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British Council and Los Angeles Area Universities Partner to Host Transatlantic Dialogues
Date:9/17/2007

Award-Winning Play from Scotland Catalyzes Cross-Cultural Debate

WASHINGTON, Sept. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The British Council, the UK's international organization for cultural relations, will partner with three Los Angeles area universities to present an exciting program of events surrounding the US premiere of the National Theatre of Scotland's Black Watch, the critically-acclaimed theater production that examines the war in Iraq as described by soldiers in Scotland's legendary Black Watch regiment.

Black Watch, which is based on recent interviews conducted by acclaimed Scottish playwright Gregory Burke with former soldiers who served in Iraq, serves as the centerpiece of British Council Conversations, a series of events discussing UK and US attitudes toward war and the military, the possibilities of intercultural dialogue and the role of contemporary arts in discussing divisive social issues.

The British Council and UCLA Live kick off the program on September 22 with a panel discussion featuring cultural influencers, journalists and ex-military personnel as they debate thematic issues arising from Black Watch. Panelists include UK journalist and commentator Robert Fox; Jason Berg, a former US Marine stationed in Iraq; Howard LaFranchi, the Iraq correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor; and Black Watch director John Tiffany.

On October 3, British Council Conversations continues as students and professors at California State University, Los Angeles, Royal Holloway University of London, and the University of Glasgow take part in a three-way videoconference that explores the text of Black Watch in terms of national trauma and identity. During "Dramas and Trauma: Writers Responding to War," sponsored by the Center for Contemporary Poetry and Poetics, faculty and students from the three countries will dissect the Anglo-American literary response to current and past conflicts, including the relationship between history, f
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