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Omar Abusaada

Omar Abusaada is an independent Syrian playwright who lives and works in Damascus. After finishing his theatrical studies at the Higher Institute for Dramatic Arts in Damascus, he starts to build his own vision of a politically and socially-conscious theatre. Working as a playwright and director, he co-founds the Studio Theatre in 2002, whose first show, Insomnia, premieres in 2004.

Abusaada then directs El affich – Forgiveness (2006), based on improvisations with a group of inmates from a youth detention centre, Almirwad wa almikhala (2009), Look at the Streets … This is What Hope Looks Like (2011) and Could You Please Look into the Camera? (2012). His most recent piece While I was Waiting, premieres in Kunsten Festival, Brussels in 2016, and is selected for the official programme of the 70th edition of Festival D’Avignon.

He spends years travelling the remotest regions of Syria, Egypt, and Yemen, performing shows on marketplaces that are often pretexts to talk with with local students, workers and villagers, who sometimes join the actors onstage.

For his most recent play, the director also works together with the Syrian author Mohammad Al Attar. Their performances take place on the boundary between dramatization and documentation. They condense the travails of war and show what it means to endure them. They have completed their theatrical trilogy, which is dedicated to the lives of women seeking refuge from war. Following the adaptation of Trojan Women (2013) in Jordan by Abusaada, Al Attar joined him for the second part of Antigone of Shatila (2014) in Lebanon. The long-awaited Iphigenia now follows at Volksbühne Tempelhof.

Past productions

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