an uncommonly deft combination of dance and verbal theater” 

–Brian Seibert, The New York Times

Writer & Director: Amir Nizar Zuabi
Choreographer & Composer: Samar Haddad King
Rehearsal Director: Zoe Rabinowitz
Production Manager: Devi Penny
Technical Designer: Muaz Aljubeh

Cast: 8
Touring Company: 12
Duration of work: 65 minutes (no intermission)

Produced by: Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre

World Premiere
Gibney, New York, May 2022
Arab World Premiere
The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi
UAE, February 2023

For more information click here.

Photos © Whitney Browne

Last Ward follows one man’s journey towards death in a hospital room. Surrounded by the sterile mechanisms of modern medicine, the patient reflects on his life, relationships and connection to place, as the ritual of doctor visits and family calls transform into a surreal landscape of tragedy and humor. Beginning with a slow trickle tracked in by a shoe, the space eventually fills with soil: spilling out from inside flower pots and cabinets and from underneath the bed, a metaphor of impending death.Last Ward blends dance and theater (featuring 5 monologues in Arabic with English subtitles) in a highly visual evening length performance that tackles the universal experience of facing death, and invites audiences to reflect on the humanity of an Arab man, a demographic not often seen in the media or on stage, as simply human.

Supported by: Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, Covillo/Lynch Family Foundation, MAP Fund, National Endowment for the Arts, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, O’Donnell-Green Music and Dance Foundation; and FUSED (French U.S. Exchange in Dance), a program developed by FACE Foundation and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States with the support from the Florence Gould Foundation, Institut français-Paris, the French Ministry of Culture and private donors. Additional support for women artists has been provided by Fondation CHANEL. Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre was a 2021 NDP Finalist Grant Award recipient. Support was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts with funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to address continued sustainability needs during COVID-19 and in support of Last Ward.

“The inextricable connection between life and death is what Last Ward understands. The connection between words and dance, too.” 

–Brian Seibert, The New York Times