Sixteen Wounded

  • 2011/2012 Season
  • Performed in Japanese

The NNTT has plans to produce a number of contemporary plays from the West which have not yet been staged in Japan, and which have been well-received in their home countries.

For this installment, we present Sixteen Wounded. In 2004, this sensational work opened to positive reviews on Broadway in New York City.

Set in the Netherlands, this is the story of a Jewish baker and a young Palestinian man who ends up working for him through unusual circumstances. Sixteen Wounded depicts the bond that develops between them and their eventual parting, while suggesting that love is not always enough to overcome the weight of history and hatred. It is also a portrait of people who manage to forge a friendship across the boundaries of ethnicity and religion. The play challenges us to ponder the question: What is it that is truly important to us as human beings?


Hans, an aging Jewish man, runs a small bakery in Amsterdam. One day, a young Palestinian man named Mahmoud lands in his shop after taking a beating from some thugs. Hans takes the bleeding Mahmoud to the hospital and pays his medical bills. Mahmoud cannot understand why this man would be so kind to a complete stranger, and initially feels distrust and resentment. But Hans seems to want nothing in return for his kindness. In time, Mahmoud lets his guard down and even starts working at Hans's bakery after his discharge from the hospital.

The two struggle with issues of identity, the past, and the way they are living in the present. They begin to develop a bond like that of father and son.

Several months pass, and Mahmoud's physical and emotional wounds have largely healed. Then one day, his tranquil new life is interrupted by an unexpected visitor, and the story takes a stunning turn.

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