On April 3, Belmont Assistant Professor of Theatre Dr. James Al-Shamma participated in a faculty-author discussion on his contributions to “Contemporary Plays from Iraq,” for which he served as an editor and translator. The collection of plays, which was released on January 12, includes nine contemporary Iraqi dramas that have been translated into English for the very first time.
The plays included in the collection give an Iraqi perspective on the war and occupation that has changed the way of life for those living in the Middle East. Each entry starts with an introduction to the drama that was written by the playwright to add to each play’s perspective. There is also a collection of biographies that discusses each playwright in the beginning of the anthology.
Al-Shamma contributed to the collection alongside A. Al-Azraki, an Iraqi playwright and the author of one of the included plays. Al-Shamma has previously published two books on American playwright Sarah Ruhl and has written for publications including The Eugene O’Neill Review and the Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism. His principal areas of research are contemporary women playwrights and Iraqi theatre.