III International Monodrama Festival THESPIS
2 - 9 March, 2003, Kiel / Germany
symposium and workshop



Hany Ghanem – Egypt

Ghanem started his theatrical career when he was studying German at the Goethe Institute. Insan Al Tabiaa (Man of Nature) is a blend of Austrian postmodernist Peter Handke's 1968 play Kaspar and the 12th century Arab philosopher Ibn Tufayl's Epistle of Hayy Ibn Yaqzan. Ghanem's story is a combination of the two ideas rather than of their plots - he uses the character from Handke and the philosophy of Ibn Tufayl. Ibn Tufayl wrote a narrative about a man who was raised in the desert by a deer. After the deer dies, he comes to live in a society governed by rules he cannot comprehend. Still, he tries to become a part of society on his own human terms based on his philosophical discoveries reached through long meditations in the desert. He preaches diligence and respect for all people, and ends up getting killed for his revolutionary, anti-religious thoughts. In a similar vein, Kaspar, a boy raised by wolves, struggles to join society and ends up in a mental institution after being used and abused by scientists. The viewer gets to see all this through graphics, animation, and of course stage action. We can watch the phases of the "natural man's" story, from being found in the jungle/desert until he is dressed for an elegant dinner. The developmental stages are traced through the projecting screen in the back of the stage. Whether it is a table, stage, cross, or catwalk - they are all used for one purpose: to capture a person created by social conditions. Whether the character is Kaspar, Ibn Yaqzan or a model on a catwalk, the conclusion is the same: we are trapped within this cage called society and its rules govern us. After his debut at the 9. Cairo International Experiment Theater Festival 1997, Hany Ghanem (author, director and actor) became one of the most successful theatre artists in the Near East.

Duration: 50 minutes

Language: Arabic, German, English, Spanish, Italian, French

Sunday, 09.03., 18.00, DIE PUMPE