Rebels and Revels: A Virtual Symposium on the Theatre of the Middle East

deadline for submissions: 
February 1, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
University of Maryland, College Park

Rebels and Revels: A Virtual Symposium on the Theatre of the Middle East


A Virtual Symposium held throughout April 2021:

Sponsored by The International Program for Creative Collaboration and Research of the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies at the University of Maryland


Thursday afternoons, April, 2021



Deadline for submission of 350 word abstracts and proposals February 1, 2021.

Rebels and Revels: A Virtual Symposium on the Theatre of the Middle East aims to foster a dialogue about Middle Eastern theatre in North America. Due to the dominant political narratives of the region and assumptions about representational art in Islam, Middle Eastern theatre has been negated all together from discussions in US academia. This symposium will explore the ways in which theatre in the Middle East and its diaspora in North America has been shaped, and how the artists navigate Middle Eastern theatre history and the theatrical creative process. Consequently, the symposium will address questions such as: Is there a collective Middle Eastern Diaspora? How is it aesthetically realized? How are Middle Eastern American artists addressing and approaching their history?

Dr. Edward Ziter, Professor of Theatre at New York University, will be our keynote speaker.  Dr. Ziter is a theatre historian with particular interest in the intersections between European and Arab performance traditions. His most recent book, Political Performance in Syria: From the Six-Day War to the Syrian Uprising (2014), was co-winner of the Joe A. Calloway Prize for the Best Book on Drama or Theater. His current research focuses on nationalist performance during the Arab Renaissance (the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries), focusing on Arabizations of Romantic dramas and Shakespeare.


Symposium organizers:

Q-Mars Haeri and Kelley Holley, PhD candidates in Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Maryland, College Park.


We are seeking both paper and performance proposals of 350 max. Papers may examine a variety of topics including:


  1. What are the challenges of representing a region as diverse as “the Middle East”?

  2. What is the relationship between historical aesthetics and contemporary practice?

  3. How does Middle Eastern theatre relate to other forms of performance in the diaspora?

  4. How can the scholarship of Middle Eastern theatre continue or challenge traditions within the Western academy?


Performances may include a variety of genres and forms, including both new and traditional work. Performance proposals should specify the duration of the performance. We are interested in a variety of lengths including 10 minutes, 30 minutes, and 1 hour. As performances will be virtual, the artist should include a statement about how this will be achieved. 

Please submit proposals (350 words max) and a short bio (150 words max) via our web portal: Presentations and performances will be given virtually via Zoom.


For any specific questions, please contact Q-mars Haeri ( or Kelley Holley (