OH MY SWEET LAND
Written & Directed by Amir Nizar Zuabi
Step into the kitchen. Our host is preparing kubah, a traditional Syrian dish. While she cooks, she tells us the story of meeting Ashraf, a Syrian exile, and falling in love with him as he desperately tries to help those he left behind escape the war. When he vanishes, she impulsively trails him, leading her to the homeland she has never known, consumed by war. She returns with the stories of the people she encountered along the way, to share what she has witnessed of both the brutality, and the grace, of humanity.
Oh My Sweet Land is an intimate theatrical experience performed in the kitchens of private homes and community spaces throughout the five boroughs. If you would like to offer your home kitchen or recommend a community space, please fill out the form below.
Commissioned by Theatre Vidy-Lausanne, Oh My Sweet Land developed out of interviews Amir Nizar Zuabi conducted in Syrian refugee camps in Amman, Jordan with actress and co-conceiver Corinne Jaber, the original performer.
In his forward to the published script, he writes of that trip:
We met people in the harshest moments of their life, yet still they were generous, full of grace, hope and even humour. This piece is inspired by their stories but more than anything it is inspired by their spirit – that elastic rubber-like ability humans have to adapt and to weather the storm.
This show brings New Yorkers together for a theatrical experience that lifts the war in Syria out of the news cycle, into a simple human interaction that allows us to hear and feel in a different way. The play has been produced around the world, and seen in staged readings in this country. PlayCo is honored to be creating this new production with Amir Nizar Zuabi here in New York.
Meet the Writer/Director
Amir Nizar Zuabi is an award-winning theater writer & director, the artistic director of ShiberHur theater company in Haifa, Israel, an associate director of Young Vic London, and an associate partner of the United Theaters Europe. Writing and directing credits include I am Yusuf and This is my Brother, In the Penal Colony, Alive From Palestine, Oh My Sweet Land,The Beloved, (co-produced by ShiberHur/Young Vic), Three Days of Mourning, West of Us the Sea, Dry Mud, Against A Hard Surface (ShiberHur). Directing credits include: Samson and Delilah (Flanders Opera, Antwerp) Jidarriya by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish (Edinburgh International Festival, Bouffes du Nord, and world tour), Mid Spring Musical The Comedy of Errors (Royal Shakespeare Company as part of World Shakespeare Festival). Currently Zuabi is writing a play for the National Theatre, London.
Meet the Performer
Nadine Malouf most recently played the lead role of Laila, in the world premiere adaptation of Khalid Hosseini’s best selling novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns, at American Conservatory Theatre, that then went on to Theatre Calgary, in Canada. She also played the title role in the world premiere of Salomé, written and directed by Yaël Farber, at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in DC [winner of seven Helen Hayes Awards in 2016]. Off-Broadway, Malouf most recently appeared in the world premiere of Ultimate Beauty Bible (Page73), This is How it Ends (59E59), The School for Scandal (Redbull Theatre), The Who & The What (LCT3), and Exile (Cherry Lane). Other theatre includes Scorched (Syracuse Stage) and Macbeth (GBS Theatre, RADA).
Malouf has developed new work at Sundance Theatre Lab, The Public, Lincoln Center, New York Theatre Workshop, and most recently with Simon McBurney. TV credits include Mysteries of Laura and Odd Mom Out. In film, Malouf recently played the lead role in the short film Resolutions, which premiered this year at the LA Indie Film Festival; other films include May in the Summer, Shame, and Static Shock. Malouf received her training at Syracuse University and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.