A Tale of Two Jordans: Representing Syrian Refugees Before and After 2011

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Journal Title

Contemporary Approaches to Adaptation in Theatre


This chapter juxtaposes the pre- and post-2011 Jordanian imagination of Syrians in Nader Omran’s production of Slawomir Mrozek’s The Emigres (2009), Omar Abusaada’s Syria:The Trojan Women (2013/2014), and Nawwar Bulbul’s Shakespeare in Zaatari (2014). Though such performances aim to alleviate suffering in afflicted communities, they also raise multiple questions as to the role of NGOs in contemporary Jordan, the balance between self-promotion and service, and the continued need for oppressed people in the global south to perform Western classics in order to prove they have ‘that which passeth show’.