Working Spark Theatre

Ghosts in Baghdad

Working Spark Theatre premiered Ghosts in Baghdad, by Michelle Deines, in Vancouver on March 27-April 6, 2014, at Little Mountain Theatre in Vancouver, BC.

Khalil (Alec Willows) talks to the statues in the Assyrian Exhibition Hall of the Iraq Museum. Photo by Tim Matheson.

Khalil (Alec Willows) talks to the statues of the winged bulls in the Assyrian Exhibition Hall of the Iraq Museum. Photo by Tim Matheson.

Reviews

“An ambitious new drama by Vancouver playwright Michelle Deines who has created a ghost story where all four characters are haunted by myths, memories, and real life monsters including Saddam’s regime and the chaos created by their American liberators. She’s also asking big questions in her small theatre and it’s exciting to see her asking those big questions in a fleshed out full length play.”
– Mark Leiren-Young @ The Vancouver Sun

“Deines weaves an intricate tale of intrigue and suspense, and blends in with a heart-breaking sense of humanity and desperation.  Director John Murphy does a stellar job of directing his A-list cast, who all shine in their own right.” – The Vancouverist

“Sarah May Redmond is incandescent:  she full inhabits her part and provides Ghosts in Baghdad with its vivid centre.” – Alex Varity @ The Georgia Straight

“Alec Willows shines.”  – Larry Ghini @ Vancouverscape

“This is a fine production.  Compelling material. ” – Jo Ledingham

Awards

Nominated for the Jessie Richardson Theatre Award for Outstanding New Script (2014).

Special Merit Prize in Theatre BC’s 2013 Playwriting Competition.

Synopsis

Ghosts in Baghdad is about one man’s struggle to save all that he loves from the forces of greed and warfare. Traumatized by years of living in a wartorn city, Khalil finds solace in the closed halls of the Iraq Museum.  His longtime colleague, Malika, struggles between her desire to leave, and loyalty to both her work, and to Khalil. Their isolation, however, is shattered when a young street kid named Dawood comes to the museum. He says he has a mask, a prized artifact that has been missing since the 2003 looting, but has secretly been sent there by street hustler Hamza, who has an agenda of his own.  Long-buried secrets are uncovered, bringing the characters into a final confrontation brimming with desperation, betrayal, and a fight for survival.

Ghosts in Baghdad is about the clash between culture and war; the struggle to find redemption; and lost love.  It is inspired by true events, including the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, and the catastrophic looting of the Iraq Museum that took place that April.


Cast & Crew

Top Row, L-R: John Murphy (Director), Jordan Watkins (Sound Designer), Corwin Ferguson (Projection Designer), Darren Boquist (Lighting Designer), Sebastian Kroon (Production). Middle Row: Rebecca Mulvihill (SM), Michelle Deines (Playwright), Beth Snelgrove (Set & Props Design). Front Row: Sarah May Redmond (Malika), Joshua Drebit (Hamza), Alec Willows (Khalil), Gili Roskies (Noor.) Photo by Tim Matheson.

Top Row, L-R: John Murphy (Director), Jordan Watkins (Sound Designer), Corwin Ferguson (Projection Designer), Darren Boquist (Lighting Designer), Sebastian Kroon (Production). Middle Row: Rebecca Mulvihill (SM), Michelle Deines (Playwright), Beth Snelgrove (Set & Props Design). Front Row: Sarah May Redmond (Malika), Joshua Drebit (Hamza), Alec Willows (Khalil), Gili Roskies (Noor.) Missing: Amy McDougall (Costume Design) & David McCormick (Fight Choreography). Photo by Tim Matheson.

 Thank you to everyone who helped make this production possible, including all Donors to the Ten Times Fundraising Campaign,
and these sponsors:

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