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Title: An analytical study of Sadallah Wannous’s contribution towards defining an Arabic theatre in the Twentieth Century
Author: Alrefaai, Nesrin
ISNI:       0000 0004 2695 0610
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2009
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Arabic theatrical identity has been the subject of much research and debate. This thesis focuses on the Syrian playwright Sadallah Wannous (1941-1997) and his search for both a Syrian, and more broadly, an Arabic theatrical identity in the twentieth century. It approaches Wannous’s body of work from a chronological point of view. Starting with his early work in the 1960’s and the 1970’s, to his latest work in the 1990’s the thesis considers Wannous’s search for an Arabic theatrical identity in his Manifestos for A New Arabic Theatre (1970), his ‘Theatre of Politicisation,’ and the ways in which Wannous’s work was influenced by Arabic theatre pioneers such as Al Qabbani (1836-1902), Al Naqqash (1817-1855), Sannu' (1839-1912) and later, Idris (1927-1991) and Al-Hakim (1898 – 1987). This thesis focuses on Wannous’s use of traditional oral performances such as storytelling in a western, Brechtian style to achieve his ‘theatre.’ It considers the ways in which the Brechtian-inspired playwright believed in the role of theatre as a force of change in society, particularly as it related to the problematic of the democratic process and civic engagement in post-colonial Syria. Towards this aim, Wannous paid special attention to audience reception, inasmuch as he felt that it represented a microcosm of society at large. Given a particular combination of political, social and economic influences, my thesis will trace how and why Wannous’s hybrid dramaturgy fell short of being able to provoke audiences into considered or even impulsive reactions. In addition, my thesis outlines the socio-political circumstances that faced the Middle East, and specifically, Syria i.e., the war against Israel. It focuses on how Wannous felt the need to write and, having reconsidered his ideology, reappeared in the 1990’s (after being diagnosed with cancer) to produce work that was stylistically changed by his addition of more mature characters and more in-depth stories. Each phase of his work is accompanied by a detailed analytical study of pertinent examples of his plays.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater