Conjugal Violence Topic Adopted in a Theater Play at LAU
Knockout, a student theater production, addresses the topic of conjugal violence through scenes of verbal and physical violence tailored to the case of the Lebanese society.
For a glimpse of the play, watch this video
Both news and entertainment forms of media were put into question as to whether they have an impact on marital relationships or not.
Liv, played by Cynthia Saad El-Deen a psychology student, is paranoid about the idea of her husband killing her after watching an entertainment show on conjugal killing. Morty her husband, however, played by Abdel Hamid Itani a pre-med student, so self-absorbed by the news that he disregards his wife’s questioning.
Watch this short video to know the director’s and professor’s input on the amateur actors
Although the content of the play was left with an American aspect, it was altered and designed to fit with the Lebanese way of dealing with conflicts within marriages. The husband withdraws from the conversation while the wife storms out at every word said.
As the 10-minute play evolves, verbal violence between the married couple evolves to a physical one resulting in Liv being knocked out by the throw of a remote, which explains the title of the play.
“The script was tailored in a way that predicts and reflects what happens behind closed doors,” said Daniela Rahal, the director of the play.
Initially, the script was written by Lisa Bruna, an award-winning playwright, but was adopted and expanded on by the director herself with the help of the stage manager Mark Rajji.
This strategy was followed by all Performing Arts students as this takes away the burden of writing a story thus rather putting the effort on the adoption and direction of the script.
Anger wasn’t the only emotion on the table, as the Director made sure to employ several other emotions that helped reach the climax of the story.
Although it might always seem as if Liv is being aggressive towards her husband, just as the entertainment show mentioned in the play suggested, it was made clear that the climax of a conflict is most often reached by the man in an abrupt way mostly leading to damages.
Van Santen, R. (2008). Politics and Entertainment: A Happy Marriage?. Javnost-The Public, 15(3), 89–100.
Schou, A. (1989). The Breakdown of Conflict Management in Lebanon. Bulletin of Peace Proposals, 20(2), 193–204.
Stets, J. E. (1990). Verbal and physical aggression in marriage. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 501–514.
Daniela Rahal, Director
Cynthia Saad El-Deen, Acting as Liv
Abdel Hamid Itani, Acting as Morty
Mark Rajji, Stage Manager