A Narrative Based on the Memoir of Wadad Makdisi Cortas
Written by Mariam C. Said and Vanessa Redgrave
Directed and narrated by Vanessa Redgrave
Featuring Vanessa Redgrave, Najla Said, Nadim Sawalha along with musicians Steven Bentley-Klein (violin), Sary Khalife (cello), Sofya Melikyan(piano), and The Spence Middle School Chorus.
Written by Mariam C. Said and Vanessa Redgrave and directed and narrated by Vanessa Redgrave, A World I Loved is a one-of-a-kind theatrical event based on the memoir of Said’s mother, Wadad Makdisi Cortas, an Arab woman who lived through and chronicled one of the most tumultuous periods in recent history.
Beginning in Lebanon in 1917 and spanning over half a century, through the creation of Israel to the Lebanese Civil War, A World I Loved interweaves Cortas’ personal experiences as a student, teacher, and then principal of the Ahliah School for Girls in Beirut with the wider political and historical narrative of Lebanon throughout the 20th century.
A rich narrative combining music, storytelling, choral singing, and video projections, A World I Loved also includes appearances by two of Cortas’s direct descendants: her daughter and co-author of the production, Mariam (widow of the Palestinian scholar and former Columbia University professor Edward Said) and her granddaughter, Najla Said. They are joined by Nadim Sawalha, along with musicians Steven Bentley-Klein (violin), Sary Khalife (cello), Sofya Melikyan (piano), and the Spence Middle School Chorus.
A World I Loved is a co-production with the Public Theater.