Theater in the Middle East

Theater in the Middle East

Between Performance and Politics

Edited by Babak Rahimi

The collected essays from noteworthy dramatists and scholars in this book represent new ways of understanding theater in the Middle East not as geographical but transcultural spaces of performance. What distinguishes this book from previous works is that it offers new analysis on a range of theatrical practices across a region, by and large, ignored for its dramatic traditions and histories, and it does so by emphasizing diverse performances in changing socio-political contexts.

Hardback, 184 Pages

ISBN:9781785274466

July 2020

£80.00, $125.00

  • About This Book
  • Reviews
  • Author Information
  • Series
  • Table of Contents
  • Links

About This Book

The collected essays from noteworthy dramatists and scholars in this book represent new ways of understanding theater in the Middle East not as geographical but transcultural spaces of performance. What distinguishes this book from previous works is that it offers new analysis on a range of theatrical practices across a region, by and large, ignored for its history of traditions and cultures, and it does so by emphasizing diverse performances in changing contexts. Topics include Arab, Iranian, Israeli, diasporic theatres from pedagogical perspectives to reinvention of traditions, from translation practices to political resistance through various performances from the nineteenth century to the present. 


The book is, therefore, concerned with not just the theatrical content of specific or range of plays in a variety of mediums, from stage to the radio, but also political implications, changing imaginaries of home and exile, and practices of identity through a range of performances in both local and translocal settings. The book argues that there are indigenous performers, ranging from actors to producers and audiences, who (re)make theatre through the reinvention of traditions, pedagogy, media, and translation. The book also shows that while all theatre is performance what precisely “performance” means is contingent to the lived context of audiences and performers who make theatre in its diverse forms and also in response to conflict, war, occupation, patriarchy, home, and exile.

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Author Information

Babak Rahimi is Director of the Program for the Study of Religion and Associate Professor of Culture, Communication at the Department of Literature, UC San Diego.

Series

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Table of Contents

Introduction, Babak Rahimi (University of California, San Diego); I. Pedagogy and Tradition; 1. Teaching Middle Eastern theatre: challenges, opportunities, and rewards, Michael Malek Najjar (University of Oregon); 2. Harem entertainers: female performers in Qajar courts, Rana Salimi (University of California, San Diego); 3. Nehad Selaiha and the Egyptian theatre, Marvin Carlson (The City University of New York); 4. The re-invention of tradition in Moroccan theatre: from postcolonial hybridity to women’s empowerment, Khalid Amine (Abdelmalek Essaadi University, Tetouan, Morocco); II. Politics and Nation; 5. Artistic practice and production at the Jenin freedom theatre: the intersection of the personal and the political, Gary M. English (University of Connecticut); 6. Domestic arts: Sigalit Landau, Emily Jacir, and Israel-Palestine, Shelley Salamensky (University of Louisville); 7. Radio drama by and about Syrian refugees: reimagining the nation on Souriali, Edward Ziter (NYU); 8. No demand no supply: documentary theatre transforming the mainstream media, Sahar Assaf (American University of Beirut).

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