The Jokers

There is a child. Omnipresently absent.
There is a musician. Pulling the strings.
The setting is a shelter, which is a brothel, which is a theater: a stage and dressing room.
Or perhaps it is simply the projection of the intimacy between three performers backstage.
Their roles are constantly changing; we get glimpses of the unpolished reality behind their performances. We bare witnesses to the very transfigurations that their “audience” do not wish to see.



This work revisits the Jokers of society; those characters that manifest themselves as distinctive from others, transformed by society into easy allegories, and made into proxies for all means of filth and deception or purity and wisdom. They are figures inevitably alienated by their own otherness, whether inherent or assigned. They become a screen onto which to project any narrative, escaping the anxiety of self-identification within a community or society. These appointed scapegoats could then be cursed, marginalized, denied existence, tortured, burned, and killed, or conversely sanctified, canonized, and worshiped. They are the products of a culture nourished by binaries of good and bad, the mirror of collective intelligence, the transfigurations that diverge and transcend the individual.


Creative Insights:

This performance is the outcome of a collaborative artistic process joining theater and music.
The work was driven through a process of improvisations and collective writing by the company around the theme of the Jokers and involved the input of a musician and a make-up artist.


Presentation dates and locations

The play premiered internationally in October 2017, in Bordeaux within the Festival International des Arts de Bordeaux Métropole (FAB). It was further developed and later performed in Beirut on the 16th, 17th and 18th of December 2017 at Zoukak Studio. 

The Jokers
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Conceived and devised by Zoukak Theatre Company

Directors: Omar Abi Azar and Junaid Sarieddeen

Performers/devisers: Lamia Abi Azar, Junaid Sarieddeen, Maya Zbib 

Musician: Khodor Ellaik (Kid Fourteen)

Dramaturgy: Omar Abi Azar, Mohamad Hamdan and Junaid Sarieddeen

Assistant director: Marianne Kortbani

Scenographer: Nathalie Harb

Assistant scenographer: Zyad Ceblany

Illustration of set masks: Joseph Kaï 

Poster designer: Maya Chami

Sound engineer: Jawad Chaaban

Light designers: Guillaume Tesson and Nadim Deaibes

Technical director: Nadim Deaibes

Make-up artist: Mohamad Reda

Costume designer: Mahmood Al-Safi

Production manager: Mohamad Hamdan

Produced by: Zoukak Theatre Company

Supported by: DROSOS

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