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Alva Pictures Produces Espionage Musical, Damascus Square
Loyalty and nationalism tested in new musical about the real life of a Middle Eastern spy
Damascus Square tells the story of a spy who falls in love with his fake life, endangering himself and his mission. The production asks to whom we owe our loyalty - our country, our family, or ourselves – and explores if these identities can be kept separate.
The story is inspired by the life of Eli Cohen, a famous Israeli spy who was recruited by the Mossad to infiltrate the Syrian government in the 1950s and 1960s. Cohen developed close relationships with the political and military hierarchy of Syria and even became the Chief Adviser to the Minister of Defense. He was eventually exposed for treason and executed in Syria in 1965. The intelligence he gathered is claimed to have been an important factor in Israel's success during the Six Day War.
Shai Baitel, who is an expert in Middle Eastern politics and international affairs conceived Damascus Square and co-wrote the book, lyrics and music along with Oran Eldor and Sarah Hirsch.
Damascus Square had its first public reading at the Metropolitan Room in New York City and was presented at a special invite-only Gala Performance at the United Nations on September 6, 2012 featuring a star-studded cast of Tony nominees. The Old Vic Tunnels in London, England will be the first presenting venue during its 2013 calendar run.
For more information on Damascus Square, including historical background and video and audio clips, visit ( www.damascussquare.com ).