MapFund

About the Grant

$30,000 to support Aftermath (MAP 2009), a new play by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, which will be developed and produced by New York Theatre Workshop. Aftermath is based on interviews with the real people behind the phrase "collateral damage" - civilian victims of the war in Iraq. Approximately 3.9 million Iraqi civilians are now refugees, many of whom are the surviving family members of the widely estimated 80,000 deceased. Behind these staggering figures are human beings with moving stories not yet shared with American audiences.

About the Project

New York Theatre Workshop will present the world premiere of Aftermath by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen in September 2009. Aftermath was born out of a conversation that took place in 2007 between NYTW’s Artistic Director Jim Nicola and playwright/director Jessica Blank about the unspoken consequences of the Iraq war on civilian Iraqis. Believing Ms. Blank and her writing partner Erik Jensen, creators of The Exonerated, would be the perfect artistic team to bring this hidden topic to light, NYTW secured a grant from the Ford Foundation for Blank and Jensen to travel to Amman, Jordan, to conduct interviews with Iraqi refugees. Upon return in 2008, NYTW helped the writers transcribe these interviews and provided a residency for them to create a script with actors. Throughout the past year, NYTW has worked closely with the writers and hosted readings to further develop the piece.

Aftermath aspires to depict the real people behind the phrase “collateral damage” not merely as anecdotal figures, statistics, or horror stories. Through these interview transcripts, the writers capture their hopes, fears, backgrounds, families, professions, and loves, as well as what they have endured throughout the war. The play is steeped in the playwrights’ belief that theater has a distinct ability to create connections among individuals normally separated by geography, experience, nationality, or beliefs. Through the simple act of speaking to an audience, the characters portrayed in this play reveal the experiences of a community of people with which we, as Americans, are indelibly connected.  

Related Websites

New York Theatre Workshop

NY, New York




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