CMU School of Drama

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Staging the Transition in North Africa: Theatre as a Tool of Empowerment In the two years since the beginning of the ‘Arab Spring,’ North African theatre practitioners have successfully invested the stage to open new spaces of public dialogue and debate, using the Internet and new media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) to further promote their work and to galvanize the youth. This essay will focus on selected plays from Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco performed in the years 2010-2012: while Tunisia and Egypt have managed to radically change their political landscape through protests and have since organized elections to decide on their new leaders, Morocco has been engaged in a relatively peaceful transition and provides a useful comparison.

1 comment:

Sarah Battaglia said...

I have always been a big believer that theater is a way to empower children. When I was in high school I created a program for the kids in the lower income parts of my county many of which had never been exposed to art or acting at all. It was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done, and I had no idea that art might be able to do what it does. I knew that when I was kid and I saw my first show it changed my life, and I decided that I wanted to do theater. But if my parents hadn't been lovers of the arts and they hadn't taken me to a place where I could fall in love with theater then maybe I would be doing something totally different now. When people, especially children, are given the opportunity to express themselves in a way they wouldn't normally then they can find something that they love. I saw an incredible change in the kids that I worked with over only six weeks and a few of them told me that they were going to keep trying to do theater. The arts is so important for children because it gives them a space to have no boundaries and be silly, and learn how to present themselves at the same time. It is incredibly empowering, and I would love to help bring art to more kids one day.