A polyphonic narrative contemplating detention, dehumanization, love, hope and freedom
Ayat, Hend, Ola (now Ali), Mariam, Rowaida and Kenda are Syrian. Either as opposition activists in the 80s or young activists in the revolution of 2011, all of them have been incarcerated by the regime, most of them in Adra women’s prison. Forced to leave Syria, they currently live in Germany and France. Director Ramzi Choukair and dramatist Wael Kadour composed the dramatic framework of a play out of the testimonies of those two generations of detainees, who perform the piece.
This polyphonic narrative that links their six trajectories, not only shows the hell of detention and the mechanisms of dehumanization used by the regime. They bear witness to their experience in their own words and through the bonds of sisterhood, family and love that gave them the strength to survive and to continue to resist. Hope and an unshakable faith in freedom appears out of the struggle to bring back life where everything had been destroyed. Mixing opera and traditional Arabic song, the great Syrian singer Lubana Al Qunart is X-Adra’s seventh voice.
concept & direction Ramzi Choukair production & artistic collaboration Estelle Renavant dramaturgy Wael Kadour lighting design Franck Besson visual creation Maude Grübel assistant stage manager Rabie Chukair translation & surtitling Adriana Santos Muñoz performance Ayat Ahmad, Hend Alkahwaji, Ali Hamidi, Mariam Hayed, Rowaida Kanaan, Kenda Zaour, Lubana Al Quntar production Perseïden co-productions La Filature - Scène Nationale de Mulhouse, Bonlieu - Scène Nationale Annecy, Espace Malraux - Scène Nationale de Chambéry et de Savoie collaboration Labomatic residencies Le MuCEM, théâtre Joliette Minoterie, le Mas de Vezenobres, La Filature supports The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC), l’Archipel des Utopies, la Fondation Abbé Pierre, Ford foundation, l’ONDA, la Ville du Vigan
Ramzi Choukair is a French Syrian actor and theater director, who currently lives in Marseille, France. He studied Performing Arts in Damascus and Avignon, and obtained a Master’s degree in Performing Arts at the Paris VIII University. Since graduating he has held roles such as artistic and technical director of Damascus Opera House, technical director of Damascus Arab Capital of Culture Festival, and created the Mediterranean Arts Platform Al-Wasl. He worked as a specialist in Arabic contemporary theater at Friche la Belle de Mai (Marseille) from 2011 till 2013.
As a director, he is known for Al-Zîr Sâlem and the Prince Hamlet and The Women Assembly. Choukair also works as an actor in Syria and France. He acted in plays such as Romeo and Juliet by André Serre, Les Epines by Manuel Gigi, The Seagull by Tatiana Arkhabitsova, Hiroshima mon amour by Julien Bouffier, and Wael Kadour’s Chronicles of a City We Never Know by Mohamad Al Rashi and Wael Kadour. As an actor he won the Helen Hayes Award for Best Actor in 2016.