A Free adaptation of Sam Shepard’s True West
Regie Oussama Ghanam
Followed by a Zoom Talk with the Director and the Damascus Theatre Lab

 Stream
 Arabic with english Surtitles
 Admission free
 Stream
 Arabic with english Surtitles
 Admission free

“Drama” is a free adaptation of „True West“; a play originally written by Sam Shepard. It is the third and final part in the Family Trilogy directed by Oussama Ghanam. The set includes a trio of plays representing Syrian family in Damascus during the last ten years, through a rewriting process of three theatrical classics addressing family themes in the twentieth century.

The first play was Harold Pinter’s 2013 Homecoming, where we saw a motherless family, followed by 2015’s Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, a play about a fatherless family. And now in Sam Shepard’s 2018 “drama” adapted from „True West“, both the father and mother are absent: metaphorically and physically. Only in the last scene does the mother return to her home to see her two sons fighting before she leaves again to meet Picasso in a museum alone convinced of his existence.

This contemporary story of Cain and Abel takes in our free adaptation a modern-day meaning: the TV drama industry in Syria is the equivalent of the Hollywood entertainment machine: with the destruction of the surrounding, the drama has paradoxically survived and continued to produce. The two brothers wrestle over a certain promise of a series-writing contract: they spend a night exchanging roles and swinging between the marginal on the one hand and the essential on the other. Series-writing contract becomes a getaway card to escape futile time. But if Sam Shepard’ story is about a “Western” movie (a true West) that we fake in order to sell it and run away, then the Syrian series is a more problematic discourse; Syrian context reveals that this time and the utopian space has become a battlefield between representations, visions, hopes and disappointments in which the historical and the individual, the public and the private are intertwining with one another.

In a sense, “True West” concludes Sheppard’s Trilogy of Family Plays with a very dark closing melody. Our version that takes place in Damascus nowadays will conclude the story of the fading family, its structure, and timeline in a different tone: the city remains, although the battle continues. A tale that rips a tale yet generates from its fragments a new tale about the dream of a modernity of backwardness facing the moment of its long midnight with all its devils and bells.

  • With Ehab Shaaban, Jan Dahdouh, May Alsalim
  • Dramaturgy Ibrahim Joumaa
  • Music Ary Jan Sarhan
  • Technical Manager Reem Mohamad
  • Assistant Director Dima Abaza
  • Director Oussama Ghanam