ATELIER DE RECHERCHE ALBA > PROJECTS > theatre de beyrouth ain el mraisseh beirut
THE ESSAY: Les multiples naissances du Theâtre libanais by Roger Assaf | THE INSTALLATION: 1 ACTE / 2 PIECES 
This project was produced after ‘SHAMS’s invitation to the Atelier de Recherche to take part in its annual Festival, in the Theatre de Beyrouth’s premises. The workshop decided to work on and around the theatre by the following directions:
1) The Theatre de Beyrouth in the modern history of dramatic arts in Lebanon, pointing out on events of significant importance such as the Majdaloun play by Roger Assaf and Nidal Achkar and the Hakawati sequences during the Lebanese war (1975-1990)...- Carma Tohme - advertising V
2) The theatre as a place, and its place in the city, its relationship with the inhabitants of the neighborhood of Ain el Mraisseh - Sana Asseh and Danielle Kattar - advertising III
3) The city as a theatre: the mythical history of Ain el Mraisseh and its ‘founder’, 700 years, ago, the rituals still devoted to her in the former Shuran harbor - Ursula Marcha - architecture V
'shams" association website:
"It has not been definitively proved that the language of words is the best possible language. And it seems that on the stage, which is above all a space to fill and a place where something happens, the language of words may have to give way before a language of signs whose objective aspect is the one that has the most immediate impact on us.
Considered in this light, the objective work of the mise en scnène assumes a kind of intellectual dignity from the effacement of words behind gestures and from the fact that the esthetic, plastic part of theater drops its role of decorative intermediary in order to become, in the proper sense of the word, a directly communicative language."
Antonin Artaud, The Theater and its Double, New York 1958, p. 107, provided par Hydra.
Artaud's vision revisited by Derrida is studied in Colin Russell's "A New Scène Seen Anew: Representation and Cruelty in Derrida's Artaud".
In front of the scene or in the scene / the pleasure of the scene / the scenic gesture / stage costume-sex-transvestism / composition / decomposition / ... / multiplication of the gesture / objects as actors / the word, any street is a scene / façades as masks / actors as objects / mask-costume ritual / against the unity of representation / space of action / space of spectacle / people as spectacle, politics.
Discourse within the “theater” is fragmented, dispersed among various actors and spectators, articulating itself without either dominating or subordinating, with the body in action, with the gesture.
The gesture is not only that of a static pose, but a multiplied gesture of the body in movement, engaged in entries and exits from the scene.
Discourse and gesture configurate the scene; while time and volume perforate the the plane of decoration and configurate the space.
A scene in movement. The street is the scene of struggle, of consumption, the scene of the scenes; it is infinitely continuous, unlimited in the motion of objects, of gazes, of gestures.
it is the scene of history.
It is a scene, but it is also what is behind the scene, what is not seen, or not allowed to be seen. When what is behind the scene is shown, it produces a demystifying effect, like that of exposing the reasons for the split between individual and social, between private and public.
The façades frame the street. They function as scenery or decoration and control the demystifying effect. The decoration may or may not correspond to the content of the representation. This accentuates the mask like character."
Diana Agrest, “Design versus Non-Design”, Oppositions Reader 1998, pp. 331-354, ed. Princeton Architectural Press.