Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi Theatre group project 2021

Virtual Play project: 


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

Watch the premiere on April 11th at 7pm UAE time here:

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.

Watch our virtual play for free April 11 at 7pm UAE time on #sorbonnead YouTube channel

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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.

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/

Cast & crew



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 by S.U.A.D. graduate Zainab Jalal