Jimmy Carter is one of my heroes.
Theater has long been my passion.
So when an invitation arrived to attend a west coast premiere of Camp David at The Old Globe theatre in San Diego, I pounced. The program exceeded my expectations and left me feeling hopeful for our troubled world.
The Carter Center
Founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, the Atlanta-based Carter Center has helped to improve the quality of life for people in more than 70 countries. The Center, in partnership with Emory University, is committed to advancing human rights and alleviating unnecessary human suffering.
We gathered at The Old Globe for a luncheon and a presentation by Hrair Balian. Balian is the Director of the Conflict Resolution Program at The Carter Center.
I could have listened to him speak all day. His presentation was brief, but informative, touching on many subjects that I would like to learn more about. I was able to appreciate all of the Center’s efforts towards peace. In conversations about the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), The Carter Center involvement includes:
- Relations with all, across multiple divides
- Involvement of women, siting UN Security Council Resolution 1325
- Factual conflict analysis
- Coordination with the UN
- Peaceful transition for Syria
and more. We were able to chat with Mr. Balian before lunch and sat with him during the play, which we loved.
Camp David received a standing ovation from a sold-out crowd. Playwright Lawrence Wright is also an awarding winning journalist. His thorough research, including access to the Carters, led him to add Rosalynn Carter as the fourth character in the play. Rosalynn Carter is a powerful force in her own right, advocating for mental health care around the globe.
Conversations with Playwright Larry Wright
Pulitzer-prize winning journalist, author and playwright Lawrence Wright wrote the play, Camp David, and a follow-up book called Thirteen Days in September Days. It chronicles the thirteen days at Camp David that led to a peace accord between Israel and Egypt, facilitated by the President Carter. Peace between those two countries remains thirty years later.
Wright spoke with us after the play, and we joined in a question and answer session; also far too brief. What a fascinating man. They hope to bring Camp David to Broadway in the near future.
Special thanks to Seema Shams and Marian Dickson of The Carter Center
If you’re interested in learning more, here are a few links:
- The Carter Center: Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope.
- Rosalynn Carter and The Carter Center’s Mental Health Program
- Hrair Balian, Director, Conflict Resolution Program Bio
- Lawrence Wright Plays
- The Old Globe, San Diego, California
- History of the Camp David Accords
Here are a few snapshots from the rest of our weekend. We walked along the Shelter Island harbor, ate dinner near Balboa Park, and enjoyed an outdoor breakfast at our hotel.