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Foreword by David Hare
Copyright Date: 2010
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 96
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  • Book Info
    Book Description:

    It's been fifteen years since Guantánamo, fifteen years since Bashir last saw his U.S. Army interrogator, Alice. Bashir is now dying of a disease of the liver, an organ that he believes is the home of the soul. He tracks down Alice in Texas and demands that she donate half her liver as restitution for the damage wrought during her interrogations.

    But Alice doesn't remember Bashir; a PTSD pill trial she participated in while in the army has left her without any memory of her time there. It is only when her inquisitive fourteen-year-old daughter begins her own investigation that the fragile peace of mind that Alice's drug-induced oblivion enabled begins to falter.

    Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig's powerful drama asks important and difficult questions: Is guilt a necessary form of moral reckoning, or is it an obstacle to be overcome? Will the price of our national political amnesia be paid only by the next generation-the daughters and sons who were never there?

    Upon awarding the prize, David Hare wrote, "We admired the play because-although it was stylishly written, although the governing metaphor and basic realism were held in a fine balance-it also recalled the political urgency which had propelled a previous generation of writers into the theatre in the first place."

    eISBN: 978-0-300-16474-9
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. ix-xiv)
    David Hare

    Some time in 2007, I was asked by Francine Horn of the David Charles Horn Foundation to take over from Edward Albee, who had served for two years as the inaugural judge of the Yale Drama Series. When I accepted, I had little idea what to expect. I knew that the purpose of the prize was to arrange for the reading, and then for the publication, of a hitherto unpublished play in the English language. To help me with this task I assembled a distinguished reading panel, some of whom I knew better than others: Peter Ansorge, the one-time Controller...

  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  5. Lidless
    (pp. 1-74)

    Alice, 25, then 40 white Texan

    Bashir, 48 Pakistani-Canadian

    Riva, 25, then 40 Iraqi-Assyrian Texan

    Lucas, 40 Alice’s husband; racially ambiguous

    Rhiannon,* 14 Alice’s daughter

    Zakiyah,* 22 Bashir’s daughter

    Rhiannon and Zakiyah can be played by the same actor.

    Place and Time: A day in a Guantánamo Bay detention camp in 2004 and a week in Minnesota fifteen years later.

    Production Note: The suggested aesthetic is minimal, not realistic. Set pieces should be able to transform instantly in function and perspective from scene to scene. Scenes should flow into one another, with areas of overlapping soundscape, movement, and image. Stage...

  6. Afterword
    (pp. 75-78)
    Carrie Kaplan

    On January 22, 2009, President Barack Obama issued an executive order to close the Guantánamo Bay detention facilities within one year. A year later, two hundred detainees held on charges of terrorism are yet to be processed. In some cases, there is little evidence to substantiate the charges; for others, the evidence at hand may be inadmissible because it was extracted using advanced torture techniques. Government officials around the world continue to face questions that do not have simple answers: Which detainees will be prosecuted? Where and how? What will count as admissible evidence? Where will detainees go when they...