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At a checkpoint in Iraq, a 10-year-old girl named Ghazal is shot by an unidentified U.S. soldier. Behind the checkpoint, a conference on rebuilding Iraq – attended by high-profile Iraqi and American delegates – is underway. The girl’s condition is critical. Captain Edward Alston, the officer in charge of the checkpoint, learns that Ghazal has a rare blood type and requires an immediate transfusion from her father, a jailed Iraqi writer. Captain Alston tries to arrange for a transfusion. He is also about to let the girl’s distraught mother Nahla, a Canadian woman, go past security to be with her daughter when he is overruled by his superior, Commander Hektor Frank. Why? Because the girl’s father Omar, imprisoned for his writings by the now-overthrown dictator Saddam, is classified as a terrorist by the U.S. government. While the two officers argue over the father’s alleged terrorist history, the girl dies in U.S. custody. A complex story arises involving characters in tension with each other and themselves: Nahla, who can use her Canadian passport to free Omar, but only if he stops threatening to avenge Ghazal’s death; Omar, whose family’s survival is threatened by his activities but who feels bound to serve his troubled country; Captain Alston, who must reconcile his duties as a patriot with his conscience; Commander Frank, who harbours a secret past and can’t take any chances; and the clergyman who turns a personal tragedy into a public fatwa by calling upon Muslims to kill Edward for ‘preventing a mother from seeing her child.’ Truth and Treason invites us to discover the real truth behind the war on terror…
Rahul Varma is a playwright, essayist, and community activist and artistic director of the Teesri Duniya Theatre which he co-founded in 1981. He writes both in Hindi and English which is the language of his adulthood. He is one of only a few culturally diverse playwrights whose works have been translated and produced in French, Hindi and other languages. His recent works include Counter Offence and Bhopal, which was translated in Hindi as Zahreeli Hawa by India’s preeminent director Habib Tanvir.
A native of Italy, Arianna is a graduate of the directing program at the National Theatre School of Canada. She has been directing in Montreal (Théâtre de Quat’Sous; Repercussion; Infinitheatre; Teesri Duniya), Toronto (Theatre Passe Muraille), Mexico (Cuatro Milpas Teatro) and Italy, where she adapted a contemporary novel, Mai Sentita Cosi Bene, for the stage. She is a guest teacher in Commedia dell’Arte at McGill University. At Usine C, Arianna recently created an installation piece for Springboard Dance Montreal with New York choreographer Nelly von Bommel. As a performer, Arianna has trained in Milan, London, and Paris under the inspiring guidance of such teachers as Ariane Mnouchkine and Philippe Gaulier. As a puppeteer she has toured internationally with Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia. Alongside Christine Aubin Khalifah, Arianna has recently founded a new Montreal-based theatre company, Õdelah Creations, whose latest production Ties will be featured at Centaur Theatre’s Wildside Festival in January 2010. With Ödelah, she is currently developing a new project, Chère Suzy, a multidisciplinary original creation.
Christine Aubin Khalifah, Karim Babin, Abdelghafour Elaaziz, David Francis, Sarah Garton Stanley, Charley Hausknost, Alex Ivanovici, Jean-Moïse Martin, Warona Setshwaelo and Ivan Smith.
Romain Fabre (Set Design), Ève-line Leduc (Costume Design), Natasha Rosdol (Hair and Make-Up Design), Jesse Ash (Sound Design), Kirsten Watt (Lighting Design). Kathryn Cleveland (Stage Manager), Dave Surette (Technical Director and Production Manager).