Culture Project’s Women Center Stage Presents “Shaheed: the Dream and Death Benazir Bhutto”
Rick Miramontez / Philip Carrubba
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, PLEASE
C U L T U R E P R O J E C T’S WOMEN CENTER STAGE
PRESENTS THE OFF-BROADWAY PREMIERE OF
“SHAHEED: THE DREAM AND DEATH OF BENAZIR BHUTTO”
A NEW PLAY
WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY ANNA KHAJA
DIRECTED BY HEATHER DE MICHELE
LIMITED ENGAGMENT BEGINS MARCH 8th
CULTURE PROJECT AT 45 BLEECKER STREET
OPENING NIGHT IS SET FOR MARCH 11TH
New York, NY (February 7, 2013) – Culture Project’s Women Center Stage (Allan Buchman, Founder & Artistic Director) will present the Off-Broadway premiere of the acclaimed Shaheed: The Dream and Death of Benazir Bhutto written and performed by Anna Khaja and directed by Heather de Michele beginning Friday , March 8, 2013 at Culture Project at 45 Bleecker Street (at Lafayette Street). Opening Night is set for Monday, March 11th at 7:30PM.
In Shaheed: The Dream and Death of Benazir Bhutto, Anna Khaja illuminates the lives and forces surrounding the slain Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Assassinated in 2007, Bhutto returned from exile to unite a nation bitterly divided over the ideals of Islam and democracy. Each monologue occurs in the minutes leading up to Bhutto’s assassination in Rawalpindi. Shaheed takes us on a journey into Pakistan’s complex relationship with the United States, into the depths of religious fundamentalism, and a people’s struggle to reclaim their beloved nation, true freedom, and faith.
Shaheed: The Dream and Death of Benazir Bhutto received its New York premiere at the NY Fringe Festival in 2010 to critical acclaim. The New Yorker named it, “The highlight of the eclectic [NY Fringe] Festival.” In addition, Shaheed was presented at the Women Center Stage 2012 Festival at The Living Theater.
Shaheed: The Dream and Death of Benazir Bhutto will play the following performance schedule: Fridays, Saturdays at 7:30PM, Sundays at 2:00PM and Mondays at 7:30PM.
Tickets are priced at $20 for preview performances on March 8, 9, and 10. For performances beginning March 11, tickets will be priced at $35 ($55 premium), and with students ticket at $25 (with valid I.D.) Ticket are available online at cultureproject.org or via phone by calling OvationTix at (866) 811-4111.
For additional information, please send inquires to email@example.com, or call (212) 925-1806.
Anna Khaja (Perfomer/Playwright) is the 2011 winner of the Ovation Award for Lead Actress in a Play for her performance in Shaheed: The Dream and Death of Benazir Bhutto (also nominated for Best Production of the Year). She has performed regionally and on both coasts. Roles include, The Academic in the U.S. premiere of David Hare’s STUFF HAPPENS and the Iraqi mother Nerjas, in the U.S. premiere of Canadian playwright Judith Thompson’s Palace Of The End. For her performances in these productions she received two LA Weekly Awards, as well as another Ovation Award nomination for Lead Actress. She has received outstanding notices and features in the New Yorker, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Backstage West, Backstage NYC, NYTheater.com, NPR/WNYC Radio, Hollywood Reporter, LA Weekly, Audrey Magazine and Variety. Her film and television appearances include “House M.D.,” “Private Practice,” “Criminal Minds,” “ The Closer,” “Yes Man,” “Numb3rs,” “Sleeper Cell,” “Dirt,” “Weeds” and the new NBC half hour comedy, “Bent.” She recurred last season on “True Blood” and will appear on the upcoming season of “The Newsroom.”
Heather de Michele (Director) has been directing theater for nearly 20 years. For six years Heather served as Artistic Director at New York’s American Girl Theatre, where she directed over 300 young performers in over 10,000 performances of their long running musicals. Heather is an alum of Lincoln Center Directors Lab, Women's Project and Productions directing forum and has directed at HERE Arts Center, Interart Annex, Cherry Lane Theatre, Dixon Place and 78th Street Theatre Lab and was the co-founder and Artistic Director of On The Verge Theatre Company. She is also a film director and recently wrapped her short feature, LACUNA with Tanky Productions.
Culture Project is dedicated to addressing critical human rights issues by shining an artistic spotlight on injustice. By fostering innovative collaboration between human rights organizations and artists, they aim to inspire and impact public dialogue, encouraging democratic participation in the most urgent matters of our time. Founded by Allan Buchman in 1996, Culture Project has premieredcelebrated shows including The Exonerated, Sarah Jones’ Bridge & Tunnel, Guantanamo: Honor Bound to Defend Freedom, Lawrence Wright’s My Trip To Al-Qaeda, Tings Dey Happen, the Lucille Lortel Award-winning world premiere of George Packer’s Betrayed, and Temple University’s acclaimed production of In Conflict. Culture Project also produced “Breaking the Silence, Beating the Drum”, a groundbreaking concert at the United Nations to commemorate the abolition of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Recently, Culture Project presented James X, directed by Gabriel Byrne and the revival of Rinde Eckert’s acclaimed And God Created Great Whales, along with the 15th anniversary remount of The Exonerated. In 2012, Culture Project celebrated its return to the theaters at 45 Bleecker Street.
Women Center Stage is Culture Project’s initiative to support and vigorously promote the work of women artists, and celebrate the unique contribution of women to social justice and human rights. Over the years, Women Center Stage has been an important launching pad for the projects of numerous artists, including early iterations of Heather Raffo’s Nine Parts of Desire(2003); Sarah Jones’ bridge and tunnel (2004), which went on to a sold-out Broadway run and special Tony Award; Staceyann Chin’s Border/Clash ( 2005); Geraldine Hughes’ Belfast Blues (2005); Lynn Redgrave’s Nightingale (2005); and Lenelle Moïse’s critically-acclaimed Expatriate, which became part of Culture Project’s 2008 mainstage season. In 2011 and 2012, the Women Center Stage Festival highlighted work by over 200 artists including Daphne Rubin-Vega, Angela McCluskey, Charity Henson-Ballard, Anna Khaja, Leila Buck, Rebecca Hart, and Dominique Morriseau, among others.
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