Women of Troy/Voices from Afghanistan
Yalda Baktash and Susan Galbraith
About the Play
In its most ambitious cross-cultural collaboration work to date, Alliance for New Music-Theatre brings to the Festival a music-rich retelling of Euripides’ most famous anti-war play "Trojan Women" set in modern-day Afghanistan. As the women sing and share their stories, they reach into Afghanistan’s rich and multi-cultural past, stitching together stories and songs that bring us into a deeper and more complex portrait most of us only see through the lens of a war-torn country. A hopeful and more uplifting side shines a light on the resilience of Afghan women, the beauty of their creative expressions, and especially their voices in music and poetry.
The world debut of the music-theatre adaptation represents a cross-cultural collaboration between Afghan and American artists and will showcase the cooperative efforts of two playwright-poets, two co-composers, and 16 performers drawn from American and Afghan musicians and singer-actors. The project, with its honorary sponsors in the Afghan Ambassador and his wife, represents the company's mission of cultural diplomacy through the narrative of the important role of women in developing and nurturing the rebirth of civil society.
Susan Galbraith (Co-writer & Director)
Writer, Director, and Performer, Susan Galbraith has worked in both classical repertory and contemporary theater. As a founding member of the Alliance for New Music-Theatre and current Artistic Director, Susan has performed in Vaclav Havel's Unveiling, directed Kafka's Metamorphosis, and written libretto for opera (Woman Changed Into a Fox) and the book and lyrics for the musical Waiting for Amelia, about the famous aviatrix. Later in 2018, her work with composer Maurice Saylor, R.U.R.: A Retro-Futuristic Cabaret Musical based on Karel Capek's 1920's work foreseeing a world shared with robots, will be unveiled in DC's Dupont Underground.
Yalda Baktash (Co-writer )
Yalda Baktash is a native of Afghanistan, is recognized poet and calligrapher, with extensive professional experience in audio-visual and print media, including as radio and TV host, writer, and dubber. Yalda dubbed numerous foreign movies, TV series and documentaries into Dari or Farsi for Persian-based radio and television channels in Afghanistan and Iran. She served as scriptwriter, set designer, and advisor in the production of a TV program called Hezar Rang, aired in Afghanistan and also served as an instructor and technical advisor in the production of audio-visual teaching/learning aids for Afghan school textbooks. She is currently studying sociology and history at Georgetown University. Yalda has been teaching Dari at Georgetown and has worked with the US-Afghan Women Council as a student advisory board member since Fall 2015.
Milad Yousofi (Composer/ Musician)
Milad Yousofi is a composer and Rubab player working in contemporary Afghan Folk, World-Jazz and Fusion music. Milad wishes to promote the precious sound of Afghanistan's musical traditions and hopes to evolve the genre with his unique musical experience. Milad believes that when played well, the Rubab produces an ethereal sound that moves the spirit (Ruh) and leaves an impression on the listener that resonates well after the physical note has faded.
Dawn Avery (Composer/ Musician)
Dawn Avery, composer, cellist, vocalist, educator, and GRAMMY-nominated performer has worked with musical luminaries Luciano Pavarotti, Sting, John Cale, John Cage, R. Carlos Nakai, and Phillip Glass. She's toured around the world playing Delta Blues with the Soldier String Quartet, Persian Funk with Karsh Kale and Sussan Deyhim, Sufi and Afghan music with Humayun Khan and Reza Derakshani, and opera with the New York City Opera Company. As a singer/songwriter, Dawn’s newest work entitled LOVE SONGS FOR A CHANGING WORLD features Sufi concepts in a chill wave style, produced by GRAMMY-winning artist, Larry Mitchell and is part of her most recent multi-media performance featuring whirling dervishes, film, and Native dance and was filmed by MCTV.