Old Testament

How his bride came to Abraham?


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HOW HIS BRIDE CAME TO ABRAHAM by Karen Sunde began as an Off-Off Broadway anti-war play (1992) and is now in development as a feature film. Set in South Lebanon, it is a love story born out of the same conflict as the 2009 Academy Award nominated WALTZ WITH BASHIR. ABRAHAM explores the confusion of violence and its unintended consequences. When a fleeing refugee encounters a wounded soldier, Palestinian and Israeli characters clash, then ignite a passion that heals. It taps three genres - star-crossed romance where opposites meet on a battlefield; enemies trapped together who must rely on each other to survive; and lovers whose cultures divide and estrange them. Although its story is intimate, young love at risk of deadly violence, ABRAHAM also depicts Mid-East warfare and the private struggles with history that haunt its peoples. Audiences say the story shows the humanity of Israeli and Palestinian adversaries who have to depend on each other, that it opens hope and envisions a path to co-existence. PLAYS INTERNATIONAL called it "One of the most powerful anti-war plays ever penned." IN THE BEGINNING, THE PLAY ABRAHAM was first produced at the new-play venue, Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey. Subsequently it had multiple performances and readings in New York and nationwide at theatres and college campuses. ABRAHAM's first publication was in PLAYS BY KAREN SUNDE (Broadway Play Publishing, New York, 2001); its second was as a single, HOW HIS BRIDE CAME TO ABRAHAM (Broadway Play Publishing, New York, 2006). In 2002 an Equity revival opened at Playwrights Theater; in 2003 the play had an Off-Off Broadway production at Looking Glass Theater by Praxis Theatre Project, New York, in which the current actors were discovered, a score composed, and a documentary about the project, PLAYING PEACE, began shooting. The play's official premiere was in January 2004 at the Unicorn Theatre in Kansas City. Stage work continued with a production for International Catholic Associations by Actors Stock Company/NYC in 2006 and one at Youngstown University, 2008, and readings at other venues, including the Princeton Middle East Society at the Woodrow Wilson School for International Affairs, twice at Stanford University for their Sociology of Terrorism seminar, and in New York, for Congregation Ansche Chesed synagogue, the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, and twice for the Israeli/Palestinian Working Group at Quaker House, the United Nation's sanctuary for quiet diplomacy. ABRAHAM FILM PROJECT Because of ABRAHAM's impact on audiences and requests from many groups unable to afford an individual production, Karen Sunde rewrote it as a film that could travel anywhere. The film project was immediately sponsored by IDOC/North America, a non-profit dedicated to fostering human renewal, education, and democratic ideals. Then in 2008 Full House Productions in New York donated sound studios, engineering, and editing to create an Audio Play of ABRAHAM. To date, the film's creative team has included (with many others) cinematographer Yahel Herzog ( "The Making Of" films BOURNE ULTIMATUM, THE INTERPRETER, UNITED 93), producer of PLAYING PEACE; screenwriter Karen Sunde; Amir Babayoff, a lead actor in the Israeli television series WINGS; and Maya Serhan, a Palestinian/American actress (DEAR J, TOGETHER, LAW & ORDER). Babayoff and Serhan also are featured in ABRAHAM's trailer (2008).