“‘Positions!’ ‘Curtain-up!’ ‘Lights!’—blackout. That was how it felt for the cast and crew of The Foreigner in March of 2020 when a mere two weeks from opening night, lockdown meant lights out for our production. The play, a brilliant comedy by Larry Shue, was being co-produced by CASAR and the AUB Theater Initiative and would have been my directorial debut. I believe that comedic theater is somewhat undervalued and underutilized on the Lebanese scene. Comedy is healing, elevating, and has a unique power for social and political commentary. This year has been a very hard year for theater in Lebanon; on top of economic challenges and COVID restrictions came the horrific August 4 explosion, which destroyed numerous venues and threatened to silence the art form. But I do believe that as long as there are passionate theater makers, theater will not die, and while the road to recovery is long, it has already begun. Long live the theater!”
Nadia Hassan (BS ’04)
Quarantine edition: After production was cancelled, The Foreigner cast recorded a short scene for posterity. Watch here:
Produced by CASAR and the AUB Theater Initiative
Directed by Nadia Hassan
Cast in order of appearance:
Sany Farajalla (Charlie Baker)
Martin Asser (Staff Sergeant Froggy LeSeur
Karl Sacca (Ellard Simms)
Christina Cavalcanti (Catherine Simms)
Joumana Jeffers (Betty Meeks)
Hady Majid (Owen Musser)
Anas El Amine (Reverend David Marshall Lee)
Activate Disaster December 4, 2020
A virtual dramatic reading and talk back
Conceived and directed by Sahar Assaf
Presented by AUB’s Fine Arts and Art History Department and the AUB Theater Initiative in collaboration with the Department of Emergency Medicine at AUBMC.
Personal reflections on the mass casualty response to the August 4 Beirut explosion by members of the Emergency and Anesthesiology Departments at AUBMC.
Atwater: Fixin’ to Die
November 2, 2020
A virtual dramatic reading of a one act play
Written by Robert Myers
Co-sponsored by AUB’s Center for American Studies
and Research, the Theater Initiative and the Global Engagement Initiative
A one-man tour de force about the polarized politics introduced into US presidential campaigns in 1988 by George H. W. Bush’s colorful campaign manager Lee Atwater. The reading was followed by a talkback with Myers and the opposing presidential candidate’s real-life campaign manager, USC law professor Susan Estrich.
“The Munition Plant” by Jay Zerbe
“The Funny Swiss Wig in My Heart” by Farid Haddad
Modernizing Collaborations in West Beirut: Farid Haddad and Jay Zerbe (1969–1970)
An online exhibition-publication of AUB Art Galleries (Fall 2020) focusing on events that took place in West Beirut around AUB in 1969–1970 and featuring the collaboration between two artists: the Lebanese Farid Haddad and the American Jay Zerbe.
“The introductory text accompanying the project argues that the exchange between Haddad’s constructivist aesthetics and Zerbe’s more humanistic or expressionist drawings could be viewed as a pictorial manifestation of the processes of modernization unfolding in the region.”
Octavian Esanu, Curator, AUB Art Galleries
Download the electronic publication: