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The Strangest ~ a staged reading by Betty Shamieh followed by discussion with James Schamus

Midway through Camus's classic The Stranger, an unnamed Arab is killed. Leaping from this moment and working backwards through possible histories of tangled romance, ethnic conflict, and random violence, playwright Betty Shamieh has crafted a new play inspired by this unknown character. Infused with elements of Middle Eastern oral storytelling traditions and dance, The Strangest is an absurdist murder mystery about two Algerian brothers who vie for the love of the same woman. Their bitter rivalry ends with one brother being inexplicably gunned down by a French stranger.

Following the reading, the writer and director will be joined in discussion by moderator James Schamus.





James Schamus, Professor of Professional Practice, Columbia University & CEO, Focus Features: Schamus is an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter, producer, and film executive. His long collaboration as writer and producer for Ang Lee has resulted in eleven films, including Brokeback Mountain; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; The Ice Storm; The Wedding Banquet; The Hulk; Taking Woodstock and Lust, Caution. As CEO of Focus Features, Schamus oversees the finance, production, and distribution of numerous films, including Oscar winners Milk, The Pianist, Lost in Translation and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Schamus has also produced or executive-produced many of the most important American independent films of the past decade (among them Safe and The Brothers McMullen), including four Grand Prize winners at the Sundance Film Festival. He is also a widely published film historian and theorist.



Heyman Center for the Humanities
School of the Arts
Noor Theatre
Alwan for the Arts

Miller Theater, Columbia University

RSVP Suggested:

Free and open to the public. First come, first seated.

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