Shakespeare in Arabia: Directing Macbeth Arabia and Antony and Cleopatra in the United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates, ID LLCE2015-161

Working with student theatrical production casts, this paper details the exploration of various cultural elements in staging two plays by William Shakespeare, Macbeth Arabia and Antony and Cleopatra. It looks specifically at portions of the text and their direct correlation to cultural elements in the Arab world. The productions were staged in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates in November 2011 (Macbeth Arabia) and December 2014 (Antony and Cleopatra). The primary question being examined: How does one adapt moments from Shakespeare’s text to the culture for which it is being presented?  It sheds light on the idea that the themes in the works of this great playwright are universal and can apply to any cultural setting.

Keywords: Shakespeare, Theatre, Drama, Arab, Culture

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