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College of Arts and Humanities

Afghanistan Conflict Provides Rich Backdrop for CTE Dramas

Central Washington University’s Central Theatre Ensemble will present two productions that are grounded in the struggles in war-torn Afghanistan, told from very different viewpoints, by award-winning playwright William Mastrosimone. In these finely nuanced pieces, the spiritual toll on an individual’s humanity forms the crux of the plays’ tragic resolutions.

Nanawatai follows the struggle of a Soviet tank crew commanded by a tyrannical officer during the 1980’s invasion of Afghanistan. The crew is separated from its unit and pursued through the mountains by a band of Mujahadeen. The play, which was the basis of the cult film classic, The Beast, explores the how ingrained cultural norms are betrayed by the brutal realities of war.  Nanawatai will be performed November 7-9 and 14-16 at 7:30 p.m., and on November 17 at 2:00 p.m., in the Milo Smith Tower Theater. General admission is $12, senior/students, $10 and $7 for CWU students with ID. There will be a question and answer session following the performance on November 14.

On November 13, there will be a special staged reading of Afghan Women at 7:30 p.m. in the Milo Smith Theatre. The story follows an Afghan woman who fled her homeland during the civil war, but now returns from the United States to found an orphanage. In the ensuing story, her moral code on taking a life is challenged.  A question and answer session will follow the performance. The event is free and open to the public, however a ticket is required for admission.

Both performances are recommended for general audiences, but may not be suitable for very young children.

For tickets, go to www.cwu.edu/theatre/tickets. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Welcome Center on University Way or at the Wildcat Shop Customer Service in the Student Union and Recreation Building. You may purchase tickets by phone at 509-963-1429. Parking is free after 4:30 p.m. and on weekends, excepted in specially designated spaces (handicapped, loading) or lots assigned to residence halls. For more information, call the Theatre Arts Department at 509-963-1750.