Zoukak and Ibsen
Zoukak is currently in Skien, Norway for a residency of the company's newest production "The Rave Empire", based on the second part of Henrik Ibsen's "Emperor and Galilean" which will premiere there at Ibsen Teater on the 12th of May. On this occasion, the company is thrilled to also perform "Lucena: Obedience Training" which is based on the first part of Ibsen's play, and which will be performed for the first time in 7 years!
About the plays:
By presenting a theatre play, a story, or a narrative, we presume a certain sense. Where does this sense belong? By trying to get a grip on this perception by deconstructing the thought and the references, we can grasp a source of power. You are here to witness a quantum process of tracking and exploring centrality, originality, meaning, and essence. The One and the Plural; the One in the Plural.
The Rave Empire is a theatre performance, directed by Junaid Sarieddeen, devised and performed by Omar Abi Azar, Lamia Abi Azar, Mohamad Hamdan, Maya Zbib, in addition to Khalil Hasan and Asaad Thebian, with Jana Bou Matar as an assistant director, Jean Kisswany on technical direction, Joseph Junior Sfeir on music, Rania El Rafei as a film Director and Nathalie Harb as a scenographer. This performance is based on a play written by Henrik Ibsen's lesser-known plays, Emperor and Galilean in the 1860s. Ibsen references it as his ‘major work’ and it is truly the longest, it talks about the life of the Roman Emperor Julian (361 to 363), referred to as “The Apostate”. In his search for the third empire to overcome both monotheism and polytheism, Julian had found the answer through what he had called: Emperor-God & God-Emperor; His revelation was fatal.
This is a theatrical work that questions the authoritarian model that governs religion, society and theater. The work summons Ibsen’s “Emperor and Galilean” from history, the text which called upon the Roman Emperor Julian, who in turn summoned the gods and philosophers of ancient Greece, declaring the freedom of belief and the plurality of deities. It is a journey of old power conflicts in the skies and on earth. It is a tale of a society whose members are on the steps of the ruling ladder linking heaven to earth. It’s the story of a theater company exiled and isolated as its members are trained on obedience, for they might subordinate.
*Lucena is a village in Cordoba, which was mostly populated by Jews, the Arab philosopher Averroes was exiled there after he was tried by the caliph al-Mansur who ordered that his books be burnt. The origin of the word in Hebrew is “Eli Hochana” which means “May God protect us”.
Lucena is directed by Junaid Sarieddeen, performed by Lamia Abi Azar, Hashem Adnan, Ali Chahrour, Danya Hammoud, and the crew, with Joseph Kaï as assistant director, Nathalie Harb on Scenography, Ghassan Halawani as the scenography assistant, Ricardo Clementi on light design, Costume design by Raya Morcis, Percussions by Khaled Yassine, performed live by Stig Sjøstrøm. Co-produced by the Ibsen Awards in 2012.