I Hate Theater I Love Pornography

Based on Pillars of the Community and Enemy of the People, by Henrik Ibsen 

A ride through the hottest stories from the Middle East, catered and served specifically to satisfy the needs and expectations of our beloved Western and English-speaking audiences.

“I Hate Theatre I Love Pornography” is an investigation on current forms of corruption plaguing today’s world. It uses theatricality as a tool to question how we position ourselves as artists and as individuals with regards to the multiple representations of this corruption. 

The past few years have witnessed citizens of countries in the Northern Hemisphere becoming more and more afraid of cultural difference, electing extreme right-wing leaders and voting for exclusionist policies, for the prospect of being safe from “The Other”. While most of the South continues to be torn by wars, destroying infrastructures and wiping out whole cultures, with real-estate businessmen waiting like scavengers for the right moment to sell and re-build. As the death of children continues to be bartered for profit, we ask ourselves how can we as theatre makers position ourselves in the middle of the obscenity of this political opportunism.

Today these same power-thirsty policy makers, warlords and traffickers, are setting the new paradigms of the world’s system of values… exclusion, marginalization, segregation, displacement, murder… specifying the worth of human bodies, through commodities, wars, and the media. In an era when people are brutally massacred and decapitated, and their deaths are broadcasted on daily news, while heroes in Hollywood zombie movies are systematically obliterating masses of the undead on screens; this performance attempts to shed light on this corruption through the value we assign to our bodies, creating a parallelism between the performative body, the pornographic body and the corpse.

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The work on this piece started in 2014 during a residency at the Ibsen Center in Skien, Norway and was based on themes from Ibsen’s Enemy of the People and Pillars of the Society. It was later performed as a work in progress in Norway as part of the IBSEN conference in 2014, in India as part of ITFOK - International Theater Festival of Kerala in 2015, and in Lebanon.

This project was partly developed at the Sundance Theatre Lab in Utah, USA in July 2017. 

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The Team
Conceived and produced by Zoukak Theatre Company
Directed by: Omar Abi Azar
Devised and Performed by: Lamia Abi Azar, Hashem Adnan, Ziad Chakaroun, Khodor Ellaik, Junaid Sarieddeen and Maya Zbib
Assistant Director: Rahaf Jammal, Natalie Maalouf
Light Designer/Technical Director: Nadim Deaibes
Scenography: Nathalie Harb, Omar Abi Azar
Communication: Marianne Kortbani
Graphic Design: Maya Chami
Production manager: Mohamad Hamdan
Co-produced by: IBSEN Awards
Supported by: Sundance Institute and Drosos Foundation

Filmed version produced within Borderline Offensive: Laughing in the Face of Fear, with financial support from Creative Europe and Västra Götaland Region

The first phase of this project was created in collaboration with Abdullah Al Kafri, Ahmad Ghossein, and Helle Siljeholm, at the Ibsen Theatre in Skien, Norway, in 2014.

This Project has been developed partly at IBSEN Theatre in Norway in 2014 and at Sundance Institute’s Theatre Lab in Utah in 2017