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The Kennedy Center

The Petrol Station

Sulayman Al Bassam: Petrol Station

Friday, March 24, 2017 - Sunday, March 26, 2017

Spotlight on Directors Theater

Internationally acclaimed Anglo-Kuwaiti writer/director Sulayman Al Bassam returns to the Kennedy Center with a compelling drama that uses the setting of a deserted petrol station as a poetic space to explore the dysfunctions that arise from the chaos of oppression.

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Al Bassam's works are "SO CONSISTENTLY ENLIGHTENING WHILE ALSO RETAINING CONSIDERABLE DRAMATIC POWER."
--The Financial Times

 
Petrol Station
WORLD PREMIERE
 
A desert. A border. A remote petrol station within earshot of civil war. This vividly imagined twilit zone provides the background for a familial standoff in which the crimes, secrets, and broken loves of one generation make violent claims on the lives of the next as two half-brothers vie for favors and allegiance from their aging father. Examining themes of identity, ambition, and betrayal, this compelling drama from acclaimed Anglo-Kuwaiti writer/director Sulayman Al Bassam uses the iconic setting of the deserted petrol station as a poetic space to explore the dysfunctions that arise from the chaos of oppression.
 
Al Bassam, a New York University Artist-in-Residence, returns following his highly regarded presentation of Richard III: An Arab Tragedy during the Kennedy Center international festival, Arabesque, in 2009. His provocative new story draws inspiration from Sumerian myth, Palestinian refugee literature, and American 1950s urban legends of the gas station to portray a modern dystopia where defunct ideologies, desperate migrants, zealous warlords, and opportunistic traffickers vie for supremacy.
 
Recommended for age 14 and up.

Performance Timing: Approximately 1 hour, 45 minutes, with no intermission.

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Includes a free post-performance discussion with Sulayman Al Bassam on March 24.
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