Junun by Fadhel Jaïbi & Jalila Baccar © Familia Productions 2007
Volume 2

Junun: Poetics in the Discourse of Protest and Love

Junun: Poetics in the Discourse of Protest and Love
by Rafika Zahrouni
 Arab StagesVolume 1, Number 2 (Spring 2015)
 ©2015 by Martin E. Segal Theatre Center Publications

When we think about the script of Fadhel Jaibi and Jalila Baccar’s Junun, we have the impression that understanding the text based on what comes from the mouths of the actors provides nothing more than merely categorized chunks of narration and packed dialogues that represent stage directions necessary for the evolution of the performance. The play script works as if it were nothing more than a guide to the actors and director, when dialogue encourages functional images and scenic translation, and in which mere words on paper, when spoken, create their own raison d’être … We are inclined toward this impression and we almost take it for granted that the play script, at least in so far as the authors’ theatrical experience is concerned, is no more than that dramatic element related to what the creative adventure requires in its final weeks of labor, until it stands before us in its visual glory and with expressive energy.

However, this blind acceptance that the theatrical text is subordinate to the stage production was removed for the first time when the play Familia was published as an independent play script, renovating the theatrical work, enfolding the path of a journey toward a possible reading, pushing critical thinking ahead in order to reconsider our definition of the theatrical text, and its suggestive and interpretative function outside the traditional understanding of conventional theatrical writing in its “sacred coffins.”

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