News & Updates

March 12, 2015


NEW YORK, NY -hotINK at The Larkis proud to present four play readings, written by playwrights who hail from the Middle East and Eastern Europe: MRS. GHADA’S PAIN THRESHOLD by Abdullah Alkafri (Syria), translated by Hassan Abdulrazzak; I.D. by Amahl Khouri (Jordan); MINE WATER by Csaba Szkely (Romania), translated by Mari Albert; THE LIFE EXPECTANCY OF WASHING MACHINES by Elise Wilk (Romania), translated byIoana Ieronim.

hotINK at The Lark, led by Program Co-Curators Catherine Corayand Lisa Rothe, brings together playwrights and translators from across the world to collaborate with New York City artists for two weeks culminating in four public readings. Thereadings (April 26 - 27) are free and will be open to the public. Reservations will open Sunday, March 29. Visit for more information.

Coray, who collaborates with artists from around the globe as director, actor, teacher and curator said,“of the many stories I’ve encountered as I travel, research and work in the Middle East, MRS. GHADA’S PAIN THRESHOLD and I.D.gave me the most unique insight into lives I felt strongly should be illuminated for a U.S. audience.Neither focuses on the topics most Americans associate with the region: sectarianism, extremism and war.Instead, with each of these pieces, we are given an intelligent and poignant view of people seeking personal fulfillment within the confines of societal expectations—something we all, no matter in what region we live, can understand and appreciate.”

“I have traveled many times with U.S. playwrights like Rajiv Joseph and Jos Rivera to work in Romania with playwrights striving to express themselves in a post-Communist world,” said Rothe. “This spring, two graduates of Romania's first master’s program in playwriting at The Arts University in Transylvania, Szkely, who writes in Hungarian, and Wilk, who writes in Romanian and German, will join us for hotINK at The Lark to work on translations oftheir work into English.Rich in humor and pathos, MINE WATER and THE LIFE EXPECTANCY OF WASHING MACHINES glimpse into lives mired in tradition, struggling with the social and economic demands of modern-day Eastern Europe.”

In preparation for the public readings, each play will be given approximately 20 hours of workshop/rehearsal time at The Lark during the course of a week. The plays will receive roundtable readings and sessions dedicated to translation refinement in which playwrights and translators will meet one-on-one and work with a distinguished director and actors from the New York theater community. This year marks the second year the playwrights were selected through a curated process in an effort to deepen the relationships with writers.

“Participating in hotINK gives me the opportunity to work in a collaborative process with New York actors and a director, all of whom will aid in the translation of the play,” said Alkafri (playwright, MRS. GHADA’S PAIN THRESHOLD).“New York City is one of the greatest places for theater; it brings me great joy to share this narrative with diverse audiences eager to hear new stories.”

“For two weeks you can be part of a community who share the same love for theatre as you do,” said Szkely (playwright, MINE WATER). “It’s good to meet new artists, people from different cultures and just talk with them, share experiences and ideas. These conversations could lead to new friendships or even new plays.”

On Thursday,April 23 at 6:30pm,NYU Abu Dhabi Institutewill hostNew Arab Dramaturgy: a discussion of contemporary Arab drama with a particular focus on the work of hotINK participantsAbdullah Alkafri, Hassan AbdulrazzakandAmahl Khouri.


hotINK began at the Tisch School of the Arts in 2002, and has been part of The Lark since 2011. Over the years, major support for hotINK at the Lark has been provided by Wendy van den Heuvel (W Foundation), Haley Joel Osment, James Roday and Daryl Roth. Since its inception, hotINK at the Lark has been curated by Catherine Coray, who has served on the acting faculty of the Tisch School of the Arts Experimental Theatre Wing since 1991. She now teaches part of the year at NYU Abu Dhabi, and collaborates with artists from around the globe as director, actor, teacher and curator.

hotINK has introduced New York audiences to plays from over 50 countries, including Australia, Austria, Canada, Chile, Cuba, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guadaloupe, Ireland, Japan, Libya, Mexico, Morocco, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, The Netherlands, the U.K., the U.S. and Wales. Readings are attended by fellow playwrights, literary managers, producers, artistic directors, translators, dramaturgs, scholars, journalists, educators, students and New York theatre audiences.


SUNDAY, APRIL 26 @3PM Amahl Khouri: Based on interviews conducted by the author with several transgender people in the Arab world, a poignant interpretation of those conversations that gives visibility to transgender individuals in Lebanon, possibly for the first time.Witty and affecting, and in many ways, surprising, it focuses on the challenges encountered and discoveries made by three unique individuals who “just want to be themselves” says director and dramaturgLina Abyad. “I.D. is not just about sexuality.It’s about what people have to go through to stay true to who they are.”

MRS. GHADA’S PAIN THRESHOLDby Abdullah Alkafri; translated by Hassan Abdulrazzak: Inspired by the author’s admiration for the Damascene women who “push against the edges of all that constrains them—societal norms, religious propriety, family expectations—in subtle and personally significant ways,” MRS. GHADA’S PAIN THRESHOLD focuses on one such woman who, facing middle age and life as a recently widowed, single woman, unexpectedly meets a man who offers the possibility of a new start.MRS. GHADA…is a subtle—almost mysterious--and moving play about coping with the past and trying to find new love.

MINE WATERby Csaba Szkely; translated by Mari Albert: The story takes place in an imaginary mine region in Transylvania. The mine has closed and the village people struggle with poverty and despair and often fall asleep at church. Characters are consumed by desires and dreams. A tragi-comic tale with witty linguistic humor and a not so exotic theme: how can we go on if we lose resources and traditions?

THE LIFE EXPECTANCY OF WASHING MACHINESby Elise Wilk; translated by Ioana Ieronim: This is a story of a family living in present day Romania, where the only factory in a small town has been closed. Unemployment and an exceedingly poor job market force Father, Mother and Daughter to live together in a small apartment, where annoyances and escapist fantasies consume their daily lives.On the same day Madonna divorces Guy Ritchie, the family washing machine breaks down and a domestic crisis begins.


Abdullah Alkafriis a playwright, journalist and critic.He graduated from the High Institute of Dramatic Arts, Department of Theatrical Studies in Damascus and has participated in many workshops, such as the 18th international emerging playwrights in the Royal Court Theatre- London 2007. In 2012 he published and directedMrs. Ghada’s Pain Thresholdin Beirut; he was a member of the selection committee of "Arab Contemporary Dramaturgy", organized by the frame of a European program (IEVP CT Bassin Mditerranen) and hosted by the Festival d’Avignon and the Institut Suprieur des Techniques du Spectacle; and he designed in partnership with SHAMAS association "MINITURES: a month for Syria" Beirut, 2013, Agora 1 which is a platform for theatre labs at Arab World.

Amahl Khouriis a Jordanian theatre maker and freelance writer with a degree in Communication Arts from the Lebanese American University. She is a founding member of Beirut8:30, a new theatre company based in Lebanon. Khouri studied acting with Jean Shelton and has worked with Lina Abyad, Golden Thread Productions in San Francisco and Bread & Puppet Theatre, among others. In 2012, Khouri wrote and performed I.D., a one person show about transgender people in Lebanon. She is the recipient of a Rosenthal Emerging Voices fellowship from PEN USA and was member of the Lincoln Center Director's Lab in 2013.

Csaba Szkelywas born in 1981 in Trgu MureE, Romania. He’s a playwright who also writes for television.His first play (Do You Like Banana, Comrades?) won the regional prize for Europe at the BBC’s International Radio Playwriting Competition in 2009. It has also been chosen Play of the Week by the BBC. A few years later, in 2013, it won the Society of Authors' Richard Imison Award. He has since written a trilogy about country life in Transylvania -Bnyavirg (Mineflower'), Bnyavaksg (Mineblindness)andBnyavz (Minewater)-, examining issues such as unemployment, alcoholism, nationalism, corruption and high rates of suicide among Hungarian population in Transylvania. The trilogy has been published in a volume by the Hungarian publishing house MagvetA under the titleBnyavidk' (Minelands).These three plays have been produced in Hungarian, Romanian and Slovakian theatres. He has written a historical comedy calledVitz Mihly (Michael the Brave)about the rise and fall of a medieval Romanian national hero. This play won the 1st prize at Hungary’s Weres Sndor Theatre's playwriting competition and it has been produced by the same theatre. He has also written a musical titledHogyne, drgm! (Sure, honey!), produced by the National Theatre of Trgu MureE, Romania, and a contemporary take on Euripides’tragedyAlcestis(also produced by the National Theatre of Trgu MureE, Romania). He is one of the scriptwriters for the 3rdseason of HBO Hungary’s showTerpia (In Treatment).

Elise Wilkwas born in 1981, in BraAov, Romania. She studied Journalism at the BabeA-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca. She has an MA in Literature and Communication from the Transilvania-University in BraAov and an MA in Playwriting from the University of Arts in Trgu-MureA. In 2008, her first play, It Happened on a Thursday, won the “dramAcum” playwriting contest, which aimed at discovering the most important texts of Romanian contemporary dramaturgy. Since then, her plays have been staged in theatres from Romania and abroad. In 2013, Elise won the “Irish Embassy Award for an emerging Romanian playwright” with her playThe Green Cat. Being her most successful play until now,The Green Cathas been translated into six languages and staged or presented in public readings in Romania, Italy, Germany and Russia. The upcoming premiere of the play will take place in Switzerland, atJunges Schauspielhaus Zrich“, in June 2015. Elise is one of 10 Romanian playwrights that were selected in the European project “Fabulamundi. Playwriting Europe”. In 2014, she was selected in the Forum of Young European Playwrightsfrom the Wiesbaden Theatre Bienale, the biggest theatre festival for contemporary plays in Europe. In the same year,Forbes Magazine Romaniaincluded her among the young Romanian trendsetters of the year. Plays: It Happened on a Thursday (2008),The Average Life Expectation of Washing Machines (2010),The Green Cat (2012), Room 701 (2013),The Mysterious Island (2014) ,Tic-Tac-Toe (2015).

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“The dramatic literature from every country, beginning with Greece, is our heritage. It is not to be read; it is to be seen on stage. Most Americans know little of it. This is our challenge, our duty, and our mission in life to bring live theatre to our city and country at a price which families can afford.”
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