Submission Title

Renaming and Rethinking Middle Eastern Theatre

Location

Vivian A. Bull Music Center: Delkin Recital Hall

Subject Area

Theatre

Description

Currently, the American stage is void of the Middle Eastern voice and body; nuanced work about specific Middle Eastern countries has little to no mass appeal due to an American misunderstanding of what the Middle East is, superimposing a false history and aesthetic upon the Middle East, and making work that is truly representative of the region unrecognizable to American audiences. To say that we need more Middle Eastern people involved in theatre is true, but not enough; the problem is the American (and global) geographical and cultural framework. As evidenced by the difference in work being produced by Iranian theatre artists, and what is accepted by America as recognizable Middle Eastern theatre, a nuanced understanding of the Middle East and its vast set of cultures, religions, races, and ethnicities is lacking, resulting in the impossibility of creating theatre about the region as a whole.

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May 17th, 1:00 PM May 17th, 1:15 PM

Renaming and Rethinking Middle Eastern Theatre

Vivian A. Bull Music Center: Delkin Recital Hall

Currently, the American stage is void of the Middle Eastern voice and body; nuanced work about specific Middle Eastern countries has little to no mass appeal due to an American misunderstanding of what the Middle East is, superimposing a false history and aesthetic upon the Middle East, and making work that is truly representative of the region unrecognizable to American audiences. To say that we need more Middle Eastern people involved in theatre is true, but not enough; the problem is the American (and global) geographical and cultural framework. As evidenced by the difference in work being produced by Iranian theatre artists, and what is accepted by America as recognizable Middle Eastern theatre, a nuanced understanding of the Middle East and its vast set of cultures, religions, races, and ethnicities is lacking, resulting in the impossibility of creating theatre about the region as a whole.