Ed Sylvanus Iskandar. Photo by Lia Chang

International Play Reading Festival: TIME BOMB at Lenfest Center for the Arts on June 15

Ed Sylvanus Iskandar. Photo by Lia Chang
Ed Sylvanus Iskandar. Photo by Lia Chang

Tonight, I am going to a reading of Time Bomb by N. Riantiarno (Indonesia), the first play of three featured in the Inaugural Columbia University School of the Arts International Play Reading Festival, organized by Dean Carol Becker and David Henry Hwang, at the Flexible Performance Space, Lenfest Center for the Arts, 615 W. 129 St. in New York at 7pm.

The other plays in the Festival by living international playwrights that were not originally written in English include Shaitan Lake by Rinat Tashminov (Russia) and Where Can I Find Someone Like You, Ali? by Raeda Taha (Palestine).

The goal of the festival is to expand contemporary American understanding of theatre beyond that of English-speaking countries, and to present new theatrical voices to US audiences.

Time Bomb was translated from Indonesian by Barbara Hatley and will be helmed by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar.

The cast includes Jorja Brown, Debbie Christine*, Karl Josef Co*, Kim Fischer*, Sevan Greene*, Megan Masako Haley, Katie Lee Hill*,Frank Licari, Paolo Montalban*, Aaron L. Morishita*, and Kate Rigg*

*Appearing courtesy of Actor’s Equity Association

Dramaturg: Cobina Gillitt
Consultant: Jason Williamson
Music Director: Enrico de Trizio
Stage Manager: Daniel Vaughn
Associate Stage Manager: Tzipora Reman

This is a story about those who are marginalized. A story of those living under bridges and in foul sewers, who can only stare up at the moon and speculate on their fortunes, daydreaming about the luxurious lives stowed away behind bright shop windows. When the state comes to raze their small riverside town in order to develop the land, these villagers—forgotten, abused, oppressed—find their bodies and spirits in danger of being buried underneath the demolished rubble.

Born in Cirebon, Indonesia, in 1949, N. Riantiarno founded Teater Koma in Jakarta in 1977. His over-140 stage and television productions include The Cockroach Opera Trilogy; Sorry.Sorry.Sorry; Succession; Sampek Engtay; The Primadonna Opera; Burisrawa The Corporate Mogul; Semar Protests; Constipated Opera; The Republic of Bagong; The Republic of Togog; The Republic of Petruk; Metaphore of Love; and the Siejinkwie tetralogy. He is the author of the novels Evening Romance; Red Mirror; Clear Mirror; Love Mirror; and Primadonna.

Time Bomb
List of Characters
Jumini, woman who has lost her husband and child
Roima, good-looking young gangster
Julini, transvestite, Roima’s girlfriend
Kumis, security guard
Bleki, security guard
Abung, mad philosopher who lives in a tree
Tarsih, pretty and popular prostitute
Kasijah, prostitute
Turkana, Jumini’s companion and admirer
Tibal, young villager newly arrived in the city
Tuminah, Tibal’s sister
Sawil and Bilun, pair of dreamers & schemers
Subdistrict Head, government bureaucrat
Secretary, subdistrict head’s secretary
Singer
Prostitute 1
Prostitute 2
Other Prostitutes
Diners
Beggars
Guards

Setting: A fetid slum under a bridge along a Jakarta canal. On a higher level and visible throughout the play, five diners of apparent wealth are seated at a table at a fine restaurant. Statue-like, they eat their sumptuous meals without speaking.

Click here for other events in the Festival.

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