A staged adaptation of Assia Djebar’s novel Algerian White: The Language of the Dead will take place at La Maison Française at New York University, located at 16 Washington Mews, on Thursday and Friday, December 2 and 3, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20; $10 with NYU i.d. Reservations are required; call 212-998-8750.
Performed in English by Karen McLaughlin, a veteran New York actress with a Ph.D. in performance studies from Northwestern University, Algerian White is Djebar’s powerful lament against the assassinations of three colleagues and friends — writers and intellectuals — murdered by Algerian fundamentalists. The performance adapts the first chapter of the book, about which the The New York Times Book Review said “ a hymn to friendship and the enduring power of language, [Algerian White] is also a requiem for a nation’s unfinished literature.”
Djebar, a novelist, poet, and filmmaker, is Silver Professor of French and Francophone Literature at NYU. She is the recipient of Germany’s premier literary prize, Le Prix de la Paix in 2000, the Yourcenar Prize in 1997, and the Neustadt Prize for Contributions to World Literature in 1996. Her other works translated into English include: So Vast a Prison; A Sister to Scheherazade; Fantasia: An Algerian Cavalcade; and Women of Algiers in Their Apartment.
Mclaughlin, who also adapted and co-directed the production, has appeared Off and Off-off Broadway, in regional theater, national tours, film, and television. Her professional emphasis has been the development of new stage works. Her most recent adaptation and directing work includes productions of Djebar’s Women of Algiers in their Apartment at Louisiana State University-Baton Rouge; and Animal Happiness and Mary McCarthy: High Wire Act at Northwestern University.
Steven Fedoruk is co-director. Scenic design is by Leslee Nelson, lighting design by Sue Ragusa, and sound by Jack Sayre.