President's Lecture Series explores Middle East upheaval through theatre

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The President's Lecture Series welcomes the Masrah Ensemble's "Doomed By Hope" Theatre Series April 1 & 2

During this era of social and political transformation in the Middle East, Rowan University hosts the “Doomed by Hope Theatre Series,” illustrating the power of theatre to explore circumstances in these countries, on April 1 and 2.

“Doomed by Hope” is produced by the Masrah Ensemble Theatre Company of Lebanon and presented as part of the President's Lecture Series. Four events over two days welcome internationally renowned theatre artists and scholars from Egypt, Syria and Lebanon to Glassboro for a program of lectures, discussions and performances.

“They bring a perspective and a narrative that we don’t get through the mainstream media,” notes theatre faculty member Rebekkah Maggor, part of the lecture series committee with Dr. Corrine Blake and Dr. Glenn Odom. “This series speaks to our common humanity and also our common social and political challenges.”

The keynote event, Dr. Dalia Basiouny’s Solitaire, takes place on April 1 from 5:00 - 7:00 pm in Chamberlain Student Center’s Eynon Ballroom. A writer, director, translator and professor in Egypt, Basiouny performs a multi-media solo show about women and political action, connecting the events of September 11th to the Egyptian Revolution of 2011.

Earlier in the day, on April 1 from 12:15 - 1:30 pm in Chamberlain Student Center Room 221, Basiouny hosts a discussion about the making of the documentary performance piece Tahrir Stories, detailing events of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution through testimony from demonstrators. On April 2 from 1:45 - 3:00 pm in Boyd Recital Hall (in the university’s Wilson Hall), Masrah Ensemble founder Eyad Houssami presents a lecture on how the collaborative art of the theater in Lebanon, the Arab Middle East and beyond provides a valuable forum to question, criticize and contemplate shifting artistic, social and political landscapes. "Theatre as Protest," on Tuesday, April 2 from 3:15 - 4:30 pm in Boyd Recital Hall, is a dramatic reading of works by Syrian playwright Mohammad Al Attar, performed by Rowan students. There is an introduction and post-reading discussion with the playwright.

The Presidential Lecture Series brings prominent speakers to campus for talks on topics ranging from education and science to history and politics. Past speakers have included, among others, Cornel West, Stephen Jay Gould, Gail Collins, Jonathan Kozol, Scott Sagan, Sergei Khrushchev, and Dan Rather.

For more information, visit www.rowan.edu/theatredance. Eynon Ballroom is located on the third floor of the campus’ Chamberlain Student Center and Boyd Recital Hall is located in Wilson Hall on university campus, 201 Mullica Hill Road in Glassboro, NJ.

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