Idealistic Revolutions Can Have Tragic Outcomes. This Play Shows How That Happened In Egypt.


Playwrights and brothers Daniel and Patrick Lazour say that the thought for their musical, which is having its world premiere at the American Repertory Theater this month, came from a 2011 photograph by photojournalist Ed Ou. In it, eight young Egyptians collect round a desk with laptops, empty cans of Weight-reduction plan Coke, and an ashtray. They’re importing photographs from the 18 days of protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. Within the background, one in every of them lights a cigarette for an additional, who’s sporting a Johnny Cash T-shirt. The spirit is palpable.

“It’s just this extremely energetic photograph of all of these young individuals making change and finding a approach to overthrow their 30-yr dictator, Hosni Mubarak,” Patrick says.

The brothers grew up in Boylston, Massachusetts and are at present based mostly in New York. Now they’re back of their house state for the American Repertory Theater’s world premiere of their musical, “We Reside in Cairo,” for which previews start Might 14 at the Loeb Drama Middle in Cambridge.

Parisa Shahmir and Sharif Afifi in rehearsal for “We Reside in Cairo.” (Courtesy Evgenia Eliseeva and American Repertory Theater)

The musical follows six youth activists as they navigate the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 and its aftermath throughout a wave of uprisings within the Middle East towards authoritarian regimes. The Arab Spring began with protests in Tunisia in late 2010, and Egypt adopted shut behind. Social media helped gasoline these revolutions by spreading activists’ messages around state censors and out to the rest of the world.

Once they first started writing the play, Daniel and Patrick have been 19 and 23 respectively. They needed to seize this very seminal, inspiring second of revolution in Egypt. As Lebanese People who grew up celebrating Arab culture, they sought to create a play that might fight the unfavourable, submit-September 11 portrayal of the Middle East within the Western media.

“We needed to share that experience of atypical young individuals, cosmopolitan on this case, tech savvy and dwelling in a globalized world,” Daniel says.

Each character within the play is predicated on a composite of actual stories that the brothers heard throughout their research. One of the characters is Layla, a photographer in love with an activist who originally of the play is not sure of the place she matches into the world of protests. Her character then shifts as the promise of the revolution fades.

When the brothers workshopped the show at the American College in Cairo, they realized there was a much bigger story that they have been missing. What is now act one of many play was the whole first draft.

After Mubarak resigned, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi turned the first democratically elected president of Egypt. Many celebrated his presidency. Others referred to as for his ouster as international human rights groups expressed considerations concerning the administration’s management of the media and dissidents. In November 2012, he issued a short lived constitutional declaration granting himself limitless…



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