PCS Blog

The New York Times: Personal and Political Are in Bed Together

Posted by Claudie Fisher | 29 July 2015

Liam Stack of The New York Times sat down with Yussef El Guindi, Chris Coleman and Alia Attallah while they were preparing for the Off-Broadway debut of Threesome at 59E59 Theaters.
Take a look at highlights below, or read the full interview here.  
Karan Oberoi and Alia Attallah in Mr. El Guindi’s play “Threesome” at 59E59 Theaters. 
Karsten Moran for The New York Times.

In Yussef El Guindi’s Plays, Personal and Political Are in Bed Together
The Egyptian-American playwright Yussef El Guindi has a lot on his mind these days.
His new play, “Threesome,” is having a six-week run Off Broadway, the first time his work has been performed in New York City since 2006. The play is a sexually charged reckoning with what he calls the “failure” of the 2011 revolution in Egypt, a country once again ruled by a former military officer whose political opponents are largely dead or in jail.
It begins as a bawdy bedroom comedy whose main characters, a heterosexual Egyptian-American couple, invite a white American man into their bed. Over two acts it transforms into something darker, as all three grapple with the fallout of sexual assault, infidelity, war and the pain of lost hope, both political and personal. more
Yussef El Guindi on the inspiration behind the characters:
"I realized, ‘Oh, these two people had experienced the revolution ... They were there.”
Chris Coleman on the crux of the play:
“This play is very much about who controls the body, who owns it and has rights to it, and who does not ... Those are deeply personal questions, but they are also hugely political.”
Alia Attallah on the audience response:
 “A lot of women come up to me after the show and tell me, ‘You’re telling my story,’ ... People react to the image of the abaya, to the image of a woman with her face covered, but it’s not like we don’t have the same problem in this country.”

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