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Doomed by Hope

Doomed by Hope

Essays on Arab Theatre

Edited by Eyad Houssami







The dramatic, political history of contemporary Arab theatre

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.

'This is the power of theatre giving voice to the voiceless. Welcome and necessary ... highly recommended' - K.J. Wetmore, Jr., CHOICE

Foreword: Hope Arising from Despair by Elias Khoury
1. Introduction
Eyad Houssami
2. Refugees on the Syrian Stage: Soirée 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 Soirée 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 Mroué
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
Published by Pluto Press in Nov 2012
Paperback ISBN: 9780745333540
Hardcover ISBN: 9780745333557

224 pages

170mm x 220mm