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Kelly, Thomas M. (aka Thomas Michael Kelly, American playwright, artistic director, theatre specialist, 1940-____), “Fana!”

a 90-minute drama in English set in a theatre, June 4, 2002,

4m (+ 2f voices)

; • © 2003 by Thomas M. Kelly; • in Thomas M. Kelly’s Sleeper from Atlanta (Sacramento, California, U.S.A.: The Author, 2003); • script/rights available from Thomas M. Kelly, Thistle Dew Dessert Theatre, 1901 P Street, Sacramento, California 95814, U.S.A., telephone (home) 916-444-5099, (work) 916-444-8209, fax 1-916-444-6258, e-mail tom@thistle-dew.net. • Cited by Thomas M. Kelly via ftp July 21, 2003; Kelly says,

§ Dramatis Personae Guard/Zhev Schullbourg/African Jew/reservist/soldier/an Isreali professor at Tel-Aviv University (m), 40-45; Audience Member (AM) (Moshe, Moy-sha) (Mouin) (m), 20–23, suicide/homicide/martyr bomber; Bradley Cunningham (m), BBC reporter, British accent; _____ (m), _____; Wafa Harrafat (f extra), 22-25, radio presence, the daughter of Wasfiyeh Harrafat, a suicide/bomber/martyr in waiting, divorced, mother of 4-year-old son; Wasfiyeh Harafat, Um Nadal, “Mother of Struggle,” Palestinian mother of Mouin and Wafa (f extra), 55-65, TV presence; Desmond Tutu (m voice), _____; Captain Max Berenstein (m voice), _____; Cameraman (m extra optional).

§ Synopsis “Six suicide bombers have targeted the Tel-Aviv Culture Center. In the four-story complex, each bomber is assigned a floor to detonate the explosives strapped to his or herbody, with the exception of the theater, which has two assigned bombers. They are to explode in rapid succession for maximum effect: to bring the building down on the hundreds of gallery visitors, planetarium viewers, and the theater audience. In the lower level, ten meters below street level, only one of the bombs exploded as planned. The sixth bomb is yet to explode. That bomber is trapped beneath the rubble and bodies of the victims. The explosions occur as planned except one in the lower level. Two survivors in the lower level, thetheater—an Israeli military guard (Zhev Schullbourg), and a suicide bomber (Mouin)—spend their waiting hours justifying their lives: one very honestly, the other deceitfully. Zhev Schullbourg is a black reservist, a member of the Israel Defense Force, who as a civilian is a Tel-Aviv University professor (of the Diaspora: the flight of the Jews and the Palestinians), finds the other survivor. The guard’s father is Jewish. His mother is Muslim. Two argue the rationale of suicide bombings using the Qur’an and the Torah as authority. The guard reveals that he is a ‘refusnik’ (a member of the IDF who has refused to participate in the defense of Israel, arguing that he cannot in good conscience, humiliate, harass and violate the dignity of the Palestinians). For his conscientious position he is jailed, then placed on guard duty at the Center. The story fades to an interview at the home of the suicide bomber, where his mother has revealed to the public that she has condoned and encouraged her son’s martyrdom. A videotape (A public relations piece for the cause of Allah.) made by a clandestine television station based in Lebanon reveals the preparations of her son, Mouin’s martyrdom. The story ends with the martyr revealing his identity, the final collapse of the building, the subsequent remaining explosion, and fade to the broadcast viewed in the home of the mother.

§ Comment “‘Fana!’ calls for four males (one can be double as radio and TV announcer) and a mother and daughter. The mother can be on TV and the daughter can be on radio (mother doubling in v.o. tape). This would reduce the cast to four actors. We have timed it and it runs 70 to 90 minutes depending upon the amount of news at the end. If the news is cut it could be a one act. Many of my plays are director driven. I do allow cuts with permission. In this play I would allow cuts in the news because it changes so frequently and unfortunately different news is provided daily. • The two-act, fifteen-scene version occurs in a Tel-Aviv theatre beneath a museum and planetarium in a culture complex and in a home in Gaza City. The Tel-Aviv complex is four stories tall. The small theatre is in the lower level (ten meters below street level) with a seating capacity of 50. and in the Gaza City home. The home of Wasfiyeh Harrafat is spacious by Gaza standards, with tiled gaudy walls , furnished with new furniture, a wide-screen television, etc., from new wealth. • Fana has a number of different meanings, one other being annililation of the will, but within the play it means 'ego death.' Colloquially it means an 'ego trip to death for the sake of Allah.' The word baqa means persistence (often used in connection with fana to refer to a sort of rebirth that follows ego death; i.e., to persist or endure).

§ Themes diaspora (dispersion of Jews and Palestinians), Isreali, Jewish, Muslim, Palestinian, Qur'an, refusnik, suicide bomber, terrorist, Torah.

See also Thomas M. Kelly’s

  • "The Butterfly Within" a 55-minute drama in English in five scenes (translated into Yiddish and Korean), set on a rooftop of Lower East Side tenement, New York City, at or before dusk Friday and Saturday, 2004, 1m1f
  • "Sleeper from Atlanta," a 90-minute drama in English, in ten scenes, set in a family kitchen, Atlanta, U.S.A., Friday and Saturday, December 20, 21, 2002, 2m2f (+ 2m voices)
  • "Too Late to Waken," a 35-minute drama in English, in thirty-eight scenes,set in a dining room, home, 1964-1984, 3m1f

This Website continues under construction and welcomes new citations and comments.

Page mounted July 23, 2003, and updated July 25, 2003, October 14, 2004, by the Webmaster.

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