Two plays by Syrian playwright Ahmad Meree, in Arabic with English surtitles, made the "Now Toronto" list of 15 theatre shows to see in 2020.
Young Man: The most beautiful thing about fish is that they don’t need to take their clothes off. Young Woman: And they make love just like that, no need or privacy.
“I think that Palestine has done a lot more for British theatre practitioners than we could ever do for them.”
"By voicing their stories within interrogation sequences, Yazji’s refugee women expose the violence of bureaucratic and xenophobic questions as part of what contributes to their trauma."
From the beginning, Khashabi chose to be an independent theater, which has meant refusing institutional Israeli financial support, as, organizers say, "we believe in the importance of an independent and free Palestinian cultural scene."
"The central themes that emerge are al-Ani’s role as an organic intellectual who championed the dispossessed and identified with the left across his roles as theatre practitioner, playwright and actor. This came to see him identified as ‘the people’s artist’ during his ownlifetime, expression and function of his artistic craft merging into a coherent approach."
The "In/for Translation" series -- set to run Tuesdays in August -- focuses on work by women that we recommend either in or for English translation. Here, work by five Arab women playwrights.
On the night I saw the play, for example, Ali paused in the middle of describing an unpleasant sex dream about Fouad Al-Seniora—the former Minister of Finance and prime minister of Lebanon—to ask who the equivalent, physically unappealing politician in England would be; she received a chorus of “Boris Johnson!” from the audience.
"One strand of our work in the future will be to create an archive of Classical Arabic plays in translation, so we will be seeking funding to get some of the plays that don’t yet exist in English translation."
"What I wanted to do, above all, was document the range and the diversity of ways that people living on the Arabian Peninsula have engaged with and continue to engage with Shakespeare."
"The novel has an open end and complex allusions, which in my opinion gives more freedom to the dramaturge when writing the script."
"We want these works to be produced in the English-speaking world."