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All the world’s a stage for local artist
Mik Kulhman, an Island performer best known on Vashon for her work with UMO Ensemble, is tackling a new role in a place far from home.
She’s in East Jerusalem as part of the cast of a Palestinian version of “Passages of Martin Luther King, Jr.” — a play written by Stanford University professor Clayborne Carson, who is also the director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Center.
The Palestinian production of the play, directed by Kamel elBasha and translated into Arabic, features a Palestinian cast, an American gospel choir and Kulman, who serves as the play’s narrator.
Kulman has been blogging about her experience at www.mikkuhlman.wordpress.com.
“We rehearse six days a week, six hours a day straight and it is all in Arabic so, quite exhausting for me,” Kulman recently posted. “I speak English, of course, with my part being written through improvisations.”
An Arabic-speaking actor will play the role of Kulhman’s translator.
It’s the second time Kuhlman has worked with the Palestinian National Theatre. Last year, she spent eight weeks in East Jerusalem working with four Americans and eight Palestinians in “From Jerusalem with Love,” a play that was staged in Jerusalem and then toured to several cities in the West Bank.
After its opening next week in Jerusalem, “Passages of Martin Luther King, Jr.” will tour many of those same cities as well.
“I love working with this director and this theatre, and have experience working in other countries without knowing the language, so I welcome and am honored by the challenge,” Kuhlman said.
“It’s an interesting time to be in the Middle East with all that is happening in the Arab world,” she added.