In “This Is Who I Am,” an estranged father and son separated by continents reunite over Zoom. From their respective kitchens in Ramallah, Palestine and New York City they recreate a cherished family recipe and struggle to bridge the gap between them, one ingredient at a time. Told through the intimacy of a video call with humor and humanity, Amir Nizar Zuabi’s new play explores the unpredictable nature of grief and the delicacy of family connection across geographical and generational divides.
This play was uniquely made for the Zoom age. Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company Artistic Director Maria Manuela Goyanes says, “(Amir Nizar Zuabi) has written a story specifically meant to be told through a video call, connecting form and content seamlessly. The experience is intimate and still inherently theatrical. I am so honored to have co-commissioned this piece with PlayCo and to continue to poke at the boundaries of what theatre can be; both online and in person."
Zuabi, who grew up in Palestine, moved to London for a time, and currently resides in Jaffa, Israel/Palestine explains, “I left my country at a certain point and remembered these awkward long-distance conversations. Now, many hours of my day have been spent Zoom-ing since January; one of the big frustrations is that we’re very close, and I can look at people’s houses and feel very intimate with them but at the same time we’re deprived of our sensory ability and are separated by two walls of glass. But if two people are both cooking the same dish, at least the smells are similar and the noises might be happening at the same time, so suddenly we are creating a mutual world.”
Preview performances begin December 5 at 4pm EST and continue December 8 and 10-12 at 8:30pm EST and December 6 and 9 at 4pm EST. Additional performances take place December 15-19, 22, 23, 26-30, and January 2 at 8:30pm EST and December 20, 26, 27, 31, January 2 and 3 at 4pm EST. Tickets to “This Is Who I Am” start at $15 and are available online at woollymammoth.net
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