Antoine Kerbage and the Lebanese Theater

A collection of posters designed to advertise some of Kerbage's plays between 1972-1995

American University of Beirut

Posters donated to AUB libraries by Mr. Antoine Kerbage

The Dictator (1972) by Antoine KerbageAmerican University of Beirut

Antoine believed that the theater is the mirror of society and it should reflect its social problems. He was one of the pioneers in performing in the spoken Arabic language (العامية) rather than in the written one (الفصحى).
The Dictator, in April 1972, was one of those plays written by Issam Mahfouz introducing a new concept to the Lebanese theater: a 2-hours intense dialogue in the Lebanese spoken language between the dictator and his assistant in a modestly decorated setting.
The dictator reflects the reality of every Arabic politician who is always well-off, when the people are starving and under siege.

The Red Prince (1972) by Antoine KerbageAmerican University of Beirut

“The Red Prince” was another play featuring Kerbage in 1972. Originally a story by the famous Lebanese author Maroun Abboud, it was beautifully turned into a play under the direction of Yacoub El Chedrawi, also known as the maker of the golden age of the Lebanese theater.

The story reveals the economical and social problems faced in the Lebanese villages, a battle between evil and good, abusive authorities and modest villagers in search for a lost dignity. It sheds light on many aspects of the life of the Lebanese villagers in the sixties and seventies, such as the relationship between men and women, the social role of the church, and the impact of the unfair tax system back then, among other issues.

The Clown (1974) by Antoine KerbageAmerican University of Beirut

The Clown, in 1974, was another play directed by Yacoub el Chedrawi, who claimed that good local scripts were hard to find in the Arabic world, making an exception when it came to the Syrian author and poet Al Maghout, who was known for his sarcastic style of writing.

The Clown was a great success, it addressed issues related to the Arabic nation, fighting corruption and those who corrupted the land, the loss of Palestine and other Arab abused lands. It called for change, a renovation, and a development of the Arabic politics.
It was a great beginning for the writer Al-Maghout who started writing many of the plays in Lebanon and the Arab world.

Abu Ali al-Asmarani (1974) by Antoine KerbageAmerican University of Beirut

Another success in the midst of the golden age of the Lebanese theater was ِAbu Ali el Asmarani, directed by the Turkish Armenian Berg Vasilian, who found in Lebanon the freedom he missed in Turkey to excel in his work. The work also featured some of the best songs by Ziad el Rahbani.

The Arab Marseillaise (1975) by Antoine KerbageAmerican University of Beirut

People loved Kerbage, so the work he participated in was always a success. He knew how to choose the roles that suited his personality and we see him in this play working again with the same group of people who excelled in the production of theater in the seventies and eighties.

Orly was one of the theaters which opened in the seventies and was closed in the nineties.
The Lebanese civil war had started in 1975 and many theaters were affected.

The wooden clog (1979) by Antoine KerbageAmerican University of Beirut

Kerbage directed for the first time a play in which he was starring.

Barbar Agha (1980) by Antoine KerbageAmerican University of Beirut

Kerbage starred as the main character, and as the director in Barbar Agha, a TV series which was turned into a play in 1980.

Namrud (1980) by Antoine KerbageAmerican University of Beirut

Namroud was one of around 12 plays directed by Romeo Lahoud and presented at the Elysé theater in Achrafiyeh. The theater is one of the few theaters in Lebanon which did not close during the Lebanese civil war.

Zilmak..Ya Rayyess (1981) by Antoine KerbageAmerican University of Beirut

Jalal Khoury, the director of this play was known as one of the founders of the "political Lebanese theater". This play was sponsored by one of the political leaders, Amine el Gemayel, the Leader of the Lebanese Phalangists Party at that time. The play and Khoury were strongly criticized, especially that Khoury moved from the left-wing to the right, after this play.

Women in Danger (1982) by Antoine KerbageAmerican University of Beirut

Kerbage participated not only in theater, but also in TV series, movies and cinematic productions. This poster is announcing one of his movies "Women in Danger".

Amrak sayidna (1985) by Antoine KerbageAmerican University of Beirut

This was one of the musicals with Ziad El Rahbani.

Heroes and Thieves (1987) by Antoine KerbageAmerican University of Beirut

This is another musical starring Kerbage during the civil war, when Casino du Liban was still operating.

Liar on Demand (1995) by Antoine KerbageAmerican University of Beirut

This play entitled "A Liar on Demand" was performed not only in Lebanon, but in other countries such as Australia.
Antoine Kerbage is still active until today, participating in TV series, movies and the Lebanese theater.

Credits: Story

Physical Content, AUB Libraries Archives and Special Collections.
Digital Content; AUB Libraries Digitization Lab.
Metadata Creator; Basma Chebani.
Exhibit Curator: Dalal Rahme.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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