Beyond Colonial Tropes

Two Productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Palestine

in Critical Survey
Author: Samer Al-Saber1
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This article documents two Palestinian productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream that took place in Ramallah at Ashtar Theatre in 1995 and Al-Kasaba Drama Academy in 2011. This exploration demonstrates how Shakespearean plays have become a medium for international collaboration and exchange between European and Palestinian theatre training institutions. Recognizing that the works of Shakespeare have been used as a tool to further British imperialist ambitions, and drawing upon the author’s own experiences as director of the 2011 production, this article examines the ways in which these two contemporary productions both acknowledge this colonial heritage in Palestine and use it to further the mission of training emerging actors.

Contributor Notes

Samer Al-Saber joined the faculty at Florida State University’s School of Theatre in 2015 as Assistant Professor of Theatre Studies. He holds a Ph.D. in theatre history, theory and criticism from the University of Washington and held a two-year Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at Davidson College from 2013 to 2015. His teaching, practice and scholarship focus on the intersection of cultural production and political conflict in the Middle East.