Theatre Works Program

Wael Zuaiter: Unknown

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Wael Zuaiter: Unknown

Date: 29 Apr 2014 - 11 May 2014
Time: Wed-Sat 8:00pm, Sun 5:00pm (no show Sunday May 4)
Preview: April 29 at 8:00pm
Price: $25 Full / $20 Concession, under 30 & Groups of 8+ ( Preview: $20 Full / $15 Concession & under 30)

World Premiere

On the evening of the 16th of October 1972 Wael Zuaiter, a Palestinian intellectual, was shot and killed by two Israeli Mossad agents in Rome. Earlier that night he had been with his Australian fiancé, painter Janet venn Brown. Years later, Janet’s great-nephew radio producer Jesse Cox, traces the story of Wael and Janet from Italy to the Middle east and tries to uncover why he was killed.

During the 1972 Munich Olympics members of the Palestinian terrorist group Black September jumped the fence of the athletes village and took 11 members of the Israeli team hostage. By the end of the crisis all the hostages would be dead. In the days after the massacre Israel’s Prime Minister Golda Meir convened a special committee. Their job was to draw up a list of targets to assassinate in response to the deadly hostage crisis. The first person on that list was Wael Zuaiter.

There are many theories about why Wael was killed. Some people claim he was a terrorist, others say Israel targeted him because he was influencing Italian politics too much in favour of Palestine, and then there is the theory that it was a mistake, bad intelligence and a hastily conceived plan.

Wael Zuaiter: Unknown is both a political spy thriller as well as the love story of Wael and Janet. Before meeting Wael, Janet knew nothing of Palestine and after his death she embarked on a decade long journey of her own political awakening travelling throughout the Middle East.

Presented and narrated live onstage, Wael Zuaiter: Unknown weaves together audio interviews, evocative sound design and music against a stunning backdrop of projected illustrations and animation in this dramatic collision of documentary, graphic novel and theatre.

Writer and Co-Director: Jesse Cox
Co-Director and Dramaturg: Mark Pritchard
Script Editor: Que Minh Luu
Illustrators: Matt Huynh & Aldous Massie
Composer: Joff Bush
Sound design: Luke Mynott
Set design: Owen Phillips
Lighting design: Ben Shaw
Animator: Benjamin Zaugg
Stage Manager: Rebekah Gibbs
Associate Producers for Next Wave: Kristy Ayre & Kyle Kremerskothen
Producers for Creative Nonfiction: Que Minh Luu & Jesse Cox

Duration: approx 70 minutes

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding advisory body, and supported by the NSW Government through Arts NSW.

The development of this project was supported by Next Wave’s Kickstart program and PACT centre for emerging arts.

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Theatre Works respectfully acknowledges the Yalukit Willam Clan of the Boon Wurrung who are the traditional custodians of this land. We pay our respect to their Elders, both past and present. We acknowledge and uphold their continuing relationship to this land and extend that respect to other Indigenous Australians who join us at Theatre Works.