Oregon State University Theatre will present Saudi Arabian playwright Raja Alem’s “I See God/I See Allah” on March 2-5 at 7:30 p.m. and March 6 at 2 p.m. in the Withycombe Hall Lab Theatre on the OSU campus.
“I See God/I See Allah” was translated by OSU faculty members Karim Hamdy and Laura Rice. Alem is a highly regarded contemporary Arab writer and has authored several novels, plays, and a collection of poetry. She currently divides her time between Saudi Arabia and Paris.
According to OSU Theatre faculty member Charlotte Headrick, this play has never been produced in Saudi Arabia and the playwright was so pleased that OSU is doing the play that she waived her usual royalties.
Student Andrew Atkinson will direct the play, which features a cast of students from the OSU Saudi Arabian Student Association.
“The play is about one woman’s relationship to Islam which she sees as spiritual and peaceful, not a path of violence,” said Headrick, who is faculty adviser on the project along with Barbara Mason. “The students were passionate about doing a play about Saudi women and searched and searched until they found this.”
The play depicts the narrative of a female author’s experience on a TV talk show discussing her controversial book on her personal relationship to Islam. It presents several different views on Islamic spirituality and religion through passionate imagery and intriguing debate.
The cast includes Malik Alarifi as zealot, Fatimah Alramadhan as female audience member, Abbas Al Zawwad and Bader Aboalsaud as intellectuals, Fatimah Alburi as the author, Fatimah Almousawi as young woman, Mohammed Aleid as zealot, and Ali Alnakhli as TV show host.
Tickets are available at the door and are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, $5 for youth, and $4 for students.
There will be post show discussions following each performance. On Friday, March 4, leaders from various Corvallis clergy will be participating in the discussion.
This production is made possible through support by the OSU vice provost for student affairs.