A succession of unusual, unexpected, familiar or impossible encounters
How to make theater in a period of war, in which reality is subject to constant and violent change, and we are not even there? What is the context of the theater we create, and who do we create it for?
Forty-year-old Syrian cinematographer Jamal is obsessed by the sense he is losing his past. He’s been living in France for more than a decade and is confronted with the fact that places in his memory are being abandoned or destroyed, while he and friends are scattered all over the world. How can I look at the present, if I don’t have access to a past that belongs to me?
He decides to go on a quest for this past and the people who used to inhabit that world. He weaves fragments and snippets of narratives he finds on the way into a reflection of his loss. In counterbalance to this very personal journey, the protagonists decide to delve into the colonial archive. Using fragments from letters, documents, pictures and maps created by the French administrators and military situated in Syria at the beginning of the nineteenth century, the play revisits the birth of the State: An imagined and rebuilt State. Under a Low Sky weaves intimate with political writing, seeking and questioning the limits of both.
direction & text Wael Ali performance Sharif Andoura, Nanda Mohammad set design & costumes Bissane Al Charif dramaturgy & translation Chrystèle Khodr lighting design & technology Camille Mauplot video & image Ghazi Frini, Bissane Al Charif, Ghazi Frini, Bissane Al Charif music & sound design Yazan Sharif, Akkad Nizam Edine, Basile Pflug, Akkad Nizam Edine video control room & set Basile Pflug production Les Bancs Publics - Festival Les Rencontres à l'échelle co-production Performances beyond two shores, a project supported by the European Commission in the framework of the Creative Europe program (Les Bancs Publics, Bozar, Shubbak, Dancing on the Edge, Kunstfest Weimar, Napoli Teatro Festival), Performing arts centre - Friche la Belle de Mai - Friche la Belle de Mai, Arab Art Focus Supporters Stiftelsen Studio Emad Eddin and Ford Foundation
Writer and director Wael Ali graduated from the Higher Institute for Performing Arts of Damascus, Syria in 2004, and graduated from University Lumière Lyon, France with a Master degree in Performing Arts. Wael Ali worked on several projects as a dramaturge between 2003 and 2006.
He wrote and directed the performance Je ne me souviens plus in 2014, presented in Shams Theatre in Beirut, and in venues and festivals such as Gorki Theatre in Berlin, Maison d'Europe et d'Orient in Paris, Toneelhuis in Antwerp, and Journées Théâtrales de Carthage in Tunis. He directed Titre Provisoire in 2016, the text written in collaboration with the Lebanese actress Chrystèle Khodr.