On February 16, 2010,  the guest for KZSC‘s Artists on Art was Nabil Ghachem,  who is a playwriter/producer/poet/actor/director/performer, basically the epitome of  the hyphenated theater artist.

We spoke of his show, “Of Mint, Olive Oil & Zaatar” that happened Saturday,  February 20, 2010, at the Cabrillo Black Box Theater. This is a Cabrillo College Theatre Arts presentation of the Third Annual Evening of World Theatre and Dance with Mosaic Theatre’s.

Ghachem grew up in a multi-ethnic family and received his theatrical training at the Brussels Theatre Academy.  After working in Brussels, France, Tunisia, Romania, New York, and San Francisco,  he founded Santa Cruz Mosaic Theatre which premiered “Cruz The East Theatre Festival” several years ago.

He is collaborating with Dancer Feliz “Jalilah” Guarino who has a background in ballet, tap, and gymnastics, and at a young age discovered her love for bellydancing.  Guarino has been a part of the local bellydance community for over ten years and performances throughout the Bay Area.

The drama begins when the lives of a poet and a gypsy dancer intersect at a train station.  Stories are shared, recipes are exchanged, borders are falling and the train is leaving the station.  A field guide to human emotions where identity is at the core, “Of Mint, Olive Oil & Zaatar” asks us to examine what constructs identity. “The show questions the meaning of rootedness and identity. Is it about the language one speaks? The books one reads? The passport one holds? The people and things we leave behind?” This is an invitation to redefine boundaries and cross cultural divides,” explains Ghachem.

Mosaic Theatre’s performance  lifts the veil on Arab poetry, showing diverse styles and themes by Arab and Arab-American poets recited in both English as well as Arabic and Farsi, accompanied by Middle-Eastern rhythms and dances. “A lot of people are not aware that Arab-American arts and culture exist in the U.S. with a large body of work in theatre, poetry, music and visual arts,” says Ghachem.

“Thanks to Cabrillo College ’s Evening of World Theatre and Dance, we can educate and raise awareness about other cultures.”

For tickets, please call  479-6331 or go to ticketguys.com.

Here’s a quick twitvid of Nabil in the KZSC Studio before the show:


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