American University of Beirut

Meursault's Labyrinth


Meursault's Labyrinth is an original play that alternates between 1957 Algeria, witnessing a nationalist movement against French colonialism; 1962 Spain, observing the Algerian Independence unfold from cafes and hotel rooms; 1975 Lebanon, anticipating the Ain El Rummaneh bus massacre; and 1997 Algeria, hosting a pair of visitors at a hotel bar. The play takes inspiration from Albert Camus's novel L'Etranger (1942) and Gillo Pontecorvo's film The Battle of Algiers (1966). It imagines a continuity between Algiers, Beirut, and Madrid through a set of interrelated characters that fade in and out of the action, producing revelatory interactions in the aftermath of colonialism. 

Meursault's Labyrinth was co-sponsored by the Center for Arts and Humanities (CAH), the Alwaleed Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR), and the Theater Initiative. The play was written and directed by Doyle Avant, produced by Sahar Assaf, and included major performances from both. It debuted on November 29, 2018 at Station Beirut, Jisr El Wati, and ran for four shows. It was performed in English, Arabic, and French, and incorporated audiovisual effects where scenes from The Battle of Algiers, interspersed with original film material, were projected onto the stage. For full cast and crew, see program​.



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