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Title: The Construction of a ‘Modern’ Kuwaiti Identity in Sager Al-Rushood’s Theater of Revolt
Authors: Mariam Al.Mahmeed 
Supervisor: Prof. Marie-Therese Abdelmessih
Keywords: kuwaiti : modern
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher:  Kuwait university - college of graduate studies
Abstract: this thesis focuses on Kuwaiti playwright and director Sager al-Rushood’s theater of revolt approaching it as a subversive language\practice that has worked to subvert established social structures. The study draws on Stuart Hall’s constructionist theory of cultural representation and Michel Foucault’s description of discursive formations. In this context, Bretolt Brecht’s epic theater is found relevant to al-Rushood’s theatrical experimentation, as the latter projects similar alienating elements. The selected plays under study are 1 2 3 4 Boom (1972) and Friday Night Satans (Shayatīn Laylat Al- Jum’aa) (1973). This study explores the subversive visual language in these plays, which pervades al-Rushood’s theater of revolt. This theater has developed discursive formations that disempower established social structures, and work to form a new identity that can survive the cultural shock in the aftermath of the sudden discovery of oil. The study examines the replacement of the Aristotelian conventional plot by nonlinear dramatic scenes. In Friday Night Satans, the two main characters Zaid and Obaid unveil a bleak view of the challenges of modernity in post-oil Kuwait, immersing the spectator in the action of events. 1 2 3 4 Boom alienates the spectator by employing fantasia in a complex form. The play depicts the return to life of a Kuwaiti family who died in 1940, the year of haddāma, juxtaposing old versus new, pre-oil social stability versus post-oil mobility. This study also examines a contemporary play by Fulool al-Failakawi and Hani al-Nassar entitled Al-Irs (The Wedding) (2015) in an attempt to present a comprehensive picture of the challenges of modernity that still linger in such a tradition-entrenched society, and prove the pressing need for an engaged audience. The main objective in this study is to convey the role of the theater of revolt in debunking power structures to be able to deal with the challenges of modernity.
Appears in Programs:0321 Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies

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