Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012
NEAR EAST PERFORMED AT NMU
MARQUETTE, Mich.—Northern Michigan University will stage the regional premiere of The Near East by Alex Lewin Feb. 15-18 and Feb. 21-25. The show begins at 7:30 each evening, with additional Saturday matinees at 1 p.m. It will be held in the James A. Panowski Black Box Theatre in NMU’s McClintock Building. A limited number of tickets remain available at NMU EZ Ticket outlets. They cost $8 for students and $12 for the general public.
The Near East follows American archaeologist Ken Schneider, who is hired by Arab feminist scholar Aisha Ghazali to search for the elusive Umm al-Kitab, the “Mother of Books.” Disillusioned by the recent death of his son and the loss of his wife, Schneider must confront his belief in God while they undertake this controversial mission. Meanwhile, Ghazali’s brother struggles with his own religion, caught between love and his possible devotion to radical Islam. This new play is a portrait of love and loss, of terror and hope. It is rated R.
The regional premiere is produced in connection with The Players Guild Theatre in Canton, Ohio. It is directed by Ansley Valentine.
Ryan Sitzberger, a senior from Waukesha, Wis., plays the role of Ken Schneider. Taylor Kulju, a sophomore from Ishpeming, plays Aisha Ghazali. Remaining NMU students featured in the cast or crew, along with their hometowns and respective roles, are listed below.
Jacob Barbot, Big Rapids, Bellboy/Javed Ibn Salman;
Kristen Halsey, Marquette, assistant director;
Cody Johnson, Sturgis, Tariq;
James Porras II, Menominee, Michael Kennedy;
Kristy Priest, Saranac, stage manager;
Jackie Wiles, Paw Paw, Assassin;
Luke Woolley, Marquette, Ahmed
Andrea McKernan, Elmhurst, assistant director
Talen Williams, San Antonio, Hasan;
Michael Skrobeck, Dallas, Umar Ghazali