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Course Description

In recent years, on any given night, one could opt to see a theatrical performance amongst over a hundred choices in Tehran, the capital of Iran. The theaters of Cairo and Lebanon remain vital cultural venues where young performers explore social and political questions. Middle Eastern modern theatre, with a history spanning from the eighteenth century to present, reflects people’s ways of life, apprehensions, hopes, and political and aesthetic paradigms. Whereas ‘modern’ theatre (in a Western-style playhouse) might be an import from Europe, Middle Eastern countries have a rich history of traditional performances: from Turkish Karagöz puppet shows, to Shi’a religious passion plays in Iran and Iraq, these performative traditions are still a part of the theatrical culture of the region. This course seeks to introduce students to these lively traditions and trace their influences on Middle Eastern modern theatre. This course provides a historical overview of a wide range of theatrical cultures, both religious and secular, both modern and traditional. No prior knowledge of theatre, nor language skills, are required.

This is a virtual synchronous course that follows the published schedule of course meetings and requires attendance at all sessions. Tufts virtual courses are designed to provide high-quality, flexible, and interactive courses to Tufts and visiting students. For more information about virtual course policies and expectations, please visit

Basic Enrollment Requirements: None

Instructor Approval: Not Required.

Remission Eligible: Yes; first day of term; all university policies apply.

Refund Policy: Course Policy 1

Affiliated With:

School of Arts & Sciences