Press report by the journalist / Safa Shalabi, Bozour Theater for Culture and Arts

Women’s relationship with theater has a thorny and complex history. Perhaps it suffices to mention that the history of Arab and international theater witnessed countless examples of cases in which men played the roles of women, and women dressed as men. Do the creative female artists in the field of theater, in criticism, research, directing, acting and design, chronicle a new stage?
Palestinian women from Gaza bang their feet on their private stage
Wissam Al-Dirawi is a Palestinian actress who and two of her companions decided to break the rule in their Gazan society that prevents women from being represented, as men perform all their roles: mother, sister, wife, and even daughter, in the enforced absence of women. In an experiment that is the first of its kind, Al-Dirawi founded the first Palestinian feminist theater, and the first show was launched from the Budour Theater for Culture and Arts under the name “hashtag”, with a dramatic text bearing a high symbolism that monitors the meanings of adhering to the homeland on the grounds that it is an important “theme” determined by the living conditions on the land of Palestine Of course, the theater is not far from it. “Women in Gaza need a window to express their problems, such as the problems of abandonment, loss and gender-based violence, and theater is the only medium that we have seen that will express all classes of society in Gaza and women in particular,” the Seeds Theater Foundation tells Raseef22. Al-Dirawi, who directed and participated in the representation of Hashtag, believes that the conservative Palestinian society does not like the idea of ​​women working as actresses or having a special theater for women, and the matter varies from one governorate to another according to male dominance in each region. Another problem that Al-Dirawi faces in her performances for women, which are storytelling workshops targeting women who face life problems to discover new ideas for theatrical performances, is women’s fear of telling in performances attended by men. Therefore, it presents special presentations by women to women in preparation for breaking the barrier of fear within them to present “workshops” for storytelling attended by men, and thus, according to Al-Dirawi, the results are direct and on one line.
The Fall of Taboo and Feminist Theatre
Dr. Watfaa Hammadi says in her book “The Fall of Taboo” that the Arab man has been playing the role of a woman for many years, to the extent that theatrical script has been the preserve of men for years. It was that the woman reduced her production, so her production did not appear in theatrical art compared to what she produced in other arts such as literary and research fields, until the female researcher gave her counterpart a larger area than the space given to her by the researcher “the man”, and did not invoke the authority of intransigence that he summoned.
The interest of Arab women researchers in the feminist theatrical text compensates for the neglect of theatrical women in text, representation and direction, even in the field of decoration and scenography
In her book, Hammadi wonders about men’s motives for marginalizing the role of women in theatrical arts. Is it the caution that prompted society not to recognize women’s creativity? Or is it a moral-value logic such as the defect that contradicts the concepts produced by the inheritance and clinging to the man to control his control over the woman and her movement? Or is it the fear of her launching and expressing herself, especially after leaving the place/harem, which the man drew for her and his limits that a woman should not cross. Here is the woman breaking out of the established taboos under the pretext of customs and traditions and going out to the art spaces, ascending the stage, carrying her body and ready to appear. The author of “The Fall of the Taboo” believes that the interest of Arab researchers in the feminist theatrical text has emerged recently. To reveal what the history of the research devoted to neglecting theatrical women in text, representation and directing, even in the field of decoration and scenography. This resulted in the translation of Western feminist works by Sanaa Saliha and Nihad Saliha in Egypt, followed by studies documenting the rise of the actress to the stage to begin rehabilitating women in the theater through acting, writing and directing. Today, this includes decoration, lighting and clothing, and her actual role in theatrical practice has begun, as well as the search for theatrical women’s discourse in order to assert self and identity after being motivated to change cultural symbols that were excluded from them. According to a study by the Babylon Center for Human Studies on the aesthetics of theatrical scene in the performances of the Iraqi theater director, Lebanese director Latifa Multaqa believes that the Lebanese theater still depends on playwrights who have no obsession with raising the issue of women, even though some of them dealt with humanitarian issues related to women. As for the Lebanese theater director, Siham Nasser, in her choice of theatrical texts, she wanted to express the public and private and present the existing political scene represented by the defeat of the Arab man, and express the misery and rebellion of women, which amounted to killing the sense of motherhood within her, and killing her children in revenge against her husband, as in the media play (prepared for a text). French writer Jean Anouye with the same title Médée). Al-Nasser considers that the suffering of men is also an integral part of the suffering of women, as everyone is equal in suffering and oppression. This idea is what was addressed by Lina Khoury’s play “Haki Rijal”, which she presented a decade after “Haki Niswan”, and its first show opened in Beirut at the beginning of this month in the city’s theater. The play opens with a search for the “story” of men, and builds, through the dialogue of its characters, a deeper question that touches on the restrictions that life imposes on men as well as on women. This is the same opinion of the Iraqi director Ahlam Arab – according to the aforementioned study – as she does not believe in the feminist theater, which is trying to be independent from the man, so she sees them complementing each other.
Do women present their issues better than others?
Moroccan director Naima Zaitan believes that a man may not be fair in his expression of women’s issues, and Zaitan says about this to Raseef22: “A man may express women’s issues, this is certain, and there are many experiences related to the subject, but I believe he will not express it in a ‘eloquent’ and clear way. On women’s problems, suffering, ambitions, and ranks other than women, there are themes for

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