This is a study of performance during revolution and revolt in the Arab world. Addressing the history of Arab theatre, it centres on legacy of the late Syrian dramatist Saadallah Wannous, whose monumental plays incited audiences to rise up against tyranny decades ago.
With writers from Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Kuwait and Yemen, this book includes both discussions and personal narratives, alongside a number of specially commissioned portraits of contemporary Arab theatre artists.
Exploring cultural practices - from reading plays in a classroom to performing in a security state and directing in theatres, prisons, and international festivals - it uncovers the flourishing of art in times of revolt.
Eyad Houssami makes and writes about theatre. He studied theatre at Yale University and currently lives in Beirut. He is the author of the play Mama Butterfly.
Acknowledgments Foreword: Hope Arising from Despair by Elias Khoury 1. Introduction Eyad Houssami 2. Refugees on the Syrian Stage: Soiree for the 5th of June by Edward Ziter 3. Saadallah Wannous in Palestine: On and Offstage Performances and Pedagogies by Rania Jawad 4. Performance through the Egyptian Revolution: Stories from Tahrir by Dalia Basiouny 5. Three Egyptian Plays in the Wake of the January Revolution by Samia Habib 6. Staging a Protest: Socio-Political Critique in Contemporary Yemeni Theatre by Katherine Hennessey 7. The Legacy of Saadallah Wannous and Soiree for the 5th of June amidst the Arab Revolts by Asaad Al-Saleh 8. Emerging Playwrights in Syria by Meisoun Ali 9. Practicing Theatre and Playwriting in Damascus by Abdullah Al Kafri 10. 12 Angry Lebanese in Roumieh Prison by Zeina Daccache 11. What has Slipped Away is So Far, and What is Yet to Come So Close by Rabih Mroue 12. Shakespeare, Global Debris, and International Political Theatre by Sulayman Al Bassam 13. The Things I am Afraid to Tell You: Performing Palestine in Diaspora by Joseph Shahadi 14. Doomed by "Dialogue," Saved by Curiosity? Post-9/11 Arab Performances under American Eyes by Margaret Litvin 15. Remembering Saadallah Wannous by Jawad Al Asadi Contributor Biographies