While I Was Waiting OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Sara Krulwich
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    July 19, 2017
    Closing:
    July 22, 2017

    Theater: Gerald W. Lynch / 524 West 59th Street, New York, NY, 10019

    Synopsis: 

    Digging into the story of one middle-class Damascus family, the celebrated Syrian team of playwright Mohammad Al Attar and director Omar Abusaada offer a gripping portrait of a country trapped in a gray area between hope and despair.

    Brutally beaten at a checkpoint, 30-year-old Taim is admitted to the hospital in a coma. As his loved ones gather around him, they must face a reality defined by uncertainty and absence. What happened to Taim? Will he ever wake up? How has their vibrant, modern city become so strange and cruel? Unable to communicate, Taim lingers on the stage, an observer and commentator, as long-buried secrets and complicated relationships are revealed.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF While I Was Waiting

    While I Was Waiting

    Jesse Green

    July 20, 2017: Political theater, with its tendency toward hectoring and grandiosity, is hard to credit these days. After all, both politics and theater have been with us for centuries, barely making an inch of difference in the tide of human brutality. “While I Was Waiting,” a subtly harrowing play by Mohammad Al Attar that opened on Wednesday in a Lincoln Center Festival production, gets around the problem by embracing failure as its central subject: the failure of government, yes, but also of resistance. As a character named Omar says, “How can nothing have changed, after all that happened?” Omar is referring specifically to the aftermath of the attempted peaceful revolution in Syria during the Arab Spring of 2011. Nearly half a million have so far died in the ensuing civil war, yet President Bashar al-Assad remains in power. That sense of stasis despite enormous disruption is what gives Mr. Al Attar’s play its convincing bite: “While I Was Waiting,” as its title suggests, is about the oxymoron of permanent crisis, in which ordinary characters face ordinary problems in a world gone mortally absurd.

    READ THE REVIEW

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