, in the SBS series ‘kick’ (2007), Nicole has gone on to appear in many television series such as ‘city homicide’ & feature films Including ’10 terrorists’ (2012) & ‘Last Dance’ (2013). Stay tuned to see Nicole in an upcoming feature film, titled ‘Be Less Beautiful’, starring alongside the talented Osamah Sami. Nicole is currently studying at The Melbourne Actors Lab under the guidance of Peter Kalos.

Osamah Sami

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Osamah is a failed cricketer, struggling actor–writer–director and floundering comedian. Born in war-torn Iran to half-Kurdish, half-Iraqi parents and escaping to call Australia home have moulded him into a confused soul. It is a miracle he’s still entrusted to perform on stage. Credits include Sinners, Long Day’s Dying, Blackbox 149, Two Executioners (La Mamma); Baghdad Wedding (Belvoir St.); The Container; Homebody/Kabul (Big West) and Saddam the Musical, which saw him deported from the U.S. (his name, ‘Osama’ and barracking for the ‘Bombers’ were contributing factors).

He played lead roles in films Saved (opposite Claudia Karvan) and 10 Terrorists! TV shows include Kick, City Homicide, East West 101, Sea Patrol & Rush. Contrary to popular belief, he has played a terrorist only twice. Osamah also created an 8-episode sitcom for SBS (Baghdad to the Burbs) and has written a vague number of plays and short films. His memoir ‘Good Muslim Boy’, published by Hardie Grants, will be released in May 2015. He is currently working on two feature films and being a better father.

Emily Coupe

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Emily was born and raised in Melbourne and has been passionate about acting and singing from a young age. Her first theatre experience was in primary school – performing in both the schools improvisational group and choir ensemble – which sparked her passion for the arts. Since then she has continued her training at Musical Theatre school Showfit, Melbourne Actors Lab and The Rehearsal Room, and has appeared in various T.V shows such as Offspring, web-series, short-films, adverts and feature films around Melbourne. She is also recording an album of original music with producer Lee Bradshaw, which she is excited to release later this year. Emily is thrilled to be joining the cast of The Tales Of A City By The Sea this season, and looks forward to sharing this story with you all.

Wahibe Moussa

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Wahibe is a performance-maker, writer and Green-Room award winning actor. She has gained respect as a Cultural/Language Consultant in theatre and television.  She creates short fiction, poetry and performance where the personal is political, exploring the exchange of power within human relationships. Wahibe’s practice is informed by her own experiences as a migrant child, her collaborations with Refugee Artists and a commitment to understanding Indigenous performance and story making practices. Her solo performances and writing speaks to contemporary social experience, utilising spoken word and movement with audio-visual and sculptural elements: TIME PIECE (Immigration Museum 2002) TOUCH(DON’T)TOUCH (2000), SOME KIND OF LOVE (2010), BREATH OF GOD (2012).

As an actor Wahibe has been seen on television and in independent theatre productions. In 2007, Wahibe received the Green Room Award for Female Actor in an Independent Production, for her role as Mahala in Theatre @ Risk’s 2007 production of Tony Kushner‘s Homebody/Kabul.

As a Community Artist, Wahibe worked collaboratively in Community Theatre, Visual Art and Writing Projects in Melbourne and Sydney. Projects include THE TORCH (on its Shepparton tour in 2001), which led to drama and leadership workshops for young Australian Muslim women In Shepparton and Melbourne. Wahibe toured Australian Capitals with Medicen Sans Frontiere as a Storyteller, retelling the stories of six Refugees from Africa, Chechnya, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. BETWEEN MEMORY AND HOPE: TEARS FOR THE FUTURE, The Iraqi Women’s Quilt and Story Project (2003-2005) where women shared their experiences under Saddam Hussein and then at the hands of the Australian Government, in textile art creating panels for 5 Quilts and a companion book. These quilts have been constantly touring Australian cities and towns ever since.

In 2009 Wahibe founded “Writer’s Nest“, for writers interested in exploring new territories and expanding known ground. She completed her Master of Writing for Performance 2012. In 2013 she received a Hot Desk Fellowship From the Wheeler Centre spending ten weeks writing and researching a new performance piece, In The Garden. Currently she is one of ten Dramaturgy Interns, a Playwriting Australia Fellowship initiative with MTC. Wahibe continues her online collaboratIon with German sound artist, Somer Abbas Yacoub.

Aseel Tayah

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Aseel is a vocalist and installation artists. She considers herself a non-traditional Arab Muslim girl. Born in Jerusalem she was raised a proud Palestinian by her parents in Qalanswa, Palestine. Torn between sustaining her identity and being forced to assimilate by a suppressive Israeli occupation of Palestine Aseel was forced to live the Palestinian Israeli conflict in her daily life. The result was that Aseel grew stronger, wanting to drive the changes she seeks to see in the world. Aseel seeks education through Art. She graduateed from the collage of arts with honour. Her art focuses on women rights, society & national identity.

Reece Vella

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Reece Graduated from The Actors College of Theatre and TV in Sydney in 2010, Reece Vella has been acting professionally for the past four years, gaining experience while working with the likes of Lech Machiewicz, Lex Marinos and Mario Philip Azzopardi. With a passion for new work his latest endeavors have been the world premier of “Il- Kappillan ta’ Malta” in July 2014 performed in Malta in Maltese, based on the English best selling novel by Nicholas Monsarrat and most recently performing in “Everyman and the Pole Dancers” in October 2014 at Metanoia Theatre under the Auto Da Fe company. Reece is delighted to be performing for the second time at La Mama since he holds this place close to his heart for its unquantifiable artistic and historical Australian value.

Ubaldino Mantelli

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Ubaldino is a relative newcomer to acting and performing. Since 2009, he has played major roles in community theatre in the Geelong region (Oscar Wilde in Kaufman’s Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, ‘Mario’ in Miller’s A View From The Bridge, ‘Cripple Billy’ in McDonagh’s The Cripple of Inishmaan, ‘The Actor’ in Mallatratt’s The Woman In Black, Dr Treves in The Elephant Man, ‘Bill Sykes’ in Oliver!). He has performed in several plays written and directed by Doug Mann for the National Trust and has undergone regular workshops and training, including the VCA’s Acting Studio 12. Ubaldino has been a producer and presenter on community radio and recently performed in Richard Kakol’s Vision Australia radio play, The Infinite Hotel. In 2013, Ubaldino performed in Daylight Savings, an ensemble-devised production led by James Pratt at Courthouse Arts. Ubaldino is the tallest member of his family band, The Mantelli Five.

Cara Whitehouse

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Cara is an actor, singer and voice teacher. Following graduation of her BA (Hons) Acting at LASALLE College of the Arts in Singapore she worked in children’s puppetry theatre and at the Singapore Arts Festival. Cara is a certified Fitzmaurice Voicework™ teacher and continues training in Knight-Thompson Speechwork this December in New York. She also continues her acting training at the Howard Fine Studio. Favourite credits include: Medea, Elektra, Macbeth, Conference of the Birds, Visible Cities, One More Year and The Wonderful World of Dissocia. Cara is excited to be making her La Mama debut in such an important, currently relevant story.

Production Crew

Set Designer Lara Week

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Lara is a Melbourne-based producer and designer for performance. Her background includes co-creating monthly community music event Deja in her home city of Sydney; leading play-building workshops for children with Galli Theatre, Berlin; making costumes for a children’s program in the Israeli Opera; and working with children in a youth club for refugees in Tel Aviv. Since 2011, Lara has been associate producer for Tribal Soul Arts, producing community programs and original performances in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, the Netherlands, UK, and Australia. In 2013, Lara completed her PG Dip in Performance Creation (Design) at the Victorian College of the Arts. Her design credits include: The Conference of the Birds (Centre for Cultural Partnerships), The Love of Don Perlimplín and Belisa in the Garden (VCA School of Drama), A Feat Incomplete (Old 505 Theatre), and Just Looking (VCA School of Dance). She is dedicated to creating spaces where people with different skills and perspectives can share ideas and produce work together.

Lighting Designer Shane Grant

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Shane has been Audio Visual Technician for St Kevins College for the past 8 years. Prior to that he was Production Manager with Strange Fruit for 6 years and Technical Manager at Gasworks Theatre for 4 years. Shane is an accomplished lighting designer having worked extensively with companies like Ranters Theatre, The Torch Project, NYID and many others. Shane has a BA Dramatic Arts (Production) VCA from 1994. Shane is currently a company director of Metanoia Theatre and the technical manager of the mechanics institute theatre in Brunswick.

Sound Designer Khaled Sabsabi

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Khaled works across art mediums, geographical borders and cultures to create immersive and engaging media based experiences. I’m a socially-engaged artist who specialises in multimedia and site-specific installations that often involve people on the margins of society. I have worked in detention centres, schools, prisons, refugee camps, settlements, hospitals and youth centres, in the Australian and broader international context. I’m interested in the individual and what defines humans, our experiences, anxieties and uncertainties. I make work that questions; rationales and complexities of nationhood and identity. I also make work that is in continual transfer from the physical to the philosophical, to interconnect the interrelatedness and cycles of life. www.peacefender.com

Sound Mixer Max Schollar-Root

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Max has his roots in The Australian Theatre for Young People and the NSW Performing Arts Unit State Drama Ensemble, Max found his passion in musical performance and composition while studying at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. He has since played in many ensembles, currently works as a bandleader, tours nationally, and has produced six full-length albums. Recently he has been completing training to become a Registered Music Therapist at the University of Melbourne. Max is increasingly involved in multi-modal performance projects combining live music, technology, and dance, and is presenting this work with his group, Ungus Ungus Ungus, at music and arts festivals across Australia.

Stage Manager James O’Donoghue

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James is a theatre maker and designer in his final year Performing Arts at Monash University. In 2013 James undertook a technical internship at Monash Uni Student Theatre and designed multiple productions including The Threepenny Opera, Psycho Beach Party and a contemporary dance piece In The Fires, We Weep. Further work includes stage management of Boy Out of the Country presented by Larrikin Ensemble Theatre at 45 Downstairs, stage management of Little Dances at La Mama Theatre, Stage Management for Auto De Fa’s Ditto, design of The Bloom’s Ernest, lighting secondment to Emma Valente on The Rabble’s Room of Regret, design of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by the Monash Shakespeare Compay, assistant design for Attic Erattic’s The City They Burned and assistant design for Passion presented at the Arts Centre this month.

Assistant Stage Manager Nada Mustafa

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Nada is a Palestinian Australian, Having completed her Bachelor in Filmmaking, she went on to volunteer with Channel 31 as a floor manager for their Youth Network…she then progressed to complete an internship with Happening Films as their Production Assistant for their short film Golden Girl. She continued further study in Event Management and Public relations and continued to gain skills voluntarily as a 3rd Assistant Director for short films under Shekat Productions and has also voluntarily assisted in the Melbourne International Film Festival and Tropfest. She has organised small knit events and recently travelled to Palestine where she got to witness firsthand a slither of the daily Palestinian struggle. Upon her arrival back to Australia with her passion for all things creative and Palestine she has joined us as Assistant Stage Manager in her first role in the theatre industry that she can now add to her growing list of skills.

Photographer/videographer Ahmad Sabra

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Ahmad is an Australian Muslim Lebanese multi award winning international photographer. At the age of 5 Ahmad lost his eyesight in a tragic tractor plow accident. In what at first was considered a cruel joke, a stranger gave Ahmad a camera and a roll of film. Thinking it was a gun, Ahmad would squeal and point the camera at anyone that approached. Gradually his eyesight returned and he has continued to use the camera until today but with less squealing and sharper results. ” For Ahmad’s real bio please visit his website at Www.sabraimagery.com.au

Buy Tickets 

Palestinian Theatre: a casualty of war and a tool of resistance

The Gaza production of our Palestinian love story Tales of a City by the Sea which is soon be staged in Melbourne and in the West Bank, has fallen causality to Israel’s most recent war.

The play, which was set to premier in Gaza, the West Bank and Melbourne at the same time this November explores Palestinian life and love under siege and against the backdrop of Israel’s assault on Gaza in 2008-09.   Never did we imagine that we would be staging the play at a time when Gaza has just faced a far more brutal assault that has reduced more than half of the city into rubble and has caused so many deaths and injuries.

Our Gaza team, who were set to begin rehearsals this month, have suffered the loss of loved ones, the total destruction of their beloved neighborhoods and the absolute terror of 50 days of constant and indiscriminate bombardment. The situation in Gaza today is far worst than ever before.

Unfortunately, given the widespread devastation the city has been left with, the psychological trauma the people are reeling from and the inadequacy of even the most basic of infrastructure, the staging of the play in Gaza has been postponed.

In Melbourne as in the West Bank, the production of this play has become more important than ever. Both at the La Mama theatre in Melbourne and at the Alrowwad Cultural and Theatre Society in Aida Refugee Camp in the West Bank, we are now determined to bring the tales of the people of Gaza to life by using theatre as a means of raising awareness and encouraging ‘beautiful resistance’, an expression coined by Alrowwad’s director Abdelfattah Abusrour.

So with heavy hearts we will continue this project without our Gaza partners. This defiant old city by the sea Gaza deserves to have its theatre; its artists deserve to have space for their creativity and its people deserve to have normal lives. But none of that seems to be possible in the face of the ongoing military occupation, the siege, the bombardment and with the complicity of a silent world.

As we move forward with our productions in Melbourne and in the West Bank, we would like to dedicate our efforts to raising awareness about the plight of the people in Gaza.  We hope we can count on your continued support.

Auditions / Theatre / Melbourne / Tales of a City by the Sea

 

We are looking for actors for the following roles:

Jomana female mid 30s

Lama female early 20s

Rami male late 30s, must be able to put on an American accent

Ali male mid 20s

Um Ahmad plus extra roles – female no other specific requirements

 

Key Dates

 

(Note new extended deadline for expression of interest)

August 13  – deadline for expressions of interest

August 16th & 17th script reading and workshop – this will be part of the auditioning process.

October 3rd – 12th  and November 1st -10th  every day full rehearsals can be flexible but must discuss with Lech

November 11 Opening night

Play runs for two weeks.

 

To apply please email your photo and a short bio by August 15th

Email: play3wishes@gmail.com

For information about this project visit our website www.talesofacitybythesea.com

Photo Gallery: Rehearsing for Public Reading at La Mama in Melbourne

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Public Reading at La Mama October 13th Melbourne Australia

A play that explores the lives of ordinary people living in the besieged Gaza strip in the winter of 2008. Jomana, a woman from the Shati refugee camp, falls in love with Rami, an American Palestinian doctor who arrives as part of the Free Gaza Flotilla. Breaking the siege sparks their love – but can it be sustained?

Public Reading: La Mama Theatre, October 13th at 2pm

 

To book online go to http://www.trybooking.com/BZDI

Tales of a City by the Sea is a unique and poetic journey into the lives of ordinary people in the besieged Gaza strip prior to, during and after its bombardment in the winter of 2008.

Jomana, a Palestinian woman who lives in the Shati (beach) refugee camp in Gaza falls in love with Rami, an American born Palestinian doctor and activist who comes on the first Free Gaza boats in 2008. Their love is met with many challenges forcing Rami to make incredible decisions the least of which is to take a dangerous journey through the underground tunnels that connect Gaza to Egypt.

Although on the surface this love story appears to explore the relationship between diaspora Palestinians and Palestinians under occupation, there is a broader and more universal theme that emerges – one of human survival and tenacity.

Tales of a City by the Sea avoids political pitfalls, ideological agendas and clichés by focusing on the human story of the people in Gaza. Although the play’s characters are fictional, the script is based on real life events and is a product of a collection of real stories the author Samah Sabawi and her family have experienced during the events of the past several years. Sabawi has written most of the poetry in the play during the three-week bombardment of Gaza in 2008/2009.

Creative Producer: Rand Hazou

Rand Hazou was born in Jordan. His family are from Jerusalem. Rand is an Australian/Palestinian academic and theatre facilitator. In 2004 Rand was commissioned by the UNDP to travel to the Occupied Territories in Palestine to work as a theatre consultant running workshops for Palestinian youths. In 2009 Rand was awarded a PhD in Theatre and Drama at La Trobe University. His thesis examined the latest wave of political theatre in Australia dealing with Asylum Seekers and Refugees. In 2011 Rand was awarded a Cultural Leadership Skills Development Grant from the Australia Council for the Arts to develop The 7arakat|Harakat Project, involving a series of theatre-related initiatives between Australia and Palestine. As part of this grant, Rand travelled to Palestine in October 2011 to participate in an internship with Al-Kasaba Theatre in Ramallah. Rand is currently undertaking an internship with Multicultural Arts Victoria. As an academic he has taught across a wide variety of subject at La Trobe and Monash Universities. He is currently a lecturer and tutor in the theatre and drama program at La Trobe University.  For more information on the 7arakat project visit http://www.centreforcreativearts.org.au/projectspace/7arakat.phps

The Cast

Osamah Sami

Osamah Sami is an actor and writer of Iraqi heritage. Born in 1983 in Iran – he migrated to Australia in 1995.  Osamah has worked extensively on stage, including playing the role of Saddam Hussain in “Saddam: The Musical”, as well as other productions, including Sinners (La Mamma), Homebody/Kabul (Theatre@Risk), Long Day’s Dying (La Mamma), Baghdad Wedding (Belvoir St.), Blackbox 149 (La Mamma)…His TV roles include East West 101 (SBS), City Homicide (Seven), Rush (Ten), Sea Patrol (Nine), series regular in the 13-part series Kick (SBS), the lead role in Tony Ayres’ award winning tele-movie Saved opposite Claudia Karvan, the lead in Dee McLachlan’s feature film “10 Terrorists” and the award winning short 296 Smith Street as well as the feature film Lucky Miles.  He is currently working on a feature film with director Tony Ayres “Ali’s Wedding” which he has co-written with Andrew Knight.

Veronica Porcaro

Since graduating from Flinders University Drama Centre, Veronica has had a very diverse and dynamic acting career in Theatre, Film, Television and Role Playing/Training across many arenas from mainstream theatre and television to educational and political theatre, script development and corporate work.  Her credits include: The Grace of Mary TraverseSix Characters in Search of An Author, Stories from the UndergroundA Translation in HistoryTwelfth NightThe Jungle of Cities10 x10 play seriesMeat Pies and MortadellaNile BlueGP, Water RatsHeart Break HighMurder CallBlue HeelersSatisfactionWhatever Happened To That Guy and Neighbours.

Hannah Norris

Hannah Norris is a widely acclaimed actress of the independent and professional stages of Australia. She is perhaps best known for her powerful performance of the one-woman show My Name is Rachel Corrie (Daniel Clarke) in Melbourne and Adelaide, receiving Adelaide Critics Circle and Victorian Green Room Award nominations, and the 2010 ATG ‘Curtain Call’ Award for Best Female Performance. Hannah has recently returned to Melbourne from a national tour of David Williamson’s Let the Sunshine (Hit Productions) and is currently working on a 2013 production of Tahli Corin’s One for the Ugly Girls. For more info, go to www.hannahnorris.com.au

Wahibe Moussa

Wahibe Moussa is a performance-maker, writer and Green-Room award winning actor, currently studying in the Master of  Writing for Performance at the Victorian College of the Arts. She has gained respect as a Cultural/Language Consultant through Theatre and television projects.  Wahibe’s writing practice is informed by her work with diverse Refugee and Indigenous communities, and her interest in connections between the personal and political; the exchange of power within relationships.  As a Community Artist, Wahibe works collaboratively in Theatre, Visual Art and Writing Projects in Melbourne and Sydney.

Jomana Najem

Jomana Najem has a background in Film Production and literary journalism, and has been extensively involved with the Arabic speaking community for the last ten years in various capacities.  Jomana has also written, directed and produced several short films and documentaries. She has worked both behind and in front of the camera as an actor and television presenter. She has is the writer of a feature length film script that centres around the lives of several Lebanese Australians, and their struggles to overcome their past. “The Borrowed Prophet” is currently in pre-production and has been endorsed by the Lebanese and wider Arabic speaking community.

Majid Shokor

Majid Shokor is a writer, researcher, and actor for stage and screen.   Originally from Baghdad, he lives and works in Melbourne.  Since his arrival in Australia in 2001, he has appeared in many plays, short films, TV series and the feature film Lucky Miles, for which he was also the cultural consultant.  He worked with many acclaimed directors and writers such as Jean-Pierre Mignon, Daniel Keen and Nigel Jamieson to name few.  His performances have received critical acclaim and been honoured with two prestigious Green Room Award nominations for Best Actor in Independent Theatre, in 2005 and 2009.  Majid holds a Master degree (Honours) and a Post-Graduate Diploma (1st class Honours) in Community Cultural Development from the Victorian College of the Arts – Melbourne University

Ryan Smith

Ryan is a second year student and is currently studying arts at La Trobe University. He has been involved in many highly successful productions in their student theatre program. He has also been highly involved in amateur theatre companies in his home town. He has a large background in musical theatre. This is Ryan’s first production outside of his university and local area.

Beth Sherwell – lighting and sound

Beth is no stranger to the world of theatre, television and drama; having worked on the TV show Neighbours as well as various other films. Most recently she played the character of Amy March (the youngest sister) in the  production ‘Little Women’.  ‘Tales of a City by the Sea’ is Beth’s first technical gig, she is currently completing a degree in English and Drama Majors.

James Crafti – lighting and sound

James Crafti is co-manager of Under the Hammer an Activist Artists Hub in Coburg a place he founded to explore art within a social justice framework. Crafti completed a Bachelor of Creative Arts at La Trobe in 2009 and directed plays at La Trobe including Creationism, Rope and Seven Jewish Children. In 2010 James worked as an assistant director on Melbourne Worker’s Theatre’s show Yet to Ascertain the Nature of the Crime. Crafti also directed two plays with Platform Youth Theatre Mutha and The Deserters, and is now serving on Platform’s Board. He is currently undertaking his Masters in Community Cultural Development at the Victorian College of the Arts.