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La Situation du Théâtre en Tunisie
Vol. 1, No. 3 (Spring, 1968), pp. 40-41+92-93
Published by: UCLA James S. Coleman African Studies Center
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3334346
Page Count: 4
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Hammadi Djaziri traces the development of Tunisian theater from the colonial period to the present. The obstacles facing it were overwhelming: political censure on the part of the colonial government and social censure from an Islamic society. The result was a theater of convention preoccupied with two main themes. One, the epic drama set principally in Spain during Arab occupation, alternates with comedies concerned with social issues of a local nature. One would expect the trials of nation building--the call for sacrifice and human dignity--to create an atmosphere propitious for theatrical endeavors. This, unfortunately, has not been the case in Tunisia. During the great period from 1940 to 1954, a few companies of dedicated and courageous actors struggled against the apathy surrounding the theater and against the social prejudices which continue to burden the actors in a context of a theater torn between classical Arabic, which few can understand, and vernacular Arabic, which is scorned. Since independence, however, both the government and the producer seek the same goal: the reforming and educating of public tastes. As a professor and theatrical producer Hammadi Djaziri ends his article with what seems to be a declaration of purpose and an appeal for the future of the Tunisian theater. He concludes by announcing a real program of renovation designed to give new life to the drama of his country.
African Arts © 1968 Regents of the University of California