Project on Tyranny Part Two: Mona Mansour
The following video is the second, in a series of five, that captures discussions with playwrights whose work explores various manifestations of tyranny in our current world. On January 31, 2019, five playwrights gathered at The Lark for the inaugural event of our new initiative, the Project on Tyranny, a program that puts artists in direct conversation with audiences and community members to discuss the leading issues of our day. The panel was facilitated by playwright and Lark staffer Lloyd Suh, and featured playwrights Franky D. Gonzalez (Even Flowers Bloom in Hell, Sometimes), C.A. Johnson (All the Natalie Portmans), Rajiv Joseph (Nativity), Tim J. Lord (On everylink a heart does dangle; or Owed), and Mona Mansour (We Swim, We Talk, We Go to War).
In this segment, Mona Mansour spoke about the autobiographical matter in her new play We Swim, We Talk, We Go to War, a play she wrote as part of her Middle East America Fellowship at The Lark, and which was recently produced by Golden Thread Productions. In the play, a woman who is half Lebanese swims with her nephew, who is a quarter Lebanese, in the Pacific Ocean. As they swim, and talk, they try to make each other understand their opposing feeling's about the nephew's decision to join the military.
Listen to hear Mona discuss what she learned through the course of writing the play, and why she feels the need to make space for stories that feature more complex Arab characters.