The Incident

The play revolves around a trivial incident that happens to the main character Salma, this incident will change her destiny and her priorities in life and eventually her attitude towards her political stand and involvement. Salma a 35 year old famous Arab actress who is preparing herself to travel to Europe to be honored for her work and achievements hits her eye and left face area with her car door by mistake as she was going to the embassy to start the long visa process. She is informed by her assistant about a schedule change to travel earlier. During the car incident, all her documents including passport, birth certificate, and her Jordanian ID card get lost. To retrieve copies of the documents, Salma has to visit a set of government entities where she experiences a set of incidents that are transformative to her individualism versus the collective activism. She finds herself in a demonstration, then in a reform dialogue mini-conference, then in the artists union, etc, until she reaches the Ministry of Interior where she says out loud her final political statement about revolutions and the power of the people in the Arab region.


Cinema is a political satire which criticises the fragility of the Iraqi political status quo and delves into the perspective of the dead. The play is set in a graveyard where four corpses rise from their graves, and start a conversation about how and why they ended up there. The figures are: an officer from the Iraq–Iran War; a female journalist who died in one of the bombing explosions in Baghdad after 2003; a young man who failed to find a job as a postgraduate student and decided to work as a taxi driver, but was killed during the ethnic violence; and a poet. All are joined later on by the graveyard keeper who shares with them his daily problems and strife in a lawless city. The play is a black comedy that criticises politicians, wars and systematic corruption, but most importantly it mocks death. The four corpses get up from their graves to protest against the increasing numbers of dead people buried in the graveyard.

Alive from Palestine: Stories Under Occupation

An ongoing series of sketches by the Al-Kasaba players centering on the theme of media representation. Alive From Palestine: Stories Under Occupation is a theatrical expression of how Palestinians and their stories have become just another news item for the rest of the world, whilst for Palestinians, it is their life, humanity and existence. The show depicts Palestinians living, dying, crying, laughing and struggling for a normal existence against a backdrop of disaster and uncertainty.

The Rat

This play is about the clash of the rat and 4 cats. Cats harm and domineer the rat and people. The rat as a leader resists attacks with people and eventually win. They resist cats by coming together in weddings, harvests etc… and reach a consensus how they fight to cats. Masks were used for cats and the rat ; but these animals were not played by imitating. They are like human. The rat represents of a Kurdish society who are under the control of the authority, are oppressed. Four cats (Turkey, Syria, Iran, Iraq) are authority. The literary source of the play is about the rat and the cat but in this play it is changed by four cats.

Disco No.5

Disco No.5 has been performed by Mirza Metin from Destar Theatre about the torture of Kurdish political prisoners in Diyarbakır Military Prison after military coup in Turkey (1980). The performance has been based on memories, books, documentaries and interviews about that period. In that one-act play the actor performed a spider, a rat, a dog, a prisoner and a jailkeeper by getting reality and fiction together. The characters/actions of the play have referred to reality of that period by fictioning. The group described their play as “confrontation plays”. Always welcomed with great admiration the play won “the best solo performance of the year”, “the actor of the year”, “the best performance of the year” awards.

Who Is It There? – Muhsin Bey’s Last Hamlet

Who Is It There? – Muhsin Bey’s Last Hamlet has a fictional story based on historical facts. The play’s text is written by the four members of the company some of who are also performers in it. In late 19th century during the last years of Ottoman Empire emerging modern Turkish speaking theater was performed mostly by non-Muslim population especially by Armenians. First Muslim woman performing on stage didn’t happen until 1919. When Modern Turkey was established in 1923 Muhsin Ertugrul became one of the leading figures to institutionalize western theater in Turkey. While Ertugrul mostly trained with old Armenian masters when he started his profession, they were mostly gone when he was running State Theater of Turkey.
In the play we see Ertuğrul in his late age getting prepared to direct Hamlet for a last time. Hamlet was also Ertugrul’s directorial debut in 1912. At that time he worked with Vahra Papazyan who Ertugrul calls his first theater teacher. Throughout the play ghosts of Papazyan and an imaginary actress Latife/Arusyak as the representative of the Muslim actress of the time, accompany Ertuğrul in his prep for the play by bringing memories from his unspoken personal history when he was building a national theater in Turkey with references to both Hamlet and Ertugrul’s career. By doing this, the audience starts to question the history of Turkish-Armenian theater people who we do not know well and whose tradition kept going in Turkish theater until today.

Light Theory

While tremendous political and cultural changes have been happening in Turkey beginning from the second half of 2010s many well educated people started asking themselves whether they want to leave the country or not. Light Theory is about this feeling in Istanbul that a lot of people are experiencing at this time: Finding themselves in a situation in which one will be forced to leave where they were born and live. There are stories of three people in the play: Anna is a scholar from Medieval Istanbul, Feraye is a young student who fled the war in Syria and came to Istanbul, Kaan is a thespian who is preparing to leave Istanbul for good. All of them are forced to leave a place at different times, and they all stop and think whether they forgot something just before they shut their suitcases. Then an archaeologist from a very far future introduces her discovery, which tells us their stories. As their lives are shaped by obligatory journeys, Light Theory imagines the potential meanings of the marks left on our shared futures, which we assume will fade away in time.


Handala is a play that I wrote based on the cartoons of Naji Al-Ali. I am inspired by his work throughout the years before his assassination in London in 1987, and the life that his cartoons still have after his death. As
a writer, I also identify with the symbol of Handala, as it represents the continuation of struggle and resistance against the illegal Occupation. I call active, unarmed resistance “beautiful resistance,” and that is what Naji Al-Ali engaged in: beautiful resistance. I felt it was important to adapt his cartoons for the stage because they are still very relevant. There is so much false history that works to wash the truth of our memories away. Naji Al-Ali, the artist, is an important role model for the continuing commitment to human rights and values. Al-Ali’s creation, Handala, which is often humorous, represents the guardian of these same rights and values. I think that the cartoons of Handala are an intelligent and anguished cry against all the compromises and degradation of our values and rights. Handala’s spirit creates space for crushed people to speak, and to challenge the politicians and merchants of rights and values. Handala is also a vehicle through which we can reclaim our true histories.


Nooria is about a female corpse-washer, whose work is to wash dead female bodies before they are placed in their graves. Nooria meets Death as a male figure and, through an external monologue, starts a ghostly dialogue. Nooria recalls milestones in her life: her marriage to a soldier who went to the Iraq–Iran War and never came back; the financial hardship that she and her young child suffered during the economic sanctions; the patriarchal and systematic oppression practised upon her as a lonely woman with a young child. Nooria was not aware that Death has come not for her but for her son, as he was about to die in a bomb explosion. In a fantastical move, Nooria decides to take her son back into her belly to protect him from Death, and covers her body with one of the shrouds around her. The play utilises shadow theatre as a background to Nooria’s grotesque monologue, and the choreographers behind the huge translucent screens reflect her frustration, anxiety and fear.

Half Sack of Bullets

Kamilya is operating with all means to prevent Jewish settlers in the old city of Jerusalem from confiscating Haji Saleh’s old café. The haji is her late father in law. Half Sack of Bullets takes place on the cafe’s grand opening night, as Kamilya tells us the real story of the fall of Al Kastal.