The Rave Empire

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.

Short Synopsis:

“The Rave Empire” is a reading of an unfinished play based on the second part of Henrik Ibsen’s “Emperor and Galilean'' which talks about the life of the Roman Emperor Julian (361 to 363), referred to as "The Apostate" who led the last attempt in history to re-establish polytheism as a political philosophy and life practice. Ever since, monotheism has taken over, and our contemporary mental structure was formed, molded and framed by its linearity.

Presentation dates and locations:

  • January 27, 2022 - Open Studio at La Comedie de Reims, France
  • May 12, 2022 - Premiere Performance at Skien, Norway 
  • October 20, 21, 22 & 23, 2022 - Private Audience Performance at Zoukak Theatre in Beirut, Lebanon 
  • November 26, 2022 - Performance within Zoukak Sidewalks Festival at Zoukak Theatre in Beirut, Lebanon

Background
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. Zoukak Theatre Company interpreted part one of the play in 2012 in Lucena – Obedience Training, and part two in 2021 under this current production.
This performance talks about the life of the Roman Emperor Julian (361 to 363), referred to as “The Apostate”. His three years Reign marked the last attempt in history to re-establish polytheism as a political philosophy and the practice of life. Ever since monotheism has taken over, and our contemporary mental structure was formed, molded, and framed by its linearity. With monotheism, the essence of all identities was linked to one origin, to ‘The One’. Identities became sacred, singular interpretations became absolute references, humankind transcended to the essence of all essences, and one ultimate idea controlled our consciousness, crowning its own gods on earth.
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.
In this performance, we are telling this story. Wait! Which story? Where does the central story live? Is it the play itself? Is it Zoukak’s story? Is there a central story? Who is the main character, Julian? Is it The Galilean or Ibsen as a writer? Could it be the director of this play? the performers, as individuals? Or is it The audience? In stories resides power. Throughout history, the stories that we tell control us. History in itself is an enormous story that governs us.
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 that. A quantum process of tracking and exploring centrality, originality, meaning, and essence. The One and the Plural. The One in the Plural.

 

Production Year: 
2022
Play's Language: 
Arabic
Duration: 
1:10
Credits: 

Conceived and produced by Zoukak Theatre Company
Directed by Junaid Sarieddeen

Devised by the whole team

Writing and performing team:

Lamia Abi Azar
Maya Zbib
Omar Abi Azar
Mohamad Hamdan
Junaid Sarieddeen

 

Visual creative team

Scenographer: Nathalie Harb
Video maker: Rania Rafei 
Text layout designer: Maya Chami 
Light designer: Omar Abi Azar
Technical director: Jean Kisswany 

 

Music composition and performance: Joseph Junior Sfeir
Sound Designer: Rodrigue Kazarian

Production manager: Mohamad Hamdan
Assistant director and stage manager: Jana Bou Matar
Poster designer: Maya Chami
Costume designer: Hazem Kais
Translator: Marianne Noujaim 
Cinematographer: Jocelyne Abi Gebrayel 
Editing Contributor:  Marwan Hamdan 

 

Zoukak executive and communication team 

Executive Manager: Karma Baalbaki
Projects Officer: Ayman Jouni
Admin and Finance Officer: Jean Himo
Venue Officer:  Sarjoun Sarieddine
Production and Operations Coordinator: Ghiwa El Haiby 

Zoukak Technical Team

Logistician: Hussein Al Hammoud - Ezzo  
Technical Coordinator: Antonella Rizk
Stage Manager: Almahdi Shbat 

 

Co-produced by: Ibsen Scope, La Comédie – CDN de Reims, and Drosos Foundation 
With the support of  Hammana Artist House

Special Thanks to Khalil Hassan, Assaad Thebian, and Nadim Deabis