About the author
Over the years Wajdi Mouawad has established himself, all over the world as a uniquely original player on the contemporary theatre scene, acclaimed for his direct and uncompromising narratives and his spare and compelling theatre aesthetic. In all his work, from his own plays (over twenty to date, including Tideline, Scorched, Forests and Heavens and adaptations (including Céline’s Journey to the End of the Night and Cervantes’ Don Quixote), the productions he has directed (including Macbeth, The Trojan Women and Three Sisters), to novels (Visage Retrouvé, Anima) Wajdi Mouawad expresses the conviction that “art bears witness to human existence through the prism of beauty.” Wajdi Mouawad’s plays have been translated in more than twenty languages and presented in all parts of the world, including Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, Mexico, Australia and the United-States. In April 2016, he is nominated as director of Theatre national La Colline, Paris.
About the performance
One of the world’s most exciting plays from the last seasons “Birds of a kind,” is written by Wajdi Mouawad, a Lebanese-born author from Quebec who lives in France. At the center of a story about a Jewish family with international roots, from the depths of history, the character of a Muslim diplomat emerges, captured and handed over to the Pope as a gift, and forced to convert to Catholicism. This drama is an encounter with the absolute idea of the Other. After questioning his and the responsibility of his fellow citizens in the stories portrayed by the Lebanese war, Wajdi Mouawad tries this time, with a metaphorical picture of humanity as a planet with all kind of birds, to go even further over the red line he crosses over and over again.
It is a family saga, thriller, and current political puzzle that begins in the library of New York’s big university, where a young geneticist meets a doctoral student in history. In the next scene, the sound of a terrible blow is heard; we are in the middle of a terrorist attack in Jerusalem, the library chair is turned into a hospital bed. What were young Eitan and Wahida looking for in Israel? At the border checkpoint, Wahida patiently explains that Hassan Ibn Muhammad al-Wazzân, whom she studies as a historian, is not a terrorist but the protagonist of her doctoral thesis: an Arabian diplomat who died five hundred years ago. The wounded Eitan came to Israel to look for his lost grandmother. Part of the family moved to Berlin, but the terrorist attack brought them back to Jerusalem for a short time, where they will discover at the same time the terrible and sobering truth about their origins.
It is also a love story that is not afraid of strong emotions, a remake of Romeo and Juliet at a time that hates lavish stories and swears in minimalism.
The questions we want to ask the audience and ourselves: is heredity genetically defined, are memories and forgetfulness equivalent? Are family secrets revealed and passed down from one descendant to another, or can we free ourselves from them? How many generations must take responsibility for Auschwitz? Can we, as peoples and nations, live in a brotherhood as known to the genera of birds?