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Celebrating the members of the League of Professional Theatre Women

Archive for the tag “Hamlet”

Asmaa Yehia Eltaher

Asmaa Yehia Eltaher, member of the League of Professional Theatre WomenAssistant Lecturer / Actress
Cairo, Egypt and New York, New York USA (til Feb 2013)

I’m in love with performances. When I saw an experimental play on Hamlet in a festival in Sweden 1996 performed by one Canadian actor for all rules and with only some cubes as the set, I fell in love with extra-ordinary performances. Also when I attended a performance from Swaziland performed in Egypt 1999 about the Odessa performed by only two actors for the multiple characters in the epic, I felt the power of the Actor. And whenever I see the powerful popular or folkloric performances in Egypt I dream of using my body as an instrument to be the storyteller, the dancer, the musician and the dramatist. My ultimate feeling is when I tell a story to audiences to be the master of my own body and sound. My lovely escape is belly-dancing when I dance I read the words with my body I feel great and love being a woman. I believe in what Grotowski said “the important thing is not the words but what we do with these words…”. I dream of making a theatre experience in Egypt- as we are a body-languaged people- to release our bodies from borders and tell what we really want to tell about ourselves.

Asmaa Yehia Eltaher is an Egyptian Visiting Scholar at the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center/CUNY Graduate Center, and working on her Ph.D. thesis on African theatre. Assistant lecturer in Theatre at Egypt’s Helwan University. BAs insociology & drama and criticism, and MA in drama and criticism. Also an accomplished actor in Egyptian television, film, and theatre.

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Joanne Pottlitzer

Joanne Pottlitzer, member of the League of Professional Theatre WomenWriter and Director
New York, New York USA

The play that changed my life would be Antigone. I was cast as Ismene for a radio production at Purdue University, where one of the theatre department’s directors was playing Creon. He asked me to join the cast of one of his productions and I spent the rest of my college years on stage in extraordinary roles, such as Julia in The Cocktail Party, Laurie in Green Grow the Lilacs, where I sang “Black Is the Color of My True Love’s Hair” a capella (!!), and Gertrude in Hamlet. Favorite line from a play: the last scene of Hamlet: “There is a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, ’tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come – the readiness is all.” I also love Albee’s line in A Delicate Balance, which paraphrased is that we need to edit our memory in order to survive.

I remember one summer while I was in college reading D’Annuncio’s The Flame of Life, an autobiographical rendering about his relationship with Eleanora Duse, listening to the music of Tchaikovsky’s Capriccio Italiene. The music and the book are one in my memory.

My love of music covers a wide range–classical, new music (from Stravinsky to Steve Reich), fusion, folk, Latin, and I love country!

I look for inspiration in people I admire, the wonders of nature, art, ideas that either stimulate my mind or move me.

I feel most myself writing, painting…beside the Chilean sea, surrounded by the beauty of nature. My passion for other cultures stems from a summer spent in Mexico City when I was 19, living with a Mexican family and attending the National University. That also changed my life.

I don’t think I have any guilty pleasures. I just enjoy them.

My dreams include designing a house (I studied architectural design), painting professionally, acting again, adapting for theatre and film my book, Symbols of Resistance: The Legacy of Artists under Pinochet, about the influence of artists on the political process.

Joanne Pottlitzer, writer and director, has produced many Latin American plays in New York. She has received numerous producing and writing awards, including two Obies. Articles: NY Times, TDR, American Theatre, Theater. Teaching: Yale School of Drama, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Hunter College, Ohio University School of Theater.

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