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ONU presents the Fifth International Play Festival

Mar 23, 2007

Middle Eastern culture is the focus of Ohio Northern University's Fifth International Play Festival that takes place Wednesday through Friday, March 28-30 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, March 31 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, April 1 at 2 p.m. Performances take place in the Freed Center for the Performing Arts.

Israeli playwright Yousef Sweid wrote Munya, a twisted love triangle about a man who falls in love with a woman, despite his sordid history with her sister. The second play, Sonia and Bobek, by playwright Oded Lipshitz, follows the despair of a woman who compensates for the death of her husband by creating a fantasy world.

Born in 1976, Sweid has achieved considerable acclaim as an actor. He has achieved considerable acclaim as an actor in film, television and theatre in both Israel and Europe. His film credits include The Bubble (2006) and Maktub (2004). For both of these films, he was nominated for an Israeli Academy Award for best actor. He is also a featured actor in the film, Walk on Water (2003). He speaks Arabic, Hebrew and English, and received his degree in Theatre from Tel Aviv University.

Playwright Oded Lipshitz served for two years in the Israeli army where he also wrote a recently published book of poetry about the painful transformation and inevitable changes one undergoes in the process of growing up. Following his military service, Lipshitz studied playwriting and traveled to Brazil and Ireland.

Israeli guest director, Yagil Eliraz, will direct both plays. Born in Jerusalem and now living in Tel Aviv, Eliraz has directed in Israel's leading fringe theatres and acting studios. He is a member of the Tel-Aviv Municipal Fringe Committee, and a member of the artistic committee of the Lab Theater, Jerusalem - theater emphasizing the usage of new media techniques and interdisciplinary performances. He has a B.A degree of Theater Directing from the Faculty of Arts, Tel-Aviv University.

A free pre-show discussion on the plays will be held Wednesday, March 28 at 7:15 p.m, as well as a post-show discussion on Thursday, March 29 for individuals to meet playwright Lipshitz, Dr. Varda Fish, dramaturg, and director, Eliraz.

Underwritten in part by the ONU Cultural and Special Events Committee, these theatre performances mark the fifth year for the event that has feature International writers, directors and designers from Cuba, Mexico, Argentina, New Zealand, Estonia, Iceland, Chile and Australia.

The Ohio Northern University theatre department is committed to making theatre that encourages an international, multicultural perspective. In light of current global conflicts, it is important to bring together an international collection of theatre artists in order to learn from each other and to create theatre that is enlightening and innovative. Through the exploration of other cultural perspectives, we also hope to better understand our own.

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