Rebekah Maggor is a director, translator, playwright, performer, voice and speech specialist, and scholar. Her creative and scholarly work focus on drama and performance that challenge entrenched political, economic, social, and cultural power structures and make room for alternative visions of the future. As a 2014 Fulbright scholar in the Middle East and North Africa Regional Research Program she studied Palestinian theatre and performance in the West Bank and Israel. She co-organized the 2015 ReOrient Forum “Theatre Between Home and Exile: New Palestinian Voices,” funded by the Doris Duke Foundation. She co-edited, co-translated and wrote the introduction to the anthology Tahrir Tales: Plays from the Egyptian Revolution (Seagull Books/ University of Chicago Press), which was recognized with a Literature in Translation Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her plays and translations have had readings and productions at the American Repertory Theater, the New York Theater Workshop, the Old Vic in London, and the Huntington Theatre Company. She has received grants and commissions from the Radcliffe Institute, the Huntington Playwriting Fellows, the Catalyst Collaborative @ M.I.T., the Foundation for Jewish Culture, and the Middle Eastern Theater Project. As a voice, speech and dialect specialist she has coached on Broadway, regional theatres and consulted for film and television, including projects for PBS and The New Yorker. She received a B.A. from Columbia University, an M.F.A. in theatre from the Moscow Art Theatre School, and a certificate in advanced theatre training from the American Repertory Theatre Institute at Harvard University. She is also a certified teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework. She has taught at Harvard University, Vanderbilt University, and is currently an affiliated scholar at the Charles Warren Center at Harvard University.
THE MIRROR by Yasmeen Imam (Shaghaf) (co-translated with Mona Ragab)
In the surreal monodrama THE MIRROR, a teenage girl from a religious family believes her only chance for a decent future is to find a husband from a “good” family. She is paralyzed by the question of whether to wear a revealing or conservative dress to the wedding of a man she dreamed of marrying. The Mirror was first produced by Orient Productions and SEE Foundation as part of the “To Be Continued . . . ” festival at the Falaki Theatre in Cairo, Egypt in January 2014.
THEY SAY DANCING IS A SIN by Hany Abdelnasser and Mohammed Mo’iz (co-translated with Mohammed Albakry)
In the biting and hilarious monodrama, THEY SAY DANCING IS A SIN, an astute dancer delivers a scathing monologue in her nightclub dressing room disparaging the hypocrisy and corruption of an economically polarized patriarchal society intent on sexualizing and degrading expressions of female independence. The country’s most powerful and wealthy men destroy the livelihood of millions through deceitful but “legal” scams even as they declare “dancing is a sin.” THEY SAY DANCING IS A SIN was first produced by the Halwasa Theatre Troupe at El Hangar Theatre in Cairo, Egypt in December 2012.
COMEDY OF SORROWS by Ibrahim El-Husseini (co-translated with Mohammed Albakry)
Written in direct response to the Egyptian uprising of 2011, COMEDY OF SORROWS is about a diverse group of women and men, rich and poor, city dwellers and peasants, who band together in an unnamed square to overthrow an unspecified regime. El-Husseini weaves together symbolism, storytelling, and satire into a collective and unsentimental account of a nation’s struggle for democracy. COMEDY OF SORROWS premiered at Al-Ghad Theatre in Cairo, Egypt in July, 2011.
REPORT ON REVOLUTIONARY CIRCUMSTANCES by Magdy Alhamzawy (co-translated with Amor Eletrebi)
The satirical tragedy REPORT ON REVOLUTIONARY CIRCUMSTANCES introduces the plucky and industrious character of "the Kid”, a shoeshine boy who lives on the streets in and around Tahrir Square. The Kid joins up with a group of pampered student revolutionaries who camp out in the square, but return home to their mothers who pack their lunches and do their laundry. The Kid proves a true hero of the revolution as he faithfully remains in Tahrir and faces off with hired regime thugs. REPORT ON REVOLUTIONARY CIRCUMSTANCES was performed in February 2014 at the Cultural Center in Tanta, Egypt.
THE WINDOW by Said Solaiman (co-translated with Mohammed Albakry)
This multi-media one-act play with movement follows a day in the life of Hamid, an anxious government clerk. Hamid lives his life in fear of his neighborhood cleric, his boss at the office, and authority in any form. The sudden sight of his daughter protesting in Tahrir emboldens him to utter aloud his own grievances against a lifetime of injustice. The Window premiered at Al-Ghad Theatre in Cairo, Egypt in May, 2011.
TWO DAYS AT HOME THREE DAYS IN PRISON
A female guard confronts a rebellious inmate in an Israeli military prison where they both are thrown into the bleak reality of everyday life in the Israeli army. It is a story of unfulfilled dreams and doomed love in harsh times.
SHAKESPEARE’S ACTRESSES IN AMERICA
This documentary monodrama reveals how the interpretations of several influential nineteenth and early twentieth century actress-managers have shaped our understanding of Shakespeare’s plays.