Masrahjiyé's Crime

Masrahjiyé (مسرحجية), otherwise known as the Drama Club of Université Antonine, is a group of 30 talented students whose passion for the stage goes anything but unnoticed.

The club, which saw the light in 2012, is an open space where students can express themselves freely, body and soul, as per Mr Michel HOURANY’s proud words. Being the director of the troupe and a drama & communication instructor at Université Antonine, allows him to witness the positive impact of the drama club on the students, day after day. And he believes that its their expressions and emotions that make it possible to create the best performances on stage.

The Masrahjiyé’s latest play “جريمة في جزيرة الماعز” is based on a 1946 Italian play by Hugo Betti named Delitto all'isola delle capre. The tone of this play is dramatic, unlike the five previous plays the club has presented before; for example, Vita was experimental and Family Tote was marked by black humor.  Mr Hourany finds it imperative to vary the style of plays in order to challenge his students but also the crowd.

What is “جريمة في جزيرة الماعز”about? It tells the story of a man who, based on unusual circumstances , lives under one roof with three other women: a widowed mother, her daughter and her sister in law. Each one of these women views him from a different angle and all of them share one need: to be loved.  And that is without a doubt what the play revolves around: how love is survival and how relationships are crucial, no matter how complicated sometimes. 

An open audition was held for this play and the ones selected are mostly amongst Mr Hourany’s theater students: Rashad Nasreddine, Rayane Nasreddine, Samar Azzam  and Imane Malli.

Rayane Nasreddine who plays Agatha, says that the play is quite demanding because it requires a high level of emotions and sensitivity from the actors, considering the delicate theme it revolves around.  But this is what makes it special because it highlights the psychology of the characters who happen to be each living a different struggle.

The play has already been presented in Gemmayze Theater in June and Istanbouli Theater in Nabatieh, where the "Lebanon International Theatre Festival 2016" took place.  Just like with every play, the Masrahjiyé will take part in various university festivals and competitions in Lebanon and abroad. And you are strongly urged to stay tuned for the upcoming dates and stages.

As for the Drama Club, well, it’s open for all students of Université Antonine, regardless of their major. Training is offered to newcomers for them to have the proper base and join the rest of the troupe confidently. A weekly session is held within Baabda campus except when a play is about to be performed; the sessions then become more frequent. Naturally, not all members of the Drama Club are seen on stage, as some prefer to handle the technical or managerial part of the play. However, they all deserve the credit of representing the UA at its best and proving that student plays can be just as valuable and successful as other plays out there.

Michel Hourany, Drama & Communication Skills instructor at the Université Antonine