NEW YORK, March 28, 2006 - On April 6, 2006, at 5pm, to draw the attention of the American Government to the injustice suffered by those in Guantánamo, the Center for Constitutional Rights presents a reading of the Tricycle Theater’s production of Guantánamo in the Rayburn Foyer, of the Rayburn House Office Building, The House of Congress, Capitol Hill, Washington DC.
This 90 minute edited and updated version of Guantánamo: Honor Bound to Defend Freedom by Victoria Brittain and Gillian Slovo taken from spoken evidence was presented in the English Houses of Parliament in February of this year. By arrangement with American Equity Association, the same British cast will read the play on Capitol Hill.
The members of the original British cast will be joined by Mike Farrell, human rights activist and star of the hit TV series M*A*S*H who will be playing the role of Colonel Dan Mori: “I hope that by bringing this play to Capitol Hill we can snap Congress out of its trance to realize that the prisoners at Guantánamo are human beings who deserve to have their cases heard in a court of law. Americans demand integrity and its time Congress lived up to its responsibility to oversee the Executive Branch.”
The House of Congress reading has been sponsored by Representatives Jan Schakowsky and John Conyers.
The story of one of the British residents still held in Guantánamo, Bisher Al-Rawi, is told in the play; as is the story of three other British citizens, all of whom have now been released from the camp and are living freely back in the United Kingdom. The play is taken from recorded testimony from these detainees, their families and lawyers who represent them; as well as public record statements made by American and British politicians including Jack Straw (the U.K. Foreign Secretary) and Donald Rumsfeld (U.S. Secretary for Defense).
“Guantánamo is a powerful piece of theatre. I hope many members of Congress take the time to attend this event and see exactly what the policies of the Bush Administration mean to the men who are still being held at Guantánamo” said Gitanjali S. Gutierrez, an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights who recently returned from Guantánamo. CCR represents many of the detainees currently being held indefinitely and without trial at Guantánamo.
Guantánamo was commissioned by the Tricycle Theatre and was first performed on 24th May 2004. It was co-directed by Nicolas Kent and Sacha Wares (who will direct this reading). It subsequently transferred to the New Ambassadors Theatre in the London’s West End, and the Culture Project in New York. The play has also been performed in Sweden, New Zealand, Italy, Pakistan and Brazil as well as throughout the United States. Productions are planned in Germany and Spain.
The British actors giving their services for the reading are: Philip Battley, Paul Bhattacharjee, Daniel Cerqueira, Jan Chappell, William Hoyland, Aaron Neil, Tariq Jordan, Alan Parnaby, Andrew Stewart-Jones, and Badi Uzzaman.
The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) is a non-profit legal and educational organization dedicated to protecting and advancing the rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights demonstrators in the South, CCR is committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change. www.ccr-ny.org
THE TRICYCLE THEATRE has a long record of presenting verbatim and Political theatre in London. In addition to Guantánamo its tribunal plays including Nuremberg: 1946 War Crimes Tribunal, Srebrenica: 1996 War Crimes Tribunal In the Hague, The Colour of Justice: The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry, Half the Picture: the Scott Arms to Iraq Inquiry and Justifying War: the Hutton Inquiry. These plays have, through performances at the Tricycle, in the West End, at the Royal National Theatre, & on tour nationally and internationally - as well through broadcasts on radio and television reached audiences of over 25 million people worldwide. Its most recent political play "Bloody Sunday: Scenes from the Saville Inquiry" won an Olivier award last month for "Outstanding Achievement". (www.tricycle.co.uk)