By Makram Ayache
Friday, May 27, 2022
Jericho is a nearly forgotten mall at the edge of New City. When police are called in to evacuate the basement parkade of a tent city of the unhoused, a young woman’s, one of the houseless, protest video goes viral. This lightning rod brings thousands upon thousands to the mall in a political demonstration against a capitalist ruling elite. However, the protest is haphazard. Teenagers from a local high school fill their time perusing and playing at the mall. A group of activists organize against the retaliations in the protest. A white working-class family witnesses the protest increase in size, extending onto their farm. And the young woman from the viral video garners a strange following where she takes on the title of a Prophet.
For this presentation, playwright Makram Ayache will be taking us through this daring and large-scale piece, introducing its unique format and site-specific nature, and sharing some of the music elements that will feature in the final piece.
Playwrights Unit Coordinator: Trevor Rueger
Zoom Coordinator: Natjelly Lozada
Makram Ayache – Playwright, Jericho
Makram Ayache is a community-engaged writer, actor, director, and producer living between Edmonton and Toronto. His playwriting explores representations of queer Arab voices and aims to bridge interlocking political struggles to the intimate experiences of the people impacted by them.
Ayache is the 2020 PGC’s Tom Hendry Award recipient for his play “Harun.” He has four Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Awards nominations for “Harun” (2018) and “The Green Line” (2019). In 2020, he worked with several theatre companies including Factory’s Mechanical Actors’ Enhancement Training, the Citadel’s RBC Directing Mentorship Program, Punctuate’s Partizan’s Creators Unit, Prime Mover/Musical Stage Company’s NoteWorthy Program, and Generator Toronto’s Artist Producer Training Program.
He developed his play “The Hooves Belonged to the Deer” through the Alberta Queer Calendar Project under the directorial leadership of Peter Hinton-Davis and dramaturgs Evan Medd and Hannah Moscovitch.
Currently, he’s exploring a large-scale interdisciplinary project that examines the “mythology of Capitalism” through the Historic Joy Kogawa House Artist-in-Residence program in Vancouver. Next year, he returns to Factory Theatre to continue developing the play through the Foundry Program, with support from Edmonton Fringe Theatre Adventures. He is also a playwright in Alberta Theatre Project’s 2021/22 Playwrights Unit.
Find him at: www.makramayache.com and insta: makramrayache
Welcome to Playwrights Projects 2022
Alberta Theatre Projects is known nationally for our commitment to incubating new works. In continuing support of this mission, we are proud to present Playwrights Projects 2022 – a series of live virtual presentations of new plays written by Canadian storytellers.
Designed to nurture unique voices, the Playwrights Unit allows both emerging and established artists to have the support necessary to develop new theatrical work from an idea to a first draft. Members have met over video conference calls for eight months, exploring new perspectives and developing their projects. Alberta Theatre Projects acts as both an advocate and a home for storytellers throughout this process, providing flexible and responsive dramaturgical support to feed the development process.
While these uncertain times during the pandemic have created many challenges for the performing arts, it has also offered exciting possibilities for us to learn and innovate as an organization. One such positive has been the ability to engage both artists and audiences from afar by continuing to offer access to our Playwrights Projects on an online platform.
We are so proud to have been able to offer the opportunity to these storytellers to develop new works during the pandemic. Presenting their stories on an online platform will allow for a reading of their scripts in progress to reach people from all over Canada – and the world. Audiences will have the opportunity to witness these remarkable early drafts of new works from the comfort of their own homes, growing virtual arts communities in new and meaningful ways.
The Alberta Theatre Projects’ 2022 Playwrights come to the virtual table with unique voices, interests and backgrounds. Their writing experiences range from award-winning published playwrights to first-time script creators. Playwrights Project 2022 is once again facilitated by Trevor Rueger, the Executive Director of the Alberta Playwrights’ Network. Rueger oversaw this year’s formal selection committee, which received over 40 pitches submitted for consideration from local and national storytellers interested in participating. This year’s selection committee included Glynis Leyshon, Valerie Planche, and Mike Tan, with input from former ATP Interim Artistic Director Haysam Kadri.
Thank you for your continued support of Canadian storytellers, and Alberta Theatre Projects! Please enjoy these five Fridays in a row of online readings of brand new plays-in-development written by the 2021-22 Playwrights Unit members. Also, be sure to join us for the Student Writers Group Showcase, an evening of online reading presentations of new plays written by members of the ATP Student Writers Group.
Enjoy the shows!
Rohit Chokhani, Alberta Theatre Projects Artistic & Executive Director
Welcome to the Playwrights Projects 2022! While we are thrilled about inviting you back into our theatre, we are also excited about beaming these new Canadian plays into your living room. Beginning in September this group of 7 theatre creators gathered monthly to share their experience, their wisdom, and their creations with each other. What you are about to witness is the culmination of 8 months of work by these writers and creators. Over the next few weeks, you will experience mystery, music, myth, & magic. Thank you for joining us and being an important part of the play development process. And thank you for your support of Alberta Theatre Projects and for supporting new Canadian plays! Enjoy.
Trevor Rueger, Playwrights Unit Coordinator & Alberta Playwrights Network Executive Director