American Univesity of Beirut

Directors Lab Mediterranean to launch at AUB

​​​Sally Abou Melhem <>, Office of Communications

Following the model of the Directors Lab at Lincoln Center Theater (LCT) in New York, Directors Lab Mediterranean (DLM) will launch its initial lab in July 2019 at AUB.  DLM aims to provide emerging stage directors from all over the world with the opportunity to build peer connections and create artistic networks with other Mediterranean theater makers. The first lab hopes to explore the Mediterranean as a source for themes, stories, and theatrical traditions and to explore the region as an artistic, not a political entity. The annual lab will launch in Beirut in July 2019 and go on to rotate around the Mediterranean in other host cities in 2020 and thereafter.  

“We envision DLM as a place to exchange creative knowledge and come in touch with the dramaturgical heritage of the Mediterranean area,” says Sahar Assaf, artistic director of DLM 2019 and assistant professor of fine arts and theater at AUB. “The groundwork for DLM was laid in January 2018 in a retreat hosted by the Theater Initiative at AUB in the presence of the founder of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, Anne Cattaneo, and theater makers and cultural managers from Lebanon, Jordan, London, US, Italy, Greece, and Spain; all past participants of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab.” 

The LCT Lab alum members of the DLM Executive Steering Committee include Mohammad Banihani from Jordan, Anna Kapousizi from Greece, Lisa Nava from Italy, and Juan Carlos Martel Bayod from Spain. Speaking on behalf of the committee, Anna Kapousizi says, “It’s time we shift our attention from the mainstream media to see what is happening off screen in and around the Mediterranean in terms of creativity and art. We feel it’s important for us as artists from the Mediterranean to get together and re-discover the common roots that feed our creative works. It’s this feeling of mutual cultural connection that we want to share with the rest of the world.”

The group explains the aims of DLM on their website saying, “even though countries around the Mediterranean seem to share common characteristics there aren’t enough common artistic grounds at organizational and institutional levels on which Mediterranean artists can communicate and exchange their theatrical methods and traditions. Directors Lab Mediterranean aims to bring forth the voices of Mediterranean countries on an artistic level and create a place for directors from all over the world to exchange knowledge and ideas and come in touch with the artistic and dramaturgical heritage of the Mediterranean area.”

DLM, like the other sister labs of the LCT Directors Lab in Los Angeles (Directors Lab West), Chicago (Directors Lab Chicago), Toronto (Directors Lab North), and Melbourne (Directors Lab Melbourne), will offer a series of workshops, shared sessions, rehearsals and discussions with major guest artists from around the Mediterranean. DLM will kick off its first edition on July 15, 2019 at AUB in Lebanon hosted by the Theater Initiative and the Department of Fine Arts and Art History.  This initial lab will run for ten days, ending on July 24, 2019.

Emerging and mid-career stage directors from all over the world are invited to apply to join the lab, which will accept approximately 20 directors. The lab is provided free of charge to all accepted applicants. DLM is accepting applications until December 3, 2018 through their website​ where all other information and application details are available. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance on January 28, 2019.

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