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Yemen! Saudi Arabia! U.S.! And How We Got This Way!

Yemen! Saudi Arabia! U.S.! And How We Got This Way! is an animated short that relates the history of the humanitarian crisis in Yemen and the US role in this calamity.

  • Kevin Hourigan
  • Kia Corthron
    The Wire, My America, The Jury
  • Kia Corthron
    The Wire, My America, The Jury
  • Kevin Hourigan and Kia Corthron
  • Younis Ali
    Key Cast
  • A. E. Aly
    Key Cast
    The Night of Then, All God's Creatures
  • Baize Buzan
    Key Cast
    Chicago Fire, Our Father
  • Sevan Greene
    Key Cast
    Madame Secretary, White Alligator, Damages, Blue Bloods, The Dictator
  • Ian Scot
    Key Cast
  • Ghamdan Shahbain
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Short
  • Genres:
    Musical, Animation, History
  • Runtime:
    6 minutes 36 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 28, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    250 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Kevin Hourigan, Kia Corthron

Kia Corthron is a playwright and novelist. She is the author of The Castle Cross the Magnet Carter (2016) which was awarded The Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and was a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice. She was the 2017 Bread Loaf Shane Stevens Fellow in the Novel.

For her body of work for the stage she has been awarded the Windham Campbell Prize, the United States Artists Jane Addams Fellowship, the McKnight National Residency and Fellowship, the Otto Award for Political Theatre, the Simon Great Plains Playwright Award, the Lee Reynolds Award, and others. Her plays have premiered in New York at Playwrights Horizons, New York Theatre Workshop, Atlantic Theater Company, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, New York Stage and Film, American Place Theatre; regionally at Eclipse Theatre Company, Yale Repertory Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Center Stage, Hartford Stage, Children’s Theatre Company, Alabama Shakespeare Festival; and in London at the Royal Court Theatre and Donmar Warehouse. She has taught playwriting in prisons for youth and for adults, and at universities and conservatories for undergraduate and graduate students. She has frequently contributed short plays to theatrical evenings curated to address specific current issues, such as the suffering of Iraqis under U.S. sanctions, the Israeli bombing of Lebanon, and as a benefit to aid Haitian earthquake victims; the song for the submitted film was part of her play Charade in IMAGINE: YEMEN, an evening of shorts addressing the crisis in Yemen which she co-produced in New York with Kevin Hourigan, Naomi Wallace, and NewYorkRep.

She traveled to the West Bank and Gaza as part of a six-playwright contingent to meet with Palestinian theatre artists. Under a travel-commissioning grant, she spent two weeks in Liberia as the country was beginning to transition out of its civil war and wrote a play inspired by the experience. She was part of a six-member American delegation to South Africa through the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program meeting with South African writers and students.

For television, she has written for The Jury and The Wire (Edgar and Writers Guild Outstanding Series awards).

She has lived in New York City since 1988, mostly and currently in Harlem.


Kevin Hourigan’s directing credits include The Infinite Love Party (Bushwick Starr; upcoming at ART), Imagine: Yemen at the Diamond Theater at the Pershing Sq. Signature Center, Another Rose for Virgin Voyages, Voices from the Long War in New Haven, CT, Uncle Vanya at Brooklyn College, Farmed at Joe's Pub, Imagine Sisyphus Happy at Pace University, Cenerentola at Curtis Opera Theater; L'Historie du Soldat at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival; Talk to me about Shame in the NYFringe Festival (Fringe Award) and at the Syrena Theatre in Warsaw, Poland; Sweeney Todd at the Performing Arts Institute; and Invisible Plains, a staging of new musical compositions in collaboration with Palaver Strings. He has directed workshops and readings of new work for writers including Craig Lucas, Naomi Wallace, Kia Corthron, Kara Lee Corthron, Brendan Pelsue, Tegan McLeod and others. Hourigan is the recent recipient of an Individual Artist Commission from the New York State Council for the Arts. As an assistant/associate director, Kevin has worked with directors Rachel Chavkin, Nicky Silver, Jackson Gay, John Jesurun, Laura Savia, and Mike Donahue. Kevin also served as the assistant director for Queen of the Night, created by Randy Weiner and directed by Christine Jones.

Hourigan directed PEAR, which won Best experimental short at the SENE Film Festival.

Hourigan was the inaugural Directing Fellow at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, and served as Artistic Director of the Yale Cabaret 2016-2017 Season.

Hourigan is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama, where he directed Blood Wedding, The Merchant of Venice, The Hour of Great Mercy by Miranda Rose Hall, Tiny by Sarah B. Mantell, and Lake Kelsey by Dylan Frederick. Hourigan has an MFA in Directing from the Yale School of Drama and a BFA from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts (ETW, PHTS)

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Director Statement

The UN has named the humanitarian crisis in Yemen as the worst on the planet. The most recent estimates name that over 85,000 Yemeni children have died from starvation alone. We believe this issue has not had proper coverage in the US-media, largely due to the US's role in perpetuating and worsening this crisis by arming Saudi Arabia and others in the region. It was our hope through this animated short to offer a brief history of this crisis, and an explanation of the US's role in this calamity. We hope to raise awareness through this film so that Americans will continue to speak up against this war.