March 11: Afghanistan novel ‘Kite Runner’ on stage at WSU

By Gail Siegel, WSU Performing Arts

kite-runner-80PULLMAN, Wash. – In association with Young Audiences New York, WSU Performing Arts will present the Literature to Life® stage presentation of “The Kite Runner,” by Khaled Hosseini, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 11, at Washington State University’s Jones Theatre. The show is recommended for ages 14 and older.

Admission is free for WSU students. Tickets cost $14 for adults, $12 for seniors 60 and up, and $7 for non-WSU students and youth. Discounts on adult/senior prices are available for groups of eight or more.

Tickets may be purchased in advance at TicketsWest outlets, including online at TicketsWest (, by phone at 800-325-SEAT (7328) and in person at the Beasley Coliseum ticket office (open weekdays 10 a.m.-2 p.m.). Same-day tickets will be available at the Daggy Hall box office beginning two hours before the performance.

Published in 2003, “The Kite Runner” was the first novel about contemporary Afghanistan to be written in English. It became a New York Times bestseller and received critical acclaim, described in reviews as “stunning,” “poignant” and “powerful.” It was later adapted for a 2007 film of the same name.

The script is drawn verbatim from the first half of the novel, mirroring author Hosseini’s original short story, and the production features original Afghani music as backdrop to the performance. The solo performance by Sorab Wadia dramatically portrays the relationship of two boys — Amir, a privileged Pashtun, and Hassan, a Hazara servant — amid the turmoil of 1970s Afghanistan.

Discussions before and after the performance will illuminate themes of redemption and class systems.

The novel is adapted and directed by Wynn Handman. With regard to the Literature to Life® stage adaptation, author Hosseini has said, “For me, writing has always been, first and foremost, about storytelling. … And stage has always been a unique and powerful medium for storytelling – direct and intimate, organic and spontaneous.”

Wadia is an actor and singer based in New York City. He garnered rave reviews for his performance of Hussein al-Mansour in “Jihad: The Musical” at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2007, with the Times of London hailing him as “a performer of real class who … brings the whole production to life every time he is on stage,” and for his Ali Hakim in the U.S. national tour of Trevor Nunn’s production of “Oklahoma!”

His theatrical credits range from “Antigone” and Shakespeare to “Madame Butterfly” and “Edwin Drood,” as well as an assortment of new plays. He has appeared in the films “Suburban Girl” and “Hiding Divya,” and his television credits include “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “30 Rock” and “Chappelle’s Show.”

Literature to Life® ( is a performance-based literacy program that presents professionally staged verbatim adaptations of significant American literary works, with minority and immigrant experiences emphasized. This educational program gives audiences a new form of access to literature by bringing to life the world of books with performances that create an atmosphere of discovery and spark the imagination.


Gail Siegel, WSU Performing Arts (, 509-335-8522,