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Workshops @ ReOrient 2009 - The First Ten Years

We are very lucky to have two extraordinary international artists working with the ReOrient Festival this year. Hafiz Karmali, who directed the visually stunning production of Island of Animals in 2006, is back directing Abaga and A Marriage Proposal; and Motti Lerner, award-winning Israeli playwright whose play Coming Home is part of the festival, will lead playwriting and directing workshops in December. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hone your artistic skills and try out ideas in a room of peers.

Playwriting with Motti Lerner | Directing with Hafiz Karmali

Playwriting Workshop with Motti Lerner
December 2nd 6pm - 10 and 3rd 2pm - 6
at the Thick House, 1695 18th Street, San Francisco

Widely acknowledged for his political dramas that humanize difficult social issues, Motti Lerner, in this workshop will share his signature approach to developing complex characters that organically drive the plot. On the first day, each participant will submit a one page description of an idea for a play. The idea will be discussed and explored by the participants and the instructor. On the second day the participants will present a developed description of their ideas. These ideas will be explored and discussed again with the goal of developing a clear dramatic structure, including main characters and a synopsis of the plot. Space limited.


Motti Lerner is a playwright and screenwriter, born in Israel in 1949. Motti teaches playwriting at the Kibbutz College in Tel Aviv and has been active in the peace movement in Israel since 1973. He frequently lectures at European and American Universities on playwriting, on the Israeli theatre, and especially on the Israeli theatre and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Most of his plays and films deal with political issues. He is a recipient of the Meskin Award for the best play (1985), and the Israeli Motion Picture Academy award for the best TV drama in 1995 and in 2004. In 1994 he won the Prime Minister’s of Israel Award for his creative work. His plays have been produced in the US, the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Austria and Australia. His American productions include: "The murder of Isaac" at Centerstage Theatre, Baltimore, and also as part of the New York Now festival at the Public Theatre in NY), "Exile in Jerusalem" (Williamstown Festival – with Julie Harris in the title role, Jewish Ensemble Theatre, Detroit, La Mama Theatre, NY, Theatre J Washington DC) "Hard Love" – Theatre Or, Durham NC, Victory Gardens, Chicago, and JTS in Atlanta, "Passing The Love of Women"– Theatre J, Washington DC, Coming Home"– Golden Thread theatre, San Francisco, "Pangs of the Messiah" - Theatre J in Washington DC, Silk Road Theatre Project in Chicago and Cleveland Playhouse in Cleveland. "Benedictus" in Golden Thread theatre in San Francisco, in LATC in Los Angeles, and in Theatre J in Washington DC. His play "Pangs of the Messiah" was nominated for the Helen Hayes award for the best play of 2008.

To register, complete your order by paying the $80 non-refundable deposit. The full balance will be due at the first session.


Directing Seminar with Hafiz Karmali
December 8 & 9, 6pm-10; and December 12 & 13, 11am-3pm
at the Thick House, 1695 18th Street, San Francisco

Golden Thread Productions’ guest director Hafiz Karmali will be holding a seminar on the art of directing for the stage. Sharing his version and subversion of mise-en-scène, the seminar will include both theoretical and practical components. Participants will form small ensembles, direct and discuss various scenes.

Four 4-hour sessions will appeal to both beginner and intermediate artists. Students will work in teams and alternate as directors and actors. Each session will focus on a specific aspect of the art of directing including a review of the emergence of the modern director; fundamentals of directing including text analysis, acting, composition and pacing; production and design process; and final presentations.


Hafiz Karmali directed A Marriage Proposal by Yussef el Guindi and Abaga by Torange Yeghiazarian in ReOrient 2009, as well as Island of Animals in 2006. Additional directing credits include Buchner’s Woyzeck, Leonce & Lena; Garcia Lorca’s The Shoemaker’s Prodigious Wife (Festival Avignon-Off, France); Attar’s Conference of the Birds (Ismaili Centre, London); Carlo Gozzi’s Love of Three Oranges & Raven (Montreal); Ikhwan al-Safa’s Island of Animals (Ismaili Centre, London); Jamatkhanas: A Journey I & II (video documentaries on Islamic Architecture); Caravane de la Paix (UNESCO, Paris).

Mr. Karmali served an apprenticeship at the American Repertory Theatre at Harvard University where he had the good fortune of assisting internationally renowned directors, Andrei Serban & Robert Wilson.

While at the A.R.T., Hafiz served as a Teaching Fellow in the English Department at Harvard University for courses taught by Professor Robert Brustein (Drama and Post-Modern Drama). Articles by Hafiz Karmali have been published in specialist journals including Society of Stage Artists and Directors (New York City) and Arts & the Islamic World (London). Mr. Karmali speaks a number of languages including French and Farsi.

To register, complete your order by paying the $100 non-refundable deposit. The full balance will be due at the first session.

Class limited to 12 students.



For more information about our playwriting workshops or to reserve your place in the workshop, please contact serge@goldenthread.org.

Torange Yeghiazarian, Artistic Director / Serge Bakalian, Managing Director
450 Florida Street, San Francisco, CA 94110, CA 94103 / 415.626.4061 / information@goldenthread.org