WALLS was born in the summer of 2015 after my travels to Jordan and an additional year of study on Palestinian history, Arabic language, and Palestinian resistance literature. After a staged reading at a downtown coffee shop to gather feedback and improve the script, WALLS premiered at the Clarence Brown LAB Theatre at the University of Tennessee Knoxville on January 14-17, 2016. The premiere served as my senior thesis project for the College Scholars Program, a program that allowed me to design my own major in Literary Activism. I got to combine sociology, English, and theatre classes to serve my interests in writing to advance social justice causes. The premiere of the play was accompanied by an educational playbill that defined key terms and provided more resources, as well as a talkback to discuss the major themes of the show.
The creation of WALLS was a labor of love and was made possible in collaboration with the following dedicated and talented artists:
DIRECTOR: David Ratliff
SCENIC DESIGN: Amany Alshibli
LIGHTING DESIGN: Maranda DeBusk
SOUND DESIGN: David Ratliff
PRODUCTION STAGE MANAGER: Danielle Pressley
DIASPORA CHILD: Ellen Nikbakht
BABA: Ben Hurst
DUDEBRO, THE ALIYOT, PROM DATE, THE RAPIST: Craig Cartwright
A very impressive play! We are proud of what you did and what you stand for.
This production blew me (and my husband and daughter, herself a former actress) totally away. It was a powerful experience, rich in history and cultural references and personal detail. BRAVO!!!!
Thanks Summer, outstanding play! Three stories and three characters wonderfully weaved together, great acting. The sense of not-belonging here, and longing for an identity lost or never found, talks to so many of us, Palestinians and not. As probably many others, I cried during your play, for the beauty and the complexity of the characters, and for Palestine. Waiting for other works like this!
I am speechless. “Walls” is beautiful and impactful. The play was so well written. You should be very proud. Bravo.