“Before Dinner” by Yasser Abu Shaqra to feature in Theatre Born in Conflict Zones 7

Before Dinner (Qabl Al Aasha), a new play by Yasser Abu Shaqra, has been selected by the Japanese Centre of the International Theatre Institute (ITI) for presentation in its Theatre Born in Conflict Zones series this December.

On top of the Tokyo readings, Before Dinner will be translated into Japanese and published locally, along with the other plays in the 2015 programme.

The Theatre Born in Conflict Zones programme is organised by the Agency of Cultural Affairs of Japan and the Japanese Centre of the ITI, co-produced by Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre. Previous regions highlighted by the series include Germany, Thailand, France, Algeria and Palestine.

yasser abu shaqra

Yasser Abu Shaqra

Masrah Ensemble is working with the Japanese branch of ITI to translate the play. Yasser Abu Shaqra, a Palestinian-Syrian writer and playwright living in Turkey, the Masrah Ensemble Playwright-in-Residence 2014. The company is currently seeking a literary translator with experience in translating both Arabic poetry and colloquial Levantine into English. Excerpts of Before Dinner were also previously presented by Masrah Ensemble at Ensemble Studio Theatre, New York, in June 2014.

Masrah Ensemble’s Eyad Houssami took part in a Saison Foundation residency in Tokyo in 2014. Houssami also edited Doomed by Hope: Essays on Arab Theatre, published in English and Arabic.

The seventh Theatre Born in Conflict Zones programme runs December 16th-20th, 2015 at Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre Atelier West. Full details have yet to be announced but this year’s programme also plans to include Madmen and Specialists by Wole Soyinka.

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