The Kite Runner goes from Afghanistan to Albany, from Book to Stage, Guilt to Redemption

The Kite Runner was first a book, then a film, but it is most powerful on stage where the story of one person's life in Afghanistan comes to life viscerally.

The Kite Runner is a one-person theatrical adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s story of guilt and redemption, brutality and kindness, sin and forgiveness. It portrays the doomed relationship of two boys – a privileged Pashtun and a Hazara servant – one rich, one poor, one flawed, the other pure. This award-winning stage adaptation based on the first half of the best-selling contemporary novel takes audiences on a heartbreaking journey of friendship and betrayal in a society of severe class division against a backdrop of 1970s Afghanistan in turmoil.

The Kite Runner will receive one performance in the Berkshire-Albany area, on Wednesday, April 18, 2012 at 7:30pm at the University at Albany Performing Arts Center.

The actor, Sorab Wadia, weaves his tale.

It will be performed by Sorab Wadia, who settled in the Berkshires after falling in love with the area while appearing in The Pool Boy at Barrington Stage Company. The Kite Runner is directed by Wynn Handman, the artistic director of American Place Theatre. The performance is taking place under the auspices of the College of Arts and Sciences and in conjunction with the New York State Writers Institute, UAlbany Foundation, Office of International Education and Office of Multicultural Student Success.

A Portait of two boys growing up in Afghanistan

It has been heralded as a rich portrait of Afghanistan – a look not just at how the country was ravaged by war, but also at the beauty and culture that thrived before. Fellow WordPress writer Amanda Hicken from Clue into Cleveland found the wonderful image above and wrote that “At its core, however, The Kite Runner is a very personal story about two inseparable childhood friends torn apart not by the far-reaching war but by one boy’s act of cowardice that led to decades of remorse and a man’s reluctant journey back to the home his father and him were forced to flee.  ((link))

The evening will begin at 7pm with a pre-performance discussion led by a member of American Place Theatre and will conclude with a post-performance discussion immediately following the show.

The history of The American Place Theatre is rich and varied with a consistent commitment to nurturing the talents of American authors, playwrights and actors. Based in New York City, it is dedicated to producing high quality new work by diverse American writers and to pursuing pluralism and diversity in all its endeavors. Its Literature to Life series offers professionally staged theatrical adaptations of significant American literary works. The series has been featured at the UAlbany Performing Arts Center for several seasons with performances of Sherman Alexie’s Flight, Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees, Frank McCourt’s Teacher Man, Greg Mortenson’s Three Cups of Tea, Jeannette Walls’ The Glass Castle and Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Other works on the Literature to Life roster include Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, Richard Wright’s Black Boy and Lois Lowry’s The Giver. The Theatre, having received over 30 Obies and 16 Audelcos, is critically acclaimed as a birthing place for artistic endeavors at the crossroad of literature and live performance for 47 years.

Actors for whom American Place has been a launching pad include Mary Alice, Ellen Barkin, Roscoe Lee Browne, Kathleen Chalfont, Michael Douglas, Faye Dunaway, Sandy Duncan, Morgan Freeman, Richard Gere, Joel Grey, Dustin Hoffman, Frank Langella, Mary MacDonnell, Zakes Mokae, Howard Rollins, John Spencer, Ralph Waite, Sam Waterson and Sigourney Weaver.

Tickets for the performance are $15 for the general public, $12 for seniors and UAlbany faculty-staff and $10 for students. For reservations and further information, contact the Box Office at (518) 442-3997.

There will also be a special morning matinee performance of The Kite Runner for high school groups on Thursday, April 19 at 10am. This show is currently sold out. Information on the matinee is available by calling the Performing Arts Center office at (518) 442-5738.

One thought on “The Kite Runner goes from Afghanistan to Albany, from Book to Stage, Guilt to Redemption

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