“Why are they doing this? I was there for hours; they would not answer my questions. What have they done to him? … My son." So begins Blanket of Fear, first performed in 2004 by the Tribes Project Alumni Ensemble, a direct response to the culture of fear fueled by events following Sept. 11, 2001. Blanket of Fear both explores and questions the viewpoints and stories of three women profoundly impacted by America’s “war on terror.”
The story follows a Caucasian woman arrested at the airport with her half-Persian, Half-African-American husband, now both held by the Feds and suspects of a terrorist conspiracy. Her incarceration ensnares her, her Iranian mother-in-law and her court appointed Afro-Cuban public defense attorney into a triangular memory play of personal, cultural, and national identity crisis.
The only all female cast in Tribes Project history had a special role in bringing their personal perspectives as an Iranian American, Afro-Cuban American, and European American respectively to a collaborative creative process that wove their individual artistic voices into an intricate web of political and personal intrigue.
The performance style of Blanket of Fear is vintage Tribes Project: incorporating interpretable visual elements, dynamic movement, music and song within a fully character driven story.
This production is the reaction of a diverse group of insightful women to the casualties of fear. Without offering up clear solutions or even all of the details of the arrest, the audience are left like the play’s main characters – pondering what and where are truth and justice within the cloaked world of counter terrorism. Blanket of Fear creates an unflinchingly honest and powerful statement by refusing to over-simplify our complicated world. Nowhere in our wildest nightmares did we think our show would be so spot-on in its prescience, but the reality of the continued escalation of Islamophobia coupled with the rise of ISIL’s global reach (especially during this circus-like election year) makes Blanket of Fear more timely, relevant, and essential than ever.