2019

The Green Line explores intergenerational memory through the lens of four queer relationships in Beirut, Lebanon. Two women fall in love under the tumult of war while two men meet for the first time in the hidden recesses of the queer night life. At its heart, The Green Line is a contemplation of the way memories are inherited or erased from our lineages.

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EDMONTON FRINGE FESTIVAL (August 2019)

In August 2019, The Green Line had it's first fully mounted development production at the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival.  Here is the team:


DIRECTOR: Desirée Leverenz
CAST: Navtej Sandhu, Liana Bdéwi, Maher Sinno, and Makram Ayache
STAGE MANAGER: Roxanne Côté
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Sofia Lukie
SOUND DESIGN: Chris Pereira

POSTER DESIGN: Skye Oleson-Cormack

4.5/5 Stars! "Ayache, in the dual roles of Naseeb and Rami, leads a fine crew of actors through a vortex of memory, desire, and ever-shifting time, the characters looking for rebirth and change" - Tom Murray, Edmonton Journal

"...an affecting, well-written piece by Edmonton playwright Makram Ayache (last year's stellar Harun) that travels to a surprisingly wide vareity of places over 75 compelling minutes." - Alan Kellog, 12thnight Blog

"...fashioned a strong national cast of Navtej Sandhu, Liana Bdewi, Maher Sinno, and Ayache, who acts as well as he writes. Kudos also accrue to the rest of the team including director Desiree Leverenz, who keeps things moving briskly (and thoughtfully) throughout." - Alan Kellog, 12thnight Blog

"This is a universal, first-class production more than worthy of your attention." - Alan Kellog, 12thnight Blog

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THE RHUBARB FESTIVAL - TORONTO (February 2019)

In February 2019, The Green Line had two developmental showings supported by Buddies in Bad Times' Rhubarb Festival and as a part of York University's Master of Fine Arts in Theatre (Performance/Creation) program.  The following team was brought together:


DIRECTOR: Makram Ayache
CAST: Yousef Kadoura, Laith Al-Kinani, Sukaina Ibraheem, and Rayan Jamal
STAGE MANAGER: Madeleline Monteleone
ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER: Madison Robinson
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Makram Ayache
POSTER DESIGN: Skye Oleson-Cormack

The Green Line began as an experiment in theatrical creation.  It was an exploration of Arab ways of knowing applied to play-writing.  I explored how Eurocentric forms of legitimacy are disrupted, interrupted, changed,  or unchanged by other ways of knowing.  Although this project centers the Arab body, I hope it can add to the toolkit of developing decolonial practices evolving in Canadian theatre. 

The script was developed through an exploration of the provocation:  "How does intergenerational memory sit in our bodies?"

CONCEPTUAL DIRECTING


Over a period of several weeks, I meditated on several ephemeral qualities regarding the piece.  These qualities range from designing a "premise" to the selection of a physical object which captures the feel of the production.

WRITING


"Khutut At Tammas.  A green line.
A green line is a line of demarcation in a time of war.
It is imaginary, drawn by a grand designer who cleaves the land with his titanic axe, separating the conflicting factions.
During the civil war, it was used to split our single body into two.
East and west Beirut.
Christian and Muslim Beirut.
Not that we were ever really one body before.
But now it was marked by a no man’s land, destroyed by tanks, gunfire, and bombings. Like a stitch across our face that reminds us of our incompleteness, we couldn’t avoid it in the mirror any longer.

But the thing about this line in particular was that it wasn’t imaginary any more. The war drudged on for so long that the natural vegetation began to break through the red stone and a literal green line ran from the southern most tip of Beirut and extended into the lip of the Mediterranean sea.

It would have been beautiful if it wasn’t so ugly.

Some say that returned to her nature, the land gave birth to ancient creatures. Jinns and daemons, shaytans and faeries, roamed in the celestial canopies that no human dared to enter.
Even if one wanted to, they would have been shot by the snipers defending their respective territory.

But what if a person did get in? What would they find?

Who would they find?"