Streams

Lawrence Wright's Journey From Gaza To The Stage

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

By day, he's a staff writer for The New Yorker. By night, Wright is a one-man show. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author is bringing the unforgiving streets of Gaza to the stage. His new mutli-media show "The Human Scale" debuts this week.

The piece is a follow-up to his 2009 New Yorker piece "Captives," which investigated the Israeli offensive in Gaza in June, 2009. The new play explores the ongoing conflict between Palestinians and Israelis in their cramped, battle-torn land. One captured solider, Galid Shalit is at the heart of the fallout.

"I see what I'm doing as a kind of journalism," he says. The play is "just another way of communicating with people in a more intimate manner."

Graphic photos and rarely-seen videos will be projected on three giant screens during the show. Wright says he "stumbled across" this footage while researching the story.

"Nobody else that I knew had ever seen any of this — even though in the Arab world and in Israel they have access to things that are constantly inflaming both populations," says Wright. "We tend not to see or hear about it here."

He says he views the various modes of expression  — whether written on a page, visually portrayed on-screen or spoken directly to a live audience — as equally legitimate forms of story-telling.

"If people could see what's actually going on in that region, they might understand more fully the trauma that each of these peoples are locked into. And why they're so trapped inside the tragedy that has been going on for such a long time."

Four performances of “The Human Scale” are scheduled from March 17-21 at Joe's Pub.

Watch the video of Wright describing the play and his creative process.

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