• InterAct Theater (map)
  • 2030 Sansom St
  • Philadelphia, PA, 19103
  • United States

Tennis in Nablus: A Reading of a New Play by Ismail Khalidi
Directed by Pirronne Yousefzadeh

Set in Nablus in the spring of 1939, Tennis in Nablus, brings to life the last days of the Arab Revolt as the people of Palestine attempt for one last time to drive out the British. With both deep passion and bold comedy, it is a genre bending look at Palestine's embattled status through the eyes of Yusef, an unflagging rebel, his wife, Anbara who is an indefatigable writer of anti-colonial tracts and his ambitious young nephew, Tariq. As their world ignites absurdly around them, this divided family faces their own demons as they seek to achieve peace and freedom with dignity.

We are presenting this reading in honor of the upcoming release of Inside/Outside: Six Plays from Palestine and the Diaspora, an anthology edited by Khalidi and Naomi Wallace.  After the reading Ismail will discuss the anthology, his work, and contemporary playwriting on the topic of Palestine. Sponsored by Palestine Literary Project, JVP Philadelphia, and InterAct Theatre.

…Ismail Khalidi’s ‘Tennis in Nablus’ is a remarkably funny play… a beautifully crafted work of art that balances the playwright’s passion for the politics of his homeland with a playful and irreverent comedic sensibility….Khalidi may be concerned with a tumultuous moment in Palestine’s history, but ‘Tennis in Nablus’ is not a period piece; nor is it the least bit sentimental. Writing with an ear for contemporary language and a delightful sense of the absurd, Khalidi describes the Palestinians as dreamy revolutionaries and the British colonialists as comic buffoons.
— The Atlanta Journal Constitution
‘Tennis in Nablus’ inspires laughter and tears­—and the frequency of the former serves masterfully to ensure the efficacy of the latter.
— The Columbia Spectator