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Theatre

CitySunset
About Gardens and Cemeteries 2004

Directed by Jovanni Sy
Produced by Cahoots Theatre Project
Starring d’bi young and Sanjay Talwar

In the summer  of 2004, Cahoots Theatre invited Ari Belathar to participate in Art for Real Change Festival – Fifteen Minutes to Change the World.  Belathar, then a newcomer with broken English, wrote a 15–minute piece about police brutality and racial profiling.

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The TAXI Project 2008

Directed by Weyni Mengesha
Dramaturgy by Erica Kopyto
Produced by PEN Canada and Art for Real Change Collective
Starring Miranda Edwards, Patrick Garrow, Mayahuel Tecozautla and Diana Tso
Scirocco Drama 2010 (ISBN-10: 1897289472)

In 2007 Ari Belathar took part in The TAXI Project, writing a collective play with fellow writers in exile:  Martha Kuwee Kumsa, Sheng Xue and Goran Simic.

Produced by PEN Canada and The Art for Real Change Collective,  The TAXI Project enjoyed a two-week run at Alchemy Theatre in Toronto, and toured  high schools and community centres in ten southern Ontario cities and municipalities.

“The TAXI Projectprovides a glimpse into what it means to be forced to leave your homeland to start your life anew. After years of incarceration by the Red Terror in Ethiopia, Seeyyee Seera struggles to become a mother to her children again. Alejandra Pineda remains haunted by memories of torture at the hands of the Mexican authorities for her role in a student uprising. Xiao Hong, amongst the protesters at the Tiananmen Square uprising in China, cannot return to see her dying mother. And finally, Exyou Peric, a Bosnian photo journalist who drives a taxi, the interior covered in Polaroid photos of of his passengers. We follow the characters on their journeys: attempting to be heard by a society that doesn’t speak their language, searching for employment, surviving the loneliness of a harsh Toronto winter, and struggling to find the energy necessary to keep on writing.”  — Scirocco Drama.

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La Danza del Venado – a work in progress 2013

Ari Belathar is currently working on her first full-length play, La Danza del VenadoInspired by her own experience of crossing the border into the United States as a child, La Danza del Venado was selected for Alameda Theatre’s 2012 De Colores Festival of New Works, and  it was awarded support by the Canada Council for the Arts as well as the Ontario Arts Council.


EXCERPT

Scene 11
(Sammy enters. Walking at a steady pace, he exits without looking back. Quino and El Venado enter, walking side by side. One by one the rest of the group enters.)

QUINO
Between one step

LILI
and the next one

YADIRA
all the darkness of this world.

JULIÁN
That is why you should mark with a kiss

LAURO
the first moon that you see.

QUINO
Nobody told me that the earth was round

ALL
like the song of the crickets.

QUINO
Between one step

LILI
and the next one

YADIRA
all the thirst of this world.

JULIÁN
That is why you should mark with a kiss

LAURO
the first river that you see.

QUINO
Nobody told me that the earth was round

ALL
like the taste of dust in my mouth.

QUINO
Between one step

LILI
and the next one

LAURO
all the solitude of this world.

JULIÁN
That is why you should mark with a kiss

YADIRA
the first tree that you see.

QUINO
Nobody told me that the earth was round

ALL
like your name whispered by the wind.

QUINO
Between one step

LILI
and the next one

LAURO
the sun lying in wait.

JULIÁN
That is why you should mark with a kiss

YADIRA
the first bird that you see.

QUINO
Nobody told me that the earth was round

ALL
like the anxiety of my shadow…

YADIRA
shadow of a wounded shadow.

La Danza del Venado — working draft  2013
© Ari Belathar All Rights Reserved