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When The Island—Athol Fugard, John Kani, and Winston Ntshona’s drama about political prisoners in a facility inspired by South Africa’s Robben Island—was first presented in 1973, apartheid still hung over the nation, and the play had its characters tossed into prison for standing up to the South African government. But the work’s current iteration draws inspiration from another source: present-day Palestine. The Freedom Theatre, an arts group based at Jenin Refugee Camp in the northern part of the West Bank, incorporated refugees’ stories into the production, which tours U.S. colleges throughout September. At Georgetown, appropriately, the performances will be followed by discussions with Middle East policy experts, which should locate key context for some of the stories.
The play runs Sept. 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m. at the Davis Performing Arts Center at Georgetown University, 3700 O St. NW. $7–$17. (202) 687-2787. performingarts.georgetown.edu.