Charles Randolph-Wright looks beyond the headlines to find ‘Love in Afghanistan’


Afghan interpreter Roya, played by Melis Aker, and American Hip-Hop artist Duke, played by Khris Davis, poke fun at each other on a ‘non-date’ in a scene from Charles Randolph-Wright’s play “Love in Afghanistan.”

Love in Afghanistan,” written and directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, opened in October at the Arena Stage in Washington D.C. Randolph-Wright became captivated by the Afghan notion of bacha posh, a phenomenon where families without sons treat their daughter as a son and dress her like a boy. The practice is supposed to bring honor to these son-less families and can even help poor families find work. Randolph-Wright took this concept and spun into into a play centered around Duke, a western hip-hop artist, and Roya, an Afghan interpreter whose experienced bacha posh growing up in a family without a son.
Randolph-Wright likes to do it all — he is a director, writer, and producer for film, television, and theater. Part of the Arena Stage’s American Voices New Play Institute, which “fosters the creation of new work [and] the growth early and mid-career playwrights,” Randolph-Wright has composed nine other works for the Washington D.C. theater. His previous show “Motown The Musical” about Motown founder Berry Gordy is currently playing on Broadway.

Charles Randolph-Wright came to the NewsHour to speak to chief arts correspondent Jeffrey Brown about “Love in Afghanistan” and the importance of honesty in storytelling. Watch the full conversation below.