I want to think of myself as a conceptual set designer, equally at home in the worlds of theater, Opera, and film. Designing is creating space for an event. A container of acts and sounds that aims to help trigger the audience's inner states and emotions and have them moved.
To design is to be part of a living organism, co-creating and dancing through a collaborative process. Mixing ideas, conversations, and creativity. Within that vessel, I think of my role as the weaver of all visual esthetics. The space setter for the happening.
The space becomes the audience's visual grounding point, to take off in the story on stage. And the actors' stimulus, to drop into their characters' worlds.
the set is a reflection of the conversation between the director and the design team. The aesthetics and theatre magic are the playful exchange between the collaborators.
I like designing abstract interactive sets. However, I always adapt to what the story needs and the director’s way of seeing things.
My architectural background forced me to question the architectural space of a theatre house and the relationship between the audience and Performers.
The Tradition theatre restricts the audience to a singular fixed point of perception. The individual sit passively and witness. Their minds absorb instead of their bodies integrating.
Abolishing the separation between the audience's space and the performance space.
Peter brook: The Empty Space.
Originated from Antonin Artaud
Theatre of cruelty.
This desire to push the boundaries, and break the fourth wall. It brought to my awareness, the difference between set design and experience design.
However, in both my role as a designer is to shape the visual storytelling of the audience.
The design goal is to help everyone living it and witnessing it travel in the depth of the story.
From the specific to the myth. The realms of symbolism and abstraction.
Whit that a well-thought Set design, we could help heighten the theatrical experience and bring it back into a supernatural dimension. The actors transcend their characters: The props and furniture or objects in space could create a pattern of movement for the actors. Those patterns could help them reach that edge or a deeper state of being. The set must help trigger the actors to express their character’s authenticity.
With that said, it’s important to mention that other design elements are essential for me to build a harmonious and continuous design. The costumes and lights are essential for a harmonious design.
One of the continuous questions I ask myself is: How can my designs be environmentally friendly?is it even possible? How can I reduce the Set's waste? And how can create work that does not demand a lot of human labor and physical exhaustion?
In my design, I continuously try to be environmentally conscious.
I am not sure any set design could be fully sustainable. This is maybe where projection, 3d mapping, and technology could be of help.
Turning simple shapes on stage into infinite possibilities in aesthetics and colors.
The set is not the event.
We provide tools and visual languages to endorse the vision of the director and elevate the experience for performers and the audience.
My artistic journey started with improv acting and experimental theatre while I was pursuing my architectural degree.
Improv acting training at Madina Theatre Beirut (2015-17).
I performed in many recognized productions in Lebanon and the Middle East and North Africa.
“Site Marie Rose” directed by Bashir Achkar at Babel theatre and the American Lebanese University (2015) in Beirut was my first experimental theatre using a traditional text. “Al Raeoun” was directed by Sarah al Mousawi at Alexandria Opera House in Egypt (2015) and The Royal Cultural Center in Amman Jordan (2016).
I wrote, designed, and directed: This project was my initiator to the directing path.