Get the post-show conversation going with these Discussion Questions for The Band’s Visit

  1. In some ways, music is another character in the play, one that everyone interacts with at some point. How does music drive the plot forward and influence the relationships between characters? 
  2. The political history of Egypt and Israel is a source of tension and distrust between the characters. In what ways are they able to break through their discomfort?  
  3. The residents of Bet Hatikva describe themselves as “experts at waiting.” What do you think they are waiting for? Why have they become experts at it? 
  4. What types of relationships are represented in the play? How do they evolve over the 14 hours of the story? 
  5. Can you think of a moment in your life when you found an unexpected connection with strangers? What was the catalyst for the breakthrough? 
  6. The show begins and ends with Dina saying that the story “wasn’t very important.” Does she mean that? What makes a story or event “important?”  
  7. Most of the characters in The Band’s Visit begin the play having lost something important to them: spouses, children, romance, creativity, confidence. In what ways do the events of the play allow for them to begin to move on? 
  8. David Yazbek, the composer of The Band’s Visit, was influenced by childhood visits to Lebanon, jazz greats like Miles Davis, and, of course, military-style orchestras when writing the score. What is the effect of the blend of traditional Middle Eastern instruments and tonalities with Western jazz and contemporary musical theatre? How does the aural landscape reflect the world of the story?