The Digital Guide to Theatre of the Middle East: 21st Century Volume (DGTOME) provides essential information on the most significant plays/performances written and performed in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and among their diasporas since 2000. The goal is to recognize and display the breadth and diversity of theatrical visions, creations, and collaborations of MENA theatre artists in an accessible and sustained manner to academics and theater practitioners and producers.
As the first and only searchable database in the field of MENA theatre, DGTOME benefits from a transnational group of artists and scholars. We hope to contribute to the growth of digital humanities research in and about performing arts in the MENA region. In selecting the works, DGTOME has prioritized plays with socio-political themes and those created by artists belonging to minority and historically marginalized groups: women, LGBTQ individuals, and members of religious and ethnic groups that have been historically under or misrepresented(including Kurds, Armenians).
The entries have been selected and verified by a transnational group of contributors who are leaders in the study and practice of theatre in the region. This database is distinct in that it is developed by MENA local contributors. The database includes many remarkable plays featuring complex character development, clever satire, and breadth of tone in a range of styles and genres (experimental, historical, melodramatic, political).
In addition to increasing the visibility, equity, and inclusion of MENA theatre in scholarship, curricula, and on stage, The DGTOME pursues three objectives:
- to make digital archiving of MENA theatre more sustainable, accessible, searchable;
- to enhance the digital capacity of scholarship in the English language about MENA theatre;
- to create a platform to connect with artists and experts in the region.
DGTOME is intended for educators, students, researchers, theatre practitioners, translators, the general public. Each group can benefit from different subsets of data about the plays’ text, context, and production history. Most importantly, this resource is intended for those individuals who just cannot get enough of this field.
As the first database designed for this purpose, DGTOME will function as a prototype for future and more aggregated websites. In the future phases of aggregation, we will add more plays from other historical periods, as well as those featuring wider thematic scopes. We acknowledge that information about the plays is captured by particular people at particular places and times. We also acknowledge that digital tools and spaces require decisions about taxonomy and representation that are often challenged by creative works and the information we receive about them. This does not mean that databases like DGTOME should not be as useful and accurate as possible. We are committed to address the unavoidable errors and encourage you to get in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
We consider this digital intervention a work in progress, and its development depends on your invaluable support and contribution.