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Palestinian-American playwright to bring play to campus Oct. 27

Andrea Lynn, Humanities Editor


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Palestinian-American playwright/actress Betty Shamieh is bringing her critically acclaimed play “Chocolate in Heat: Growing Up Arab in America” to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Following the free public performance at 7 p.m. Oct. 27 (Monday) at the Krannert Art Museum, 500 E. Peabody Drive, Champaign, Shamieh will take part in a panel discussion of her play.

Julia Walker, professor of English, will introduce the discussion; Oday Salim, a graduate student in English, will serve as moderator.

Earlier this year “Chocolate” played at The Tank theater in New York City and the Theater for the New City, also in New York. Before that it enjoyed a sold-out run at the NYC Fringe Festival.

“Chocolate,” a two-person performance featuring Shamieh and Piter Fattouche, is “a fresh, vibrant telling of five interlocking stories on the most basic of human themes accentuated with music and dance, and given life by two excellent performers,” wrote theater reviewer Matthew Murray last month for

“Prejudice, sexual assault, duty, loss, revenge and obligation are a few of the powerful emotions Shamieh touches on in direct … surprising and poetic ways.”

Shamieh’s visit is sponsored by the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH), with support from the Center on Democracy in a Multiracial Society and several departments in the colleges of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Communications, and the department of kinesiology.

For more information, contact Chris Catanzarite at IRPH,