“One of the most powerful antiwar plays ever penned” Plays International
HOW HIS BRIDE CAME TO ABRAHAM
“…summons the inspiration for a dandy film” VARIETY
A soaring love story: on a terrifying day in South Lebanon, a fleeing Palestinian is captured by a wounded Israeli soldier. Both in shock, each trapped by hate and fear of the other, they ignite a passion that heals.
Since its debut at Playwrights Theatre of NJ (1992), ABRAHAM has had performances in New York and nationwide. First published in PLAYS BY KAREN SUNDE, 2001, then as HOW HIS BRIDE CAME TO ABRAHAM (Broadway Play Publishing, New York, 2006).
Among Productions: Praxis Theatre, NYC; The Unicorn, Kansas City; International Catholic Associations by Actors Stock Company/NYC; Youngstown University, Ohio. Readings: Princeton Middle East Society, Woodrow Wilson School for International Affairs, Stanford University’s Sociology of Terrorism seminars, New York’s Ansche Chesed Synagogue and Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and the Israeli/Palestinian Working Group, United Nations.
After a performance in New York, Sunde reports “Israelis and Palestinians stood side by side weeping while they thanked me.”
FILM PROJECT SO FAR…
Constant requests led Sunde to adapt the play for film:
Our team produced a Trailer that itself became a finalist in A&E’s Shorts Festival featuring cinematographer Yahel Herzog (“The Making Of” films THE GREEN ZONE, BROOKLYN’S FINEST, BOURNE ULTIMATUM) as co-director with Sunde.
The Screenplay, mentored in turn by producers William W Wilson III, and Jerry Tokovsky, is an “Official Selection” in the Oaxaca Film Festival. While its timely plot attracts world markets, ABRAHAM’s small cast and limited locations permit a low budget. Its appeal – to all demographics across ethnic and religious divides – is proven. Industry and Social feedback predict the film will deliver even more powerfully than the play.
“Sunde does not take sides in the conflict…dialogue has a crisp, biting edge…gripping drama…timely romantic drama… volatile battle zone…vivid portraits of characters and action… cinematic thrust summons the inspiration for a dandy film.”
Plays International, UK
“One of the most powerful antiwar plays ever penned…at precisely the historic moment when we most require its wisdom…would make a first-rate film!”
FEEDBACK from FILM PEOPLE
on the ABRAHAM Screenplay
Celebrated directors, both Israeli (Amos Gitai) and Palestinian (Mai Masri) declared their interest in filming ABRAHAM, as have a west coast Studio, an Executive Producer of multiple studio films, and Howard S. Shulman Productions, but none has “greenlight” capacity. What others say:
CHIZ SCHULTZ, Producer, Best Picture Academy Award nominee- A SOLDIER’S STORY says-
“I am very impressed with the way you take hold of difficult moral and political issues and not only make them understandable but dramatic and personal. Your characters are living, breathing people whom I care about. It’s excellent writing, dialogue and storytelling. No matter what subject you tackle – you are fresh and provocative – you are able to weave emotional truths, realistic dialogue, dramatic situations and compelling storytelling.”
ADAM LEIPZIG, Pres., National Geographic Films, Producer, Touchstone and Interscope says-
“This is GREAT news. Amos (Gitai) is a GREAT director and perfect for your project. Adam”
MICHAEL CALIFRA, VP, City Lights Media Group (THE MATADOR, KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN) says-
“Everyone here liked the project immensely! I certainly do remember ABRAHAM.”
BUZZ MCLAUGHLIN, Producer, Either/Or Films (THE SENSATION OF SIGHT, SOMEPLACE LIKE AMERICA) says-
“All great films start with a great story and this story (ABRAHAM) is timeless and yet timely, truthful yet tender, universal yet uniquely personal, posing the ageless question as to why we as human beings have such a struggle figuring out how to live at peace with one another.”
MUHAMMED RUM, Director/Producer JIHAD! , CEO Scent Elate says-
“It is the conflict brought to a humane level, with love tragically transcending – you have a powerful piece that flows fluidly, is extremely dramatic and cinematic, i.e., visually stunning. And it is not didactic. It is very well worth realizing in the idiom of film.”
NARA GARBER, Director, DP, Producer, Pres, Topiary Prod (FLAT DADDY, MAKING THE CROOKED STRAIGHT, THE QUIET WAR) says-
“Karen’s wonderful script… ABRAHAM demands harsh reality and thoroughly irresistible escapism…(it) forces the viewer to contemplate the effects of ingrained prejudice and generations of violence on a raw human level. If it can lead people to reach out across an ever-widening divide…”
ROLAND VAJS, Sound Editor (SHIPPING NEWS, SCHOOL OF ROCK) says-
“Thank you for the wonderful story! When can we meet? I would like to talk to you. I am very excited about how good this film can be.”
SEAN CULLIN, Actor (MICHAEL CLAYTON, REVOLUTIONARY ROAD), says-
“Your screenplay is wonderful…read it again from cover to cover. It’s a great piece, and a wonderful example of how to “open-up” an intimate play for the screen. …I believe it (ABRAHAM) to be not only timely, but deeply affecting and wonderfully entertaining.”
FEEDBACK from IMPORTANT VOICES
on the ABRAHAM play
JANE ADAS, VP, Americans for Middle East Understanding
“Experiencing ABRAHAM rattles our preconceptions…. We find ourselves identifyiing with both the Israeli soldier and the Palestinian refugee, unable to demonize either. This is no small achievement on a subject as radioactive as the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. ABRAHAM has the potential to be a force for reconciliation…”
D. SCHIMMEL, AP Reporter
“Good war films make you think about something other than war. ABRAHAM leaves me feeling full of humanity and cheering for it/us… So to me it feels like an extreme love story. I imagine that everyone who sees this play goes home and wonders on some level, ‘how can I have that, what can I do?’ ”
NASEER ARURI, (DISHONEST BROKER) Chair- Trans-Arab Research Inst.
“I am delighted I have been following your project … I found it fascinating and so creative an idea…. As it has evolved into a film project, I find myself intrigued and overwhelmed by the courage which such an undertaking will require. It is a new dimension in the area of conflict resolution.”
DR. BRUCE WEXLER, (BRAIN AND CULTURE), Founder- A Different Future
“I was so moved by the play…it is like seeing two people trapped in a spider web, struggling to find a way out even as they know the spider will find them…. Good and wonderful things in their individual human spirits assert themselves…but the play shows us that something more is needed to help these trapped people – and all the rest of us by association.”
JOSEPH C. DONNELLY, UN Permanent Delegate, Caritas Internationalis Leader, UN Israeli and Palestinian Working Group.
“…like it or not, we all share in the Israeli/Palestinian struggle; it seizes space within us…. ABRAHAM draws audiences because we are terribly seized…perhaps more than we can say…by this call to be healed, to let go and live. ABRAHAM is transformative; it leads where we need to go.”