IPHIGENIA POINT BLANK: The Story of the First Refugee is an immersive theatre experience fusing together documentary film, live music, theatre and dance. This work is a culmination of a multiyear collaboration between award-winning artists from Syria, Lebanon, Greece, France, Russia and the USA.
Iphigenia is excavated from Euripides’ plays and the ancient Greek laments, emerging as a refugee of all wars, from the Trojan War to the wars of today.
Iphigenia - the first refugee depicted in western drama - confronts the current refugee crisis and demands to change the ending of her own story.
Time: Trojan War, Iraq War, Afghanistan War, Syrian War
Place: Aulis, Taurus, refugee and military camps in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Greece
85 minutes, no intermission.
IPHIGENIA POINT BLANK is a public ritual that invites the audience to participate in Iphigenia’s wedding funeral. According to Syrian tradition, when young woman dies before she weds, her wedding is celebrated during the funeral.
Throughout the performance, a documentary film is projected without a soundtrack. The play is live “scoring” the film. As we watch real people on screen struggling with the consequences of the current war in Syria, the play constructs a narrative that questions what leads to wars in the first place and why women are always the first to bear its consequences. On film, the audience will see boats overcrowded with refugees arriving and disembarking on the Greek island of Lesvos, where more than 1.5 million refugees arrived in the last 5 years (UNHCR). We will follow the families as they walk to the camps and watch them wash, cook, do laundry and wait, wait, wait. On stage, Iphigenia will be getting married, betrayed by her father, sacrificed, thrown into a prison, deceived by her brother and assaulted by guards. In the end, Iphigenia will escape and cross the Mediterranean Sea to join millions of today’s refugees whom we have been watching on film.
IPHIGENIA POINT BLANK is a requiem for those who drowned, a memorial for those left behind, a hymn to life for those who survive, and a call for justice for all people displaced and lost to war.
NEW YORK CITY PREMIÈRE 2019
Play by Lisa Schlesinger (Greece/USA)
Music by Kinan Azmeh (Syria/USA)
Film by Irina Patkanian (Russia/USA)
Choreography by George de la Peña (USA)
Directed by Marion Schoevaert (France/USA)
Produced by Nilou Safinya (Iran/USA)
Starring as Iphigenia Layale Chaker (Lebanon/France)