Who is the kind of person who decides to move to Kabul, Afghanistan? Obviously, there are diplomats, military service members, and NGO workers who accept assignments in dangerous locations like this. Certainly, they’re people without kids or mortgages. Most definitely, they’re people comfortable taking a risk.
But what if your career is best described as … soap opera writer? Why would someone with little to no connection to the world of international development pick up and leave for the other side of the world?
As I discovered, the first satellite TV network in Afghanistan actually had to go out and find people willing to do just that. In real life.
The Real World: Kabul is all about this initial question: Who are these people? Perhaps it would have been myself when I was fresh out of college and thought I knew everything about everything. A former Marine struggling with the transition to civilian life. A gay individual who, facing the rejection of his or her family, decides anywhere is better than being home.
Furthermore, who brought these Americans to Afghanistan and why? Must have been someone pretty important, right? And is there anyone there to help these newcomers adjust to a completely different culture? Their stories—the lives of both extraordinary and everyday Afghan people—need to be told, too.
Who are these people? As I turned this question over in my mind, the initial true story about the Afghan TV station became a jumping-off point for a much bigger story about the coincidences that bring strangers together in a foreign land. And in today’s world, in which multiculturalism has become politicized, it’s also a story of morality and consequences. One thing’s for sure: The revolution will be televised.
Emily Liner is a first-time playwright and producer. She is a Policy Advisor in the Economic Program at Third Way, a DC-based non-partisan think tank. Her research on topics such as the gender pay gap has been cited in the New York Times and Bloomberg. She is a graduate of Georgetown University and received a Master of Business Administration at the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School. realworldkabul.tumblr.com
The Real World: Kabul
July 7 — July 22, 2016
Atlas Performing Arts Center
1333 H Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002
Show details and tickets
Lab II – Atlas Performing Arts Center
1333 H Street, NE
Thursday, July 7 at 9:00 p.m.
Tuesday, July 12 at 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 16 at 10:45 p.m.
Wednesday, July 20 at 6:15 p.m.
Friday, July 22 at 10:00 p.m.