Worldwide reading of Iraq play

Taline Helwajian

On March 20 more than 40 theaters around the world, including the CSUN Theater Guild partnered with the Theater Department, will simultaneously present a play titled “What I Heard About Iraq.”

Jennifer Dithridge and Patrick Ryan are co-producing and acting in the show at CSUN, which will be directed by Peter Grego, chair of the theater department.

“The play is based on a factual article that was published by the New York Times,” which includes quotes from the reporter (Eliot Weinberger) and members of the Bush administration, said Ryan.

The script is a protest piece against the war that shows the contradictory statements that have been made by government officials, including National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, but it is not necessarily an anti-Bush production, said Ryan.

“The text is very powerful,” said Dithridge. The Theater Guild’s version of the performance will be a staged reading rather than a full production, which includes 10 actors instead of the usual five.

The script was written and adapted by Simon Levy, director and producer of the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles, using the New York Times article.

“The idea of the event itself, the fact that you can get theaters around the world to perform the same play on the same night” shows the power of a live theatrical event, said Ryan. “It brings people together.”

The reading will take place in Cypress Hall (formerly Music Hall) in Room 158 at 7:30 p.m. The event is open to all students and faculty for free on a first-come, first-serve basis. A discussion will follow.

Taline Helwajian can be reached at