8567 Coral Way #355
Miami, FL 33155
Cultural Arts Center
10950 SW 211 Street
Cutler Bay, FL 33189
a play by Glyn O'Malley
January 13 - February 12, 2006
Scenery: Jesse Dreikosen
Sound: M. Anthony Reimer
Lighting: Micheal Foster
Directed by Ricky J. Martinez
Bridget Connors - Shoshana
Euriamis Losada - Omar
Beatriz Montanez - Fatima
Rudy Mungaray - Bassam
Samara Siskind - Sarah
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"...directed by Ricky J. Martinez, New Theatre's intense production is political theater made personal... set designer Jesse Dreikosen's striking side-by-side representations... it is the politically seductive, ultimately fatal interaction between (Rudy) Mungaray's fanatic yet magnetic Bassam and Beatriz Montañez's bereft Fatima that drives New Theatre's Paradise and makes O'Malley's distressing, all-too-real play worth seeing..."
- Christine Dolen, Miami Herald
"New Theatre mounts the play with care and concern over the issues roiling within... Jesse Dreikosen's set, itself... (is) a dramatic statement... Tension and drama are not hard for director Ricky J. Martinez..."
- Jack Zink, Sun Sentinel
"This is the kind of play which will force some honest and uncomfortable discussion. It is politically seductive just by the nature of its subject and makes one uneasy about the future in that part of the world. However, Paradise will make you think! But, would you expect anything less from New Theatre?"
- Ron Levitt, Theatre Critic, Entertainment News and Views
I wrote PARADISE in 2002: a 50-minute play that would tour high schools in Cincinnati and tell the story of titanic clash of forces at play. A storm of protest broke out, led by The Council of American Islamic Relations of Ohio and the play stopped from ever reaching production. I expanded the play into a 90-minute one for adults. Why persist with the play when it is a forgone conclusion that it will always be viewed politically? Theatre is not very useful in advancing shifts in perception when it only seeks to reach those in agreement with it. Drama should be dangerous whether it's the story of an American family or a Palestinian and an Israeli teenage girl.
By the time the play opened in New York City, there seemed to be a light on the horizon with the Palestinian elections and Israel's willingness to broker once again - one cautious step at a time - a two-state solution. It remains to be demonstrated that the Palestinian leadership can, in fact, dismantle the infrastructure of Hamas, The Martyr's Brigade, Islamic Jihad and other groups that gained so much power under the reign of Arafat. It remains to be seen how much of the Occupied Territories, held since the 1967 war against Israel will be returned by them to the Palestinians.
Trapped between these two monolithic hanging questions are the people propelled by historical, religious, and national forces of entitlement. It is these I am interested in, and it is they who make up the characters in my play. I have not found the answer in my long sojourn through the shifting, sharp, unforgiving terrain of this world. I have dug beneath the headlines in creating them, and only found more questions. These questions are the property of us all. How they are answered will determine what happens next.
- Glyn O'Malley
"... powerful and provocative ..." - L.A. Times
" ... emotionally riveting ..." - Chicago Tribune
"O'Malley has written a taut, tough thriller that gradually accelerates toward its explosive climax... courageously, unabashedly... a play of ideas. O'Malley ends his play with a ray of hope, which is beautiful. The strength of O'Malley's writing is that among the myriad of choices that his characters have to make in the course of the play, not one is presented as simple or straightforward."
PARADISE was commissioned and awarded The Lazarus New Play Prize by Cincinnati's Playhouse-in-the-Park in 2003. When the theatre attempted to mount the play, a firestorm of controversy erupted, making the play's author Glyn O'Malley, in the words of Cincinnati Magazine, "the most talked-about and talked-to dramatist in America." After the forced cancellation of its first stage production, the play had public readings in several american cities. O'Malley was subsequently nominated for PEN America's Newman's Own First Amendment Award in 2004 for his defense of freedom of expression for all writers. Powerful in its message and in its balanced presentation of opposing views, the play speaks with passion and courage about the issues of tolerance and peace in the context of today's Israel-Palestine crisis
PARADISE receives its first production outside New York at New Theatre, months after its world premiere at New York's Kirk Theatre in March of 2005.