“People should not be allowed to haunt other people”cries Bashir, the tortured former prisoner of Guantanamo Bay in LIDLESS, the new play by Frances Ya- Chu Cowhig. LIDLESS is receiving simultaneous World Premiers in England and in the United States at the Contemporary American Theater Festival.
The Yale Drama Series awarded its third annual David C. Horn Prize to LIDLESS. Dramatist and screenwriter David Hare, the judge of the Yale contest, selected Cowhig’s play out of 650 applicants. He writes: “LIDLESS was the clear winner, an extraordinary and original attempt to show the enduring strain on the victims of the U.S.’s deployment of torture at Guantanamo.”
Here is a quote from David Hare’s May 3rd 2010 column in the Guardian:
” Getting away from the campaign trail to catch a new play has a more lasting impact than anything offered by politicians…I have to declare an interest. For two years I was the judge of the Yale Drama Series, which offers a $10,000 prize and a reading at Yale to a hithero unpublished play. The most interesting aspect of this duty has been to realize how, at the grassroots, playwriting is so completely dominated by women…This vitality is not yet reflected in the repertory of major theatres. The parallel with contemporary politics is obvious. Structures are slow to recognize energy when it comes from below…It is not my job to review Ya-Chu Cowhig’s play LIDLESS. But I can say it is set in the US, sometime in the future. Acts of torture at Guantanamo have entered the American bloodstream and had unforeseen repercussions for years after. Because the action embodies the consequences of parents’ invasive behaviour on their own children, it makes a far more lasting impact than anything offered from politicians in this election on the subject of war or generational damage.”
Rehearsals for our 2010 Season begin on June 8th. We are in the pre-production phase. I have been communicating with Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig via email. She is currently in China.