A controversial and compelling story of two women seeking to defy the external forces governing their bodies, Emina Ashman presents Make Me A Houri at the at La Mama Courthouse Theatre until 4 August 2019.
Two women meet in the afterlife. After experiencing grave punishment, Asmara wants nothing more than to purify herself and transform into a Houri – a Virgin of Paradise. Safia agrees to help… In a place where religion, liberation, and free will collide, is paradise attainable?
A personal, creative response to the symbol of Houris that’s been derived from interpretations of sacred text, Make Me A Houri is an exploration of faith and feminism by Malaysia-born playwright Emina Ashman.
“Make Me A Houri is the result of my need to express how I felt about religious dogma, the patriarchal moral policing in Malaysia, and my own detachment from the Islamic cultural upbringing I was born into,” says writer and performer, Emina Ashman.
“The show sparked from there as I continued to question how interpretations of scripture affect my embodied experience and agency as a woman. What is the energy of tension that lies in between embodying spirituality and sensuality?”
A culmination of four years of creative development, with dramaturgical feedback from female artists and friends from diverse cultural backgrounds spanning Australia, South-East Asia, the Middle East and France, Make Me A Houri blends poetry, stylised physicality and unusual anecdotes to explore the relationship between the realms of the mystical and the material. It promises to be a powerful debut season for Emina Ashman, as both writer and performer of her own work.
Based in Melbourne, Emina Ashman is an actor, theatre-maker and writer from Malaysia. She holds an Honours in Independent Theatre Practice and a Bachelors in Acting and Performance Making from the Victorian College of the Arts.
Most recently seen in Melbourne Theatre Company’s season of Hungry Ghosts (2018), she also presented her solo-devised performance poetry piece, Stardust, in Kuala Lumpur at Kill the Radio’s launch of their art exhibition, In Defence of Poetry.
Director: Stephanie Ghajar Featuring: Emina Ashman, Nisha Joseph Set and Costume Design: Lara Week Lighting Design: Shane Grant Sound Design: Sidney Millar Writer: Emina Ashman
Make Me A Houri
La Mama Courthouse Theatre, 349 Drummond Street, Carlton
Season continues to 4 August 2019
For more information, visit: www.eminaashman.com for details.
Image: Emina Ashman – photo by Keith Costelo