Stav Palti Negev is an expat living in the United States since 2011. During this time, she had nine different visas and no Green Card to date. In her new play, Palti Negev develops her personal experience with bureaucracy into a story about a young expat living in the US, on a race against time to earn a Green Card. The main character, Star, has to face numerous barriers on her way to the life she wants – corrupt lawyers, polices that change almost every night and common misunderstandings from people who never had to experience this grinding process. Will she ever manage to get that Green Card and stay in the country? Probably not.
ISRAEL | PLAYWRIGHT
Stav Palti Negev (She/ Her) is an NYC-based Israeli writer. Her play “Salim Salim,” received the Best Play award at the 2014 Israel Fringe Theater Festival and ran for two years at Tmuna Theater in Tel-Aviv. Stav’s work has been developed through The Public Theater, Atlantic Theater Company, MacDowell Colony, The Flea Theater, New York Live Arts, and NYFA among others. She is a member of the Middle Eastern American Writers Lab at The Lark. Stav holds an M.A. in Performance Studies from NYU Tisch.
Hey. I’m Star. Nice to meet you all. Thanks for coming.
This is a very exciting moment for me, and I am so glad you are able to join me here today. As you probably know, I’ve been preparing for this race for a very, very, long time. Some would say, all my life. I wouldn’t say that, but some would. Whatever.
I can say, and I’m proud of it, that I’ve devoted the past three years to training.
I took long runs, to galleries, I lifted canvases, I balanced paychecks, worked four jobs at a time, took all the gigs, been to all the shittiest dirty holes in this town, smiled and networked my way through sweat and tears (no blood though, let’s not overdo it). And now I am here.
And I am ready.
Let the games begin!
"More than anything - being super ambitious, and aiming as high as you can, is an immigrant thing. You didn’t know that? Well, now you do."
Read by NYC based actress Omer Koren
"I come when I’m uncalled for, I come when I please. I am here to shatter your dreams and make you feel unease."
Read by NYC based actor Peter Romano
The Process: STAV PALTI NEGEV
My plays are based on my experiences and are derived from my inner world. They are an accumulation of many different moments and feelings that end up taking a dramatic form. The writing itself is very gray, I sit by my computer, shut down the internet, my phone and any other form of distraction and try to write. It doesn’t always work, but when it does a play is born.
And then came COVID times...
"Out of the blue, in a matter of days, COVID-19 made me get up and leave." Playwright Satv Palti Negev
I think it's a very humbling experience, being an immigrant or expat in a different country. And just experiencing what it's like to have to live without the things we take for granted: our language, our support system and the connection we have from high school.
Preparing to write this piece took me on a journey through my experiences as an immigrant in the U.S. I looked back at the mountains of bureaucracy, documents, and funds I had to spend in order to keep on living in the country.
And then came COVID times and out of the blue, in a matter of days, made me get up and leave. After working so so so hard to stay, the pandemic had me back on a plane home in no time. This new journey made me wonder about the fragility of our choices, about the things we think that we want, that we struggle to achieve, and how it all changes in the face of real danger. I only started writing the play, but I know that these insights will go a long way with me, and I am sure they will find their way into this new story I am looking to tell.
How does it feel to show up in a new country where you don't speak the language, you don't know anyone? You have to find your own path. But still, you bring so much with you. If you have an education, you bring your education with you. There are things, we don't lose everything. But just experiencing even a minor part of that, losing a slight thing of what makes you who think you are. And you feel that you deserve to be all of these things-I feel that this taught me a lot.