Afghanistan's Calling

William Mastrosimone is the Peabody and Emmy Award-winning playwright and screenwriter of such noted works as Extremities and Bang Bang You're Dead. His newest play, The Afghan Women, is being performed June 10th -27th by the Garage Theatre Group, a professional theatre company in residence at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, New Jersey.

The Afghan Women is the remarkable story of an Afghan-American woman physician who returns to her homeland after the 2001 invasion to volunteer at an orphanage, which then comes under attack from a rogue warlord. To save her country and her young charges, the doctor takes part in a battle she never expected.

The play was inspired by Euripides' The Trojan Women, which focuses on the widows of the Trojan warriors who await their fate as the spoils of war. "I felt that in a play about Afghanistan, that would not work," he said. "I wanted to write about the women of Afghanistan … I wanted to show the people who were most affected by war – women and children – what their reaction would be."

William Mastrosimone was smuggled into Afghanistan in 1981, a year after the Soviet invasion. The Afghan Women is inspired by his experiences there. Unlike other new plays, The Afghan Women is offered by Mr. Mastrosimone to any theatre interested in performing it, as long as all performances are done as fundraisers for International Orphan Care, an organization for which he is an advisor. In his words, "Giving 100 percent of the play and movie proceeds of The Afghan Women to the IOC… is my call to arms to the artistic community."

  • Bob Bicknell

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