Following the success of “The Diary of a Mulberry Tree” at Al Madina Theatre in 2017, Red Oak Performing Troupe was invited for a residency at Hammana Artist House in September 2018. Youth from the village of Hammana and the region were invited to share the stage with amazing choreographer and dancer Jean-Paul Mehansio, and dancers/actresses Rouaida al Ghali and Dana Mikhael in Nadine Abou Zaki’s dance theatre performance “The Diary of a Mulberry Tree | يوميّات توتة”.
The performance aims to raise awareness about environmental issues, and encourage a new generation to rethink the environment in today’s digital age. It is also an invitation for men to break their prejudices and the artificial boundaries they created to maintain a continuous state of conflict and war and to go beyond resentment, by recognizing and respecting their differences.
About the performance:
Do trees have a memory? Do they have consciousness? Do they communicate with their environment? Can they hear, smell and feel? How do they respond emotionally to humans? Do they feel pain or experience joy or sadness? What is our responsibility as humans towards the nature and environment in today’s digital age?
Inspired by the bloody events of the Lebanese civil war and by Eastern philosophy, this performance is about a mulberry tree telling the story of its relation to its surroundings. The tree Pyramus unveils its secrets with the tree Thisbe and humans: it whispers its joys, fears and angers. Through its story, we will learn the deeply moving stories of the people who interacted with the tree and lived around it. The mulberry tree, central in the life of the characters, has borne witness to the most intimate details of their daily lives.
This performance is inspired by the lessons drawn from history and reflected through dance, poetry, narration, music, where art and nature blend harmoniously to create bodies telling the “Diary of a Mulberry Tree”.
Writer & director by: Nadine Abou Zaki | Choreographer & dancer: Jean-Paul Mehansio | Performers: Dana Mikhail & Rouaida al Ghali | Live music: Tony Elieh | Assistant director and costumes designer: Bshara Atallah | Lighting designer: Ahmad Hafez | Set execution : Bahaa Abou Zaki | Photo by Elie Harb | Co-production: Red Oak | The performance was originally created with the support of: Institut Français du Liban