Commuting to New York City for my Playwriting Residency for ANGELA HITLER, I met Julia Miles who founded The Women’s Project. She commissioned me to write a play about clitoridectomy. I was becoming known for tackling difficult female subjects. This was three-plays-in-one and also about the difficulties of being a theater artist, which does allow for some laughs.
Leila Said, the Egyptian filmmaker and I worked on the one act which was presented at The Women’s Project but later I incorporated that story into a play within a play format entitled Blue Sky Thinking about a group of actors putting on two one-acts. It was difficult to read but I knew Decima Francis could tackle it. Decima, a Saint Lucian, had been a director at the Royal National Theatre and trained to read plays. With her generous help we premiered the play at the grass-roots level at the Y in Cambridge, Mass.
A few years later Decima decided to bring my play Mirror Images out of wraps and produce it at Bilekent University, Ankara, where she had gone to teach drama. Translated into Turkish and scheduled to open in Ankara it was subsequently banned by the University because of its controversial subject matter. Mirror Images is my only play to achieve the dubious distinction of being banned. Set in the Middle-East, the actual country was not mentioned. However, it was
originally inspired by my sister-in-law who suffered through the Iranian revolution, Mirror Images is a poetic play about a group of ordinary middle-class women who are suddenly ordered to wear the shahdoor. It enjoyed a long and extended run at The People’s Theatre, Cambridge, Mass. where it informed many enlightened theatre-goers about that country.