24 March 2022 production: Protagoras 2.0

This academic year, the SUAD Theatre Group adapts its video project for a stage-video hybrid.

Last year, when the world couldn’t be in theatres, some very special people still helped us make theatre- using the means we had on small screens. This year, these special artists still feature, on a much bigger screen, in our show. And others, still- it is a huge honour to have them on stage this time, interacting with actors on screen. With Maria Gregoric, Cheick Sangare & Malick Traore, actors Mathilde Ahmed and Rami Baba abroad also returned to the project this year, for scenes we re-adapted. We are grateful to all the kindness and support of our collaborators for this technically complex production, blending live performance on stage and video projection on the set.

Free admission 24 March 2022. Doors open 6:30pm. Show starts 7pm. 14 days valid PCR required on campus: SUAD University, Reem Island Abu Dhabi.

SUAD students rehearsing with actors Zooming in from Paris and Barcelona

Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi Theatre group project 2021

Virtual Play project: 


For a glimpse into some favorite moments of our production, click here:


Adapting award-winning playwright Wajdi Mouawad’s first published play in English

Following this project, Théâtre de la Colline graciously invited the SUAD theatre group for a private virtual tour of the Parisian national theatre. Cast and crew are very grateful for this and look forward to future collaborations with students in the new academic year.


Two families victims of war struggle to live together in one apartment. To protest against the growing tension, son of proprietor, Willy Protagoras strategically locks himself in the only bathroom of the flat. Residents and officials living in the building meddle, coveting the Protagoras property that is the only one to have a sea-view. Social and personal issues flare as Willy subjects everyone to a tragi-comic confinement, to which many of us might relate today.


Celebrating theatre from the Arab World in 2021

This special project is based on the first published 1994 play entitled Willy Protagoras enfermé dans les toilettes by Wajdi Mouawad, award-winning playwright and director of the national Théâtre de la Colline in Paris.

Online in 2020-2021, the Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi theatre programme focuses on theatre related to the Arab world, celebrating esteemed authors with origins in the MENA. Starting with Lebanese-Canadian Mouawad, SUAD students have created a first English translation of his play and adapted it for a 2021 video launch as part of their final project for the academic year.

The project is an original creation led by SUAD students: Haleema Farahani, Meriem Bouimout and Kaouther Zammazi, inviting SUAD alumnus Qais Shamseddin. The project features personal photographs from cast and crew as background visuals for Zoom-ed scenes, depicting the drama set in Lebanon. The virtual play also stars talented actors from the U.A.E community and abroad, comprising a culturally diverse, international cast that is able to come together by teleconferencing from 5 different countries/cities.

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Production Notes

An homage to history, architecture & preservation

Protagoras Confined video project visuals feature prominently iconic architecture of Beirut. In Acts I and V, Beit Beirut façade seen from Sodeco Square is used as the backdrop for the action. 

Photography courtesy Sol Abiad/www.startoo.org

Cast & crew


The show premiered on April 11th at 7pm UAE time here:

Productions at Zayed Theatre Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi

The Madwoman of Chaillot (La Folle de Chaillot): Giraudoux. For Earth Day 2019, student-led awareness campaign on environmental issues. English language production, inviting Abu Dhabi-based performers in the wider community.

Rhinoceros: Ionesco. With gratitude to NYUAD film Dpt. student collaboration on multimedia elements and to Classical Indian Dance performing artist Shereen Saif for choreography and movement coaching to SUAD student group performing. French language production.

NB: https://unicorpnet.wixsite.com/unicorpnet?wix-vod-video-id=5cc23f6f297649fea70e1fbceec33f96&wix-vod-comp-id=comp-iwbux527 Rhinos in a Ha Loop – video used for interaction with projections, audiences encouraged to play link (mock site) provided on leaflets of evening programme, show night 2017.


Vive Bouchon: award-winning author Gerald Sybleras attending, guest of PSUAD vice-chancellor. French language production with SUAD student performers.

Motion e Motion: curated theatre festival. Featuring SUAD student creations, inviting regional groups and educators, including: AUS Dance students led by Professor Mina Liccione, LLM French high school, stage director Padraig Downey of DAA, Dr. Nina Hein (with actress Sophie Paris), filmmaker Dhalia Hafez for Arabic MC-ing, & members of Dubai’s experimental theatre project STAR TOO (Sarah Dufayard, Flora Diaz-Hurtado, Shereen Saif ) in collaboration with cellist Clara Asuaje. Multilingual presentations.

Quel Reel: devised theatre. SUAD students collaborative creation, multimedia, spoken word & choreography. French language production.

Art: Reza. Experimenting & adapting text for an all women cast, including SUAD Art History Dpt. majors performing. Inviting community viewership. Featuring Monochrome Art slideshow projected onto white space scenography. French language production.


Les humains ont la capacité de goûter, sentir, entendre, toucher et voir, mais imaginez un monde où les êtres humains commencent à perdre leurs sens lentement qui mène éventuellement à un monde de folie. Pouvez-vous imaginer un monde où les sens cessent d’exister complètement? Dans cette pièce originale de théâtre «Damnationem Sensus» (damnation de sens) inspiré par les photos de Modest Moussorgski <<Pictures at an Exhibiton>>. Les acteurs montreront la transformation des êtres humains en individus robotiques qui vont perdre leur identité d’être humain. Cette performance est fortement basé sur le théâtre physique où les acteurs endurent des actions vigoureuses comme des contorsions du corps doux. Cette pièce vise à stimuler les nerfs sensoriels des spectateurs grâce à l’utilisation de l’éclairage et du son. L’intention de cette performance va essayer d’évoquer des pensées de la moralité présente dans la société en cours attaché à l’auditoire visé. Alors, préparez-vous tant que public de découvrir un monde sans sens, un monde sans morale.

A creation + text by S.U.A.D. graduate Zainab Jalal