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Author: Susan Dunn

“Hamlet” Fights for Justice, at Arabian Shakespeare Festival, S.F.

“Hamlet” Fights for Justice, at Arabian Shakespeare Festival, S.F.

William J. Brown’s Decisive Hamlet Purges His Nation  by Susan Dunn The Arabian Shakespeare Festival’s “Hamlet” comes with a modern political backstory of conquest and colonization. Director Kevin Hammond’s concept challenges us with an Arab Spring take on “Hamlet.” Hammond sees the Prince as a nationalist revolutionary, a fighter for justice against the corrupt Claudius. This interpretation rises to the surface occasionally, giving us food for thought. But the human drama of Hamlet comes to the fore, leading the charge….

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“Jihad Jones and the Kalashnikov Babes” Skewer Hollywood, at Arabian Shakespeare, S.F.

“Jihad Jones and the Kalashnikov Babes” Skewer Hollywood, at Arabian Shakespeare, S.F.

Yussef El Guindi Raises the Stakes on Selling Out  by Susan Dunn Picture a movie that starts with a Thanksgiving dinner suddenly invaded by a blood-seeking terrorist who tortures Dad with the turkey stuffing. How does an Arab actor psyche up to play that one-dimensional Hollywood stereotype? Is this funny? Yes, if it’s “Jihad Jones and the Kalashnikov Babes,” now running at the Arabian Shakespeare Festival in San Francisco. Playwright Yussef El Guindi is a prolific Egyptian American, with 16…

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“Airport Insecurity” Takes Flight at Naatak, in Palo Alto

“Airport Insecurity” Takes Flight at Naatak, in Palo Alto

Vikas Dhurka’s Airport Anxiety Flies Off the Charts by Susan Dunn In our high-powered, charged-up lives, where do we most need to feel safe and secure? The airport, of course. But “hurry up and wait” airport protocols can lull us into carelessness with our most precious possession—our identity. Naatak Theater’s new play “Airport Insecurity: A True Story” shows an Indian American marketing manager Vijay (a handsome Varun Dua) robbed of his possessions and stuck in a hopeless airport crisis.  Vijay’s busy…

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“Waiting for Godot” in Church, by Ubuntu Theater Project, Oakland

“Waiting for Godot” in Church, by Ubuntu Theater Project, Oakland

Samuel Beckett’s Most Animated Void by Susan Dunn Samuel Beckett accomplished the impossible when he wrote “Waiting for Godot” in 1949, the classic absurdist play about the vacuity of life. Ubuntu Theater Project’s version, with Inferno Theater, illuminates our lives with its mesmerizing actions and reactions, punctuated by spectacular comic rants. Ubuntu offers the full spectrum of life reduced to a test tube. Their Beckett delves the depths of human suffering, and helps us find a way out at the end. Step into…

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