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Grant number like: FEL-262925-19

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Katherine Anne Hennessey
American University of Kuwait (Kuwait City, Kuwait)

Research Programs

[Grant products]

$60,000 (approved)
$60,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2020 – 2/28/2021

Theatre on the Arabian Peninsula

Research and writing leading to publication of a book on the history and current state of live theater in the countries of the Arabian peninsula.

This project examines works of theatre produced on the Arabian Peninsula--in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen--particularly since the dawn of the 21st century. This tumultuous period has witnessed the upheavals of the Arab Spring and an upsurge in political and sectarian violence in the greater Middle East, but also a remarkable flourishing of creative and performative work across this region, previously little known for its contributions to the performing arts. This study argues that that the stages of the Arabian Gulf and Yemen provide the Peninsula's residents with a unique forum in which they can raise sensitive and complex issues that would elsewhere be subject to censorship--in particular, urgent questions of politics, sex, religion, and identity. The end goal of this project is a scholarly but accessible monograph entitled "Theatre on the Arabian Peninsula," already under contract with Routledge.