The Fever Chart: Three Short Visions of the Middle East
“Naomi Wallace commits the unpardonable sin of being partisan, and, the darkness and harshness of her work notwithstanding, outrageously optimistic. She seems to believe the world can change. She certainly writes as if she intends to set it on fire.”—Tony Kushner
Naomi Wallace, the rare writer who combines lyrical theatricality with political ferocity, turns her sight to the Middle East, with a new triptych for the stage. Vision One, A State of Innocence, is set—as the playwright describes, in “something like a small zoo, but more silent, empty, in Rafah, Palestine. Or a space that once dreamed it was a zoo”—and features a Palestinian woman, an Israeli architect, and an Israeli soldier. Vision Two, The Retreating World, is of an Iraqi bird keeper from Baghdad and his address before the International Pigeon Convention. Vision Three, Between this Breath and You, takes place after hours in the waiting room of a clinic in West Jerusalem, where a Palestinian father confronts the nurse’s aide, a young Israeli woman, about the meaning of the loss of his son and the impact it had on her life. These multifaceted works explore the urgency and complexity of the Middle East’s political landscape, through the voices and bodies of the people who inhabit it.
Naomi Wallace is a poet and playwright from Kentucky, who currently resides in England. Her numerous awards include the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship. Her plays, including One Flea Spare, In the Heart of America, and Trestle at Pope Lick Creek, are produced throughout the United States and around the world.