People of the Book, a world premiere play by award-winning playwright and ACT 2018 Core Member, Yussef El Guindi, takes its audience on an emotional thrill ride of secrets, hidden truths, jealousy, and the lies we tell—to ourselves, to the ones closest to us, and about our country.
Through a quartet of reunited friends and a newly arrived war bride, El Guindi’s sly riff on Euripides’ Jason and Medea story showcases his distinctive style of merging the psychology of personal relationships with the consequences of international politics. Jason is a veteran of the Iraq War who returns home to literary glory after writing an international best-seller, a heroic account of his wartime experience. His celebrity is underscored by his marriage to Madeeha, an Iraqi woman he saved in a house-to-house raid. When he reunites with old friends, Amir and Lynn, questions emerge about the veracity of the book and its particularly patriotic, American gaze.
Seattle audiences know El Guindi’s previous work at ACT, Threesome (2015) and Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World (2011). ACT is thrilled to present this world premiere play which will leave the audience asking: What are the lies we tell ourselves and why?
Artistic Director, John Langs says, “When selecting the first playwright to join ACT’s Core Company, I knew I wanted to find someone who was not only a brilliant writer, but a fearless one; a writer who is inherently drawn to complex characters and diverse stories that would encourage our audiences to move outside their comfort zone. That is, without a doubt, Yussef El Guindi. We have the opportunity to build on a decade–long relationship between our audiences and Yussef’s work. And we invite them to once again join us for a masterful exploration of culture, politics, sex, and identity.”
The cast of People of the Book includes Sydney Andrews (Lynn), Monika Jolly (Medeeha), Wasim No’Mani (Amir), and Quinlan Corbett (Jason).
Directed by John Langs, the creative team includes Shawn Ketchum Johnson (Scenic Designer), Rose Pederson (Costume Designer), Jessica Trundy (Lighting Designer), and Chris Walker (Sound Designer).
People of the Book runs September 6–29, 2019 in the Allen Theatre at ACT Theatre. For more information, visit: https://acttheatre.org/