Today, actors 6,500 miles apart and speaking two different languages will create a united performance. The event is part of Book Wings, a collaborative literary and theatrical initiative between the University of Iowa in the US and partner institutions across the globe that aims to “foster cross-cultural conversation, spark new literary and dramatic ideas, and create an enduring body of work.”
For its third installment, made possible by a grant from the U.S. State Department, Book Wings has partnered with the University of Baghdad to commission six dramatic works from esteemed Iraqi and American writers on the theme of courage. Today, these translated works of prose in English and Arabic will be performed live on stage in Baghdad and Iowa City.
Advanced videoconferencing technology will connect the two stages, 6,500 miles apart, to create a single, integrated bilingual performance. Audiences and actors in Iraq and the US can thus hear and see one another in what promises to be a unique intercultural, artistic collaboration transcending time, place and our own perceived differences.
Among this year’s commissioned writers is Ammar Ali, a third year student at the University of Baghdad, who at age 21 is the youngest writer ever to participate in Book Wings. This year’s performances will be streamed live on the internet and are free and open to all.
Free Live Stream: Tuesday, March 11th, 2014: 9 a.m. (U.S. central time) / 5 p.m. (Baghdad time).