On Friday April 7th at 7.30pm and Sunday April 9th at 2.30pm Theatre in The Mill, University of Bradford hosts a production of solo theatre show Homeless In Homeland by New York bred and Los Angeles based artist Sariyah Idan. This dynamic show emphasizes the power of compassion and the constant struggle many diaspora people face to achieve an experience of home.
It is packed with stunning yet simple visuals, seventeen multifaceted characters, spoken word poems, and both cultural and historical information about the Israeli Palestinian conflict. Following each performance there will be a brief Q&A with the artist to discuss the aesthetics of the show and the topics it addresses.
Combining poetry, dance, and character monologue, Ms Idan conveys a young Jewish-American woman’s struggle to understand her identity, her family and relationships, justice, and the meaning of home all through the lens of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Idan’s portrayal of seventeen vibrant and diverse Americans, Israelis, and Palestinians uncovers a new Middle East of grief, daily struggle, and humour. H
omeless In Homeland is a solo show in a documentary theatre aesthetic, based on a trip taken by the artist to the State of Israel and the West Bank. All the characters are based on real people. Each finds themselves in some way homeless in their respective homeland, yet each reveals a form of resilience.
Ms Idan’s documentary style character writing and acting has been compared to the works of renowned artist Anna Deavere Smith and hip-hop theater pioneer Danny Hoch. The main stylistic difference between her work and theirs is that in this piece Ms Idan plays herself as the protagonist who encounters the many documentary characters on the journey of the show. The show begins and ends with her Jewish grandmother in New York.
This style invites the audience to join her on her travels to better understand herself and her place in a conflicted world wrought with injustice. The show utilizes a minimalist set comprised of a large piece of red fabric manipulated in different ways and is inspired by Ms Idan’s experience as a dancer and experimental theatre artist studying and working with companies in the La Mama ETC international community.
Far from the average Jewish American girl, Sariyah Idan was raised as a cultural Jew born on a Sufi commune. Her grandmother, a political science professor, encouraged her to be proud of her Jewish roots while her hippie parents introduced her to mystical traditions of many cultures including Islam.
She grew up dancing professionally, competing in slam poetry competitions and getting involved in social activism. In conjunction with Homeless In Homeland she has worked with various organizations committed to a just peace in the region and in the USA. She continues to facilitate poetry and solo theatre workshops for teens at high schools, community centers and youth prisons.
“Idan boldly, but never recklessly, confronts these simmering issues with sensitivity, intelligence and an over-abundance of talent in this solo show.” — The Jewish Daily Forward
For press tickets please contact Rachel Kaye at Theatre in the Mill (R.Kaye@bradford.ac.uk 01274 235495)