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Hakawati Theater Production to Spread Popular Culture in Raqqa

The tradition of the storyteller is returning to Raqqa with a new stage production that hopes to spread culture after years of control under the Islamic State reports Alsouria Net.
Hakawati Theater Production to Spread Popular Culture in Raqqa

The Euphrates Theater Artists troupe are continuing their preparations to present the first play in Raqqa, “Euphrates Hakawati (storyteller),” which is expected to be staged in the first week of August.

The director, Daham al-Sattam, told Alsouria Net that the troupe wanted to send a message to the world that the people of Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor were able to revive their destroyed cities and towns by reviving their cultural and theatrical heritage.

Regarding the latest preparations for the work, Sattam added that the preparations were in their final stages and the troupe was ready to present the first show in Raqqa next week.

He said: “Our troupe is composed of six individuals, all of them with prior experience in singing and theater, but the upcoming show is the first time that the troupe will be performing with each other.”

The Euphrates Theater Artists troupe was founded about two months ago, and its members are all volunteers, who are trying to offer popular art through the region’s heritage, but in a contemporary and modern style.

Adnan Jaber, one of the team’s coordinators, told Alsouria Net: “The idea of the show is based on a well-known hakawati figure in Syria. It was selected because of it is folklore, but we decided to develop the figure and supplement the storytelling. The hakawati’s speech will be accompanied by actors embodying the story, while making sure that the show is interactive, and that the audience’s views are immediately taken into account, so that they are able to change the course of the play in accordance with their views.”

The Euphrates troupe intends to set up a number of celebrations in the near future, and it is expected they will move the shows around Raqqa, Hassakeh and Deir ez-Zor provinces, as well as doing shows in the camps in the Syrian Jazira.

Regarding the types of shows, Jaber said that they had a show specifically for children, and another for women, and another for families, with the performances on separate days.

He said: “Every show will include about three stories on various topics.”

In closing, Jaber said that the Euphrates troupe was working primarily to spread popular culture after the years of Islamic State control, when cultural actors were absent across Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor. He said that the troupe was trying to build a cultured society interested in cultural and theatrical activities.

Recently, the cultural movement in the Syrian Jazira has seen activity, with the opening of the Raqqa museum and the restoration and rehabilitation of a number of cultural centers in different areas.


This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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