The Insanity of Waiting, and Pressing On (to more important matters, like Iran…)

As we wait, and wait, and wait – it is now 2 am on Wednesday and it appears that The Post won’t be running a review today (again), leaving not only us, but Olney and Studio without the timely coverage we were probably all depending on, we note how silly this regimen is turning out to be. 28 hours ago, there appeared an early posting of a rave review of “King Lear” at the Shakespeare Theatre and the inexplicable swandive began: “How many good reviews does he have in him?” I thought to myself. “There’s only so many times in a week that an opening can enthuse and inspire such rapture.” And so the confidence of one day post-opening gives way to a new certainty that we’re screwed, cooked, toast, because no news is bad news, especially when the critic has seen our show before seeing “Lear,” and yet “Lear”–for all the obvious reasons–vaults to the head of the line. And so taking the premonition and turning it into an emotional fact, one walks around with a nervous cloud that makes a lot of constructive engagement with tasks at hand–be it last-minute fundraising, or important new reading or setting meetings up for next monday’s trip to nyc–more fraught; one feels debilitated from the sense of impending dread; it’s a “number” one does to oneself (even speaking in the 3rd person, when one started with “we” in the 2nd and slipped into “I” in the 1st, as we realize/I realize/one realizes, one’s writing begins to deteriorate as well).

And so better to get out of one’s own myopia–the unhealthy paralysis of letting another person determine one’s one artistic vibrancy–and return to eyes open, taking in one’s fellow artist and letting events that trouble and need airing take center stage, banishing nerves to the wings. Which leads us to a very good posting we’ve just received tonight in Wednesday’s Backstage column:

Follow Spots

— Theater J, which performs at the D.C. Jewish Community Center, will hold a panel discussion about Iran’s electoral turmoil tonight at 10, after a performance of “The Seagull on 16th Street.” The featured speaker will be Mahmood Karimi-Hakak, co-creator of “Benedictus: An Iran-Israel-US Collaboration,” about U.S.-Iran relations, produced last March at Theater J. (Call 202-777-3210 or visit

And here’s our Facebook announcement:

The Presidential Elections in Iran and the Violent Government Response to Student Protests
Theater J: A Discussion on Current Events in Iran with Mahmood Karimi-Hakak

Wednesday, June 24, 2009
10:00pm – 11:00pm
Join Mahmood Karimi-Hakak (Co-creator of Benedictus: An Iran-Israel-US Collaboration, produced at Theater J’s Voices from a Changing Middle East Festival in March 2009) as he shares his insights into the recent Presidential Elections in Iran and the aggressive government response to the protests that continue to rage.

This discussion will follow the Wednesday evening 7:30 performance of The Seagull on 16th St.

Mahmood Karimi-Hakak is the Artistic Director of Mahak International Artists Inc. and a Professor of Creative Arts at Siena College, has written, produced, directed, designed and/or acted in over 50 stage and screen plays i n the U.S., Europe and his native Iran. His plays and films have received international acclaim and awards at such festivals as Edinburgh, Netherlands, Berlin, Delhi, Montreal, New York, Ft. Lauderdale, Palm Springs, Maryland and Tehran. A recipient of the 2005 Raymond C. Kennedy Award, Dr. Karimi-Hakak’s literary credits include five plays, two books of poetry, several translations from and into Persian and numerous articles and interviews both in English and Persian. Prior to his tenure at Siena, he taught theatre in Belgium, Germany and his native Iran, as well as CUNY, Towson and Southern Methodist Universities here in the U.S. and served as Artistic Director of Community of International Artists (CIA), Forough Ensemble (FE) and Creative Arts Street Theatre (CAST).