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.

A Moment of Silence

A young woman’s (Sheeva) life alternates between sleeping and awakening with 3-4 year intervals. Each awakening reveals a socio-political change, including revolution and war. While this life cycle is unfolded, the playwright who is in fact writing the young woman’s lifestory receives life threatening calls from the government’s secret agents.
The play has been widely admired for its innovative approach to playwriting and its audacity to bring to the surface issues of socio-political urgency. It has been translated to more than five languages and has been revived several times in the Middle East, Europe and North America. Its surreal narrative coupled with Mohammad’s poetic yet witty dramatic writing style addresses universal issues about freedom and security.

Meta-Fedra/Lady of Secrets

Inspired from Racine’s “Phèdre”, Mohamed Abo Elseoud created a poetic play about the patriarchal oppression and the repression of female sexuality. A taboo in the Egyptian cultural and theater, Abo Elseoud succeeded in all honesty to confront a history of muting sexualities, and of censorship. The love that emerges between Fedra and the son of her husband is not sin, but rather a form of compassion and solidarity vis-à-vis the dictator who claims ownership of their lives and bodies. An unprecedented experience in the Egyptian theater where there is no shaming of what is usually labeled as “treason”. The play is written in monologues of poetry in modern literary Arabic. With the introduction of the character of the female narrator/storyteller, the playwright announces from the beginning that he adopts the feminist perspective in the story that he tells. A unique narrative of how the liberation of sexuality -within a religious and oppressive society- is a prerequisite for political and intellectual liberation. At the end, the director Hany Elmetennawy offers to the spectators the chance to judge the two lovers, by forgiving them or by killing them. A brilliant way to involve the audience and to get some signals about the possibility of social change.