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Production description

In a totalitarian state somewhere in the Arab World, all forms of theatre have been banned, but a condemned 1960’s classic play has become the focal point for resistance blogs and underground, dissident Twitter movements…

The Speaker’s Progress uses Twelfth Night as a starting point to explore events in the Middle East, transforming Shakespeare’s comedy into a satire on the decades of political inertia that have fed recent revolts across the Arab region and a daring theatrical metaphor for the mechanisms of dissent. The piece will evolve as circumstances in the region change, emphasizing the rapid pace of revolution among courageous citizens seeking freedom. This is a rare chance to see a major Middle Eastern theatre company’s provocative and inspiring work.

“A new history is finding its voice among the millions across the Arab world who stood up and continue to stand—and fall—for dignity and freedom after decades of shame and oppression. This play, forged at the cusp of these two eras, has the fortune—and the responsibility—to be one of its platforms.”–Sulayman Al-Bassam

About Sulayman Al-Bassam
The internationally celebrated work of writer/director Sulayman Al-Bassam has been awarded the Kuwait State Arts Encouragement Award, Edinburgh Fringe First Award, and the Best Director and Best Performance Awards (Cairo International Festival of Experimental Theatre). Under his direction, SABAB has achieved worldwide acclaim, performing across four continents.

Performance run: October 12 – October 16, 2011

Where: Paramount Mainstage at Emerson College, Boston, Massachusetts

WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY: Sulayman Al-Bassam

ARTISTIC PRODUCER: Georgina Van Welie

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Sam Collins

MUSIC COMPOSER: Marcus Doshi

COSTUME DESIGN: Abdullah al Awadi

RUNNING TIME: 90 minutes with no intermission
Performed in English and Arabic with English supertitles

Information courtesy of ArtsEmerson site.
Additional details available here regarding the premiere performance.

Essay written by Margaret Litvin:

Shakespeare in the Arab World: Introduction

Review of The Speaker’s Progress, directed by Sulayman Al-Bassam. Shakespeare (journal of the British Shakespeare Association), 2013.

Essays written by Graham Holderness:

Sulayman Al-Bassam’s The Speaker’s Progress: Introduction

Arabesque: Shakespeare and Globalisation

Arab Shakespeare

 

 

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    The Speaker’s Progress (Twelfth Night)

    Type:
    stage
    Year:
    Director:
    Al-Bassam, Sulayman | Productions
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    Boston, MA,United States
    Company:
    Sulayman Al-Bassam Theatre (SABAB)
    Kuwait
    View productions by this company

    Source: Sulayman Al-Bassam

    Full video

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    Duration: 01:30:00

    The Speaker's Progress (5 min edit)

    Note: For more info or to view full performance www.sabab.org