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Security Concerns

October 28, 2014
For security reasons, Three Testaments: Shalom, Peace, Salam is moving to upstate New York for its 2015 premiere in June. Details of venue and dates to follow next month. The play returns to NYC for a run at the West End Theatre in May of 2016 as originally planned if all goes well. In an era of terror and extremism the producers and the director have expressed a desire to open first “under the radar” of anyone who might be unreasonably enraged at the way in which the role of Muhammad is presented on stage. Muhammad, Fatima and Salman are represented by birds in costume with female (“birdlike”) voices, as you may picture from the prelude soliloquy as follows for the interest of those who have been following these developments.


(3 birds on forestage flanked by uniformed police officers)


Welcome to our theatre for birds. I am Hoopoee, playing the role of Muhammad. You know me from the Quran, where I told King Suleiman,“I have comprehended what you have not, and have come to you from Sheba with certain tidings.”[1] I provided enlightenment for him, as I hope to do for you, since religion continues to be a major source of conflict in our world. I played a theatrical bird, as the King of Thrace in The Birds, a Greek comedy by Aristophanes. But the quest for peace and understanding based on scripture is serious business, and so we will treat it.

The atmosphere here is electric this evening. Some came to see how we stage the representation of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), his daughter and companion (Peace Be Upon Them). The movie The Message was well received by most Muslims and others, but productions like the Innocence of Muslims caused riots in the streets. I cannot “depict” Muhammad, not looking or sounding anything like him, but I can stand in for him in this play in order to express his views as I heard them from my perch on a tree nearby. We want no riots today, but if any of you intend to disrupt this play we want you to know that there is security present, and we ask everyone else to please remain in your seats and to respect the peace that we are here to promote.

[1] Quran 27: 22

Posted by: Brian Arthur Brown