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Rebekah Maggor is a theatre artist and scholar whose work focuses on political theatre and drama in translation. She directs, devises, adapts, translates, and researches theatre that questions entrenched power structures and pushes the boundaries of our contemporary political conversation. Her recent work centers on theatre from the Middle East, specifically drama that has emerged over the last several years from the Arab uprisings. She co-edited, co-translated and wrote the introduction to the anthology Tahrir Tales: Plays from the Egyptian Revolution (Seagull Books), which received a Literature in Translation Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. As a Fulbright scholar in the Middle East and North Africa Regional Research Program she studied Palestinian theatre and performance. She is currently working on an anthology of new Palestinian drama, Theatre Between Home and Exile: New Palestinian Voices, co-edited with Marvin Carlson and Mas’ud Hamdan (Martin E. Segal Theatre Center Publications). Maggor has received grants and commissions from the Fulbright Program, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Doris Duke Foundation Building Bridges Program, the Mellon Foundation’s TCG Global Connections Program, the Radcliffe Institute, the Huntington Playwriting Fellows, the Einaudi Center for International Studies, the Catalyst Collaborative @ M.I.T., the Foundation for Jewish Culture, and the Middle Eastern Theater Project.
Maggor has directed workshops and productions of her translations at the PEN America World Voices Festival, the Huntington Theatre Company, the ReOrient Festival, the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University, the Segal Theatre Center, Vanderbilt University, and Cornell University. Her recent productions include Hamlet Wakes Up Late, a biting political satire of Shakespeare's tragedy by renowned Syrian poet and playwright Mamduh Adwan, and Desert of Light a black tragicomedy by Palestinian-Syrian writer Rama Haydar, which reveals the tragic absurdity of the Syrian cival war.
Maggor’s approach to creating and writing about theatre brings together experience and expertise in acting, directing, voice and speech, and translation. She is interested in the ways that the voice and body can dramatize protest on stage as a collective act. She has been influenced by the many directors she has worked with including Anthony Page, Robert Woodruff, Anne Bogart, Karin Coonrod, Peter Sellars, János Szász, Andrei Serban, and Roman Kozak. As a voice, speech and dialect specialist, she has coached on Broadway, in regional theatres and consulted for film and television.
As a theatre artist and scholar who loves to teach, Maggor has given considerable thought to how theatre techniques can improve pedagogy across various disciplines. She has devised approaches to integrating performance techniques into the classroom and given numerous workshops and courses on the dynamics of classroom discussion, the lecture as performance, and the role of the physical voice in student learning. From 2006-2010 she was Founding Director of the Program in Speaking and Learning at the Derek Bok Center for Teaching at Harvard University, where she worked with scholars from over thirty departments.
- Performing and Media Arts