"What's Your Story" Narratives & Performances of the MENA

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98% of those polled in a recent survey said that they believe they have stories to tell. From the ancients to the moderns, a society is reflected by the stories it tells itself and others. “What’s Your Story?” is an oral history workshop hosted by The Markaz and curated by playwright Henry Ong with support from theatre professional Elizabeth Malone—a series that invites refugees, exiles, and descendants of Middle Eastern and North African immigrants and their supporters to share their narratives in a free-flowing, non-judgmental forum. The workshop series on Monday nights at The Markaz will conclude with an evening of poetry, story-telling, and performances on Wednesday, Sept. 9, featuring Stephanie Abraham, Bianca Bagatourian, Jeremy Ebenstein, Valantina Ishaq, Morani Kornberg-Weiss, Susan Lumiere, Nahal Navidar, Elizabeth Malone and Kamelya Youssef.

Stories include themes of Arab American, Armenian and Iranian identity, roots and “being between worlds,” along with wild adventures to Israel, discovering Palestine in a Tel Aviv bookstore, a history of genocide, and Christians in Palestine. Performances by participants include traditional Debka dance, Assyrian dance, belly dancing, poetry, and song.

Free to the public, donations graciously accepted.

This program is presented by The Markaz, Arts Center for the Greater Middle East, with support from the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA). Henry Ong is a Los Angeles playwright who has worked on many oral history and writing workshops in various communities (Sikh, Thai, Korean, Chinese, and Filipino, and the blind and visually-impaired). His plays have been produced nationally, including at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, and internationally in Singapore, the UK, and Canada. Elizabeth Malone is Chair of the Theatre Committee at The Markaz. She received her MFA from Columbia University and has worked with youth and the elderly creating theater in Palestine.

Special Thanks to Jeremy Srock for documenting the process.


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  • September 09, 2015 at 7:30pm – 9:30pm
  • The Markaz
    5998 W Pico Blvd
    Los Angeles, CA 90035
    United States
    Google map and directions
  • 9 people are going
  • Elizabeth Malone

    323.413.2001
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