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Fordham Theatre Company and The Public Theater Tackle Mideast Conflict


The Fordham Theatre Company’s mainstage season offers theatergoers a thought-provoking experience in February when it presents Twenty One Positions, a play about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict produced in association with The Public Theater.

Twenty One Positions will play a limited engagement at the Pope Auditorium, with eight performances between Feb. 21 and Mar. 1. The play tells the story of an American Palestinian man who returns to Bethlehem from Cincinnati to find his missing brother and is confronted with the essential truths of violence, displacement and loss.

Twenty One Positions is a collaboration of playwrights Abdelfattah Abusrour, Lisa Schlesinger and Naomi Wallace. Abusrour will travel from Palestine, Wallace from England and Schlesinger from Chicago to be in residence at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus for the play’s development.

Directed by Obie Award winner Lisa Peterson, the play features original music by composer Gina Leishman. The Public Theater’s associate artistic director, Mandy Hackett, is serving as dramaturge.

The performance schedule is as follows:

  • Thursday, Feb. 21 at 8 p.m.
  • Friday, Feb. 22 at 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, Feb. 23 at 8 p.m.
  • Monday, Feb. 25 at 8 p.m.
  • Thursday, Feb. 28 at noon and 8 p.m.
  • Friday, Feb. 29 at 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, Mar. 1 at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $12 for general admission, $5 for students and seniors, and $8 for Fordham alumni, faculty and staff. Admission to the Feb. 28 performances is $2 for students from any school with valid identification.

In conjunction with the play, the Fordham Theatre Program and the Fordham Center on Religion and Culture will host a public symposium entitled The Wall on Stage: What Divides Israelis and Palestinians?at Pope Auditorium on Tuesday, Feb. 26 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.  A panel of eminent speakers representing all sides of this complex issue will participate in the symposium. They are:  Alvaro de Soto, former United Nations Under Secretary General and the former United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process; J. J. Goldberg, editorial director of The Forward; Rashid Khalidi, the Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies and director of the Middle East Institute at Columbia University; and Alisa Solomon, the director of the arts and culture concentration of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, recipient of the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism, and co-editor of Wrestling with Zion. Moderating the symposium will be Patrick Ryan, S.J., Fordham’s vice president for university mission and ministry.

Admission to the symposium is free. Attendees must reserve a space by calling 212-636-6340 or by sending an e-mail to

The Fordham University Theatre Program at the Lincoln Center campus is one of the top undergraduate theatre training programs in the country. It is headed by two-time Obie Award-winning playwright and director Matthew Maguire. The faculty consists of working professionals and includes such luminaries as two-time Academy Award winner Dianne Wiest and Tony Award winner Marian Seldes. Fordham theatre alumni have exceptional acceptance rates into top theatre graduate schools, and an impressive track record working in theatre, film, and television. Graduates include Patricia Clarkson, Annie Parisse and Denzel Washington.


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