- We Swim, We Talk, We Go to WarFebruary 16, 2021 - 6:15 am
While trying to navigate the currents of the Pacific, an Arab-American woman and her nephew, who has enlisted in the military, dive into the murky waters of family, identity, and politics. Adventurous and playful, We Swim takes the form of a literal conversation on stage, and expands into a nuanced dialogue about what it means to be American, Arab, and Arab-American at our current moment in time.The play offers its audience an opportunity to examine America’s relationship with its military, as well as its growing Middle Eastern immigrant population. It blurs the lines between “us” and “them,” and presents a provocative exploration of the tragic and indelible ripples of war.
- Ella IzaFebruary 16, 2021 - 5:48 am
The production narrates the story of the residents of a building in Lebanon. The building is in bad condition and the residents want to fight for their demands to live safely in their building. They talk about pressuring those in power, but their arguments often take a sectarian turn with each resident showing off their pride for their sect and dissing that of others. While remembering their history though, they seem to stop recalling what has happened right before the civil war. Later, a journalist supposedly comes to document the residents’ calls for their rights to live safely in their building. However, it is revealed that she was actually researching something about the residents’ sects and reveals information that shocks the residents of the building. The production’s premiere was in 2018 following a series of events in Lebanon highlighting political corruption. Namely, in 2015, the garbage crisis in Lebanon was just starting and several protests were sparked because of that and very little reform has been made since then. Khabbaz’s play highlights the role of Lebanese people to rid themselves of those ideological sectarian beliefs in order to better the country. In a comedic way, he writes characters that want to improve, but find themselves struggling to denounce their own leaders’ wrongdoings.
- No Demand No SupplyFebruary 16, 2021 - 5:41 am
On the 27th of March 2016, the inquisitorial commission in Mount Lebanon raided “Chez Maurice” and “Silver” brothels in Jounieh area, east of Beirut, and saved seventy-five Syrian refugee women from what became known later as the largest sex trafficking network in the history of Lebanon. The story gained huge media attention as the women told horrifying stories about the torture and abuse they suffered at the hands of one of the lead figures of the network, which was making more than one million dollars a month according to the police reports. Few weeks after the uncovering of the story, the media lost interest in it and slowly it started fading into oblivion. No Demand No Supply aims at giving voice to the women’s stories while shedding light on an aspect that was totally disregarded in the mainstream media: the sex buyer. The play is still as relevant today as it was in 2017. The court hearings are still in progress. So far, almost three years after closing down the brothels, seven court hearings took place in which nothing really happened because some of the accused are simply not showing up at the court. The victims are still waiting for justice while Imad Al-Rihawi, the trafficker who was in charge of managing the network and torturing the women, was released on a 20 million Lebanese pound (approximately 13 thousand dollars) bail on June 20, 2017, and Fawaz Ali Al-Hassan, the head of the network, was never caught.
- AnbaraFebruary 16, 2021 - 5:37 am
The play begins the day of Anbara’s veiling ceremony at the age of ten and ends the day she finally revolts against the veil in 1927 at the age of 30. The play is a historical docu-drama that tackles Anbara’s life and the stages of her maturity. At the young age of 16, Anbara took an active part in establishing one of the first women’s organization in Lebanon and possibly in the Arab World. By the age of 18 she was defying her family by meeting with her fiancé in secret. As an activist, Anbara and her contemporaries realized early on that women must have a role equal to that of men in their nationalist struggle. To play her part, she devoted herself to promoting women’s rights and women’s education.
- HeavensFebruary 16, 2021 - 5:33 am
Heavens closes the chapter of historical research we started in 2012 with Perform-Autopsy. Through this research, we gained insight into the private-public relationship with history. It revealed our incomplete historical empire: the curse of repetition and echoes, our fragile reality and selves, the breath-constricting anxiety when we attempt to bury the rubble of the past in denial and reconstruction, the fear, hatred and self-loathing at the thought of our murderers and reality silencers – and our victims, anxiousness over our struggles, actions and betrayals, nostalgia that sinks us in past events somehow linked to us.In this work, we come to a self realization as individuals. We have become what we lost and we have lost what we have become. Our history has reduced us to numbers that fuel a destructive controversy. We challenge that which paralyses us and denies us a future. Between the here and the there, the now and the then, recollecting our memories and our losses. On stage, we stand up so we can see, we speak out so that we may hear, we tell our stories so we can realize ourselves.
- Ghalia’s MilesFebruary 16, 2021 - 5:29 am
Fleeing her family in Lebanon in the hope of building a new life in Europe, Ghalia, a pregnant teenager, makes an extraordinary journey through the Arab World. On her way, she encounters several women who guide her, and she sacrifices almost everything she has to make the crossing. Borrowing elements from mythological characters and archetypal figures of women warriors and nurturers, in addition to stories inspired from real women who were active in the upheavals of the Arab World, the play attempts to draw the changing map of our region through the innocent and feisty eyes of Ghalia and the strong women she meets. Ghalia slowly becomes the representation of the youth’s ability to adapt to the changing and harsh environments of our world today.