• Theatre
The 2019 archive

Tamara Al Saadi


A political play based on the author’s personal experience, Place explores the duality of a young woman who belongs to two countries: Iraq and France.


Yasmine has forgotten how to read, because her mother tongue is disappearing. A political play based on the author's personal experience, Place explores the mental space of a young woman who decides to wade into the story of her family. Torn between her mother's culture, an Iraq which no longer exists, and her present as a “perfectly” assimilated Frenchwoman, Yasmine splits into two. The pared-down scenography—a handful of sand, a few chairs, and a microphone—invites the audience to enter a zone of suspended time, in a bombed out classroom, on the benches of the foreigners department of the police headquarters... Within those memories which resurface by themselves or which she calls on, author and director Tamara Al Saadi looks for words and for history, in order to express her multifaceted identity, those sides of her that have been found again, imposed on her, or lost... “Place is the story of a quest, of a moment where you can give a name to what you belong to, what you see yourself in, to the point of hurting yourself, of turning mechanisms of domination against yourself.”

Giving oneself over to words and theatre or to political struggles? Tamara Al Saadi chooses both. As a French-Iraqi writer, actress, and director, her work is based as much on research in social sciences as on dramatic creation. A graduate of the school of political arts of Sciences Po Paris, she founded the company La Base with Mayya Sanbar and leads theatre workshops in secondary schools in Seine-Saint-Denis, in which she questions the process through which immigration builds community identity. She also co-founded MYST, an interdisciplinary collective whose research focuses on borders in modern conflicts, and is a member of the artistic ensemble of the Comédie de Saint-Etienne.
In 2018, she was awarded the prix des Lycéens and the prix du Jury at the Festival Impatience

Place by Tamara Al Saadi is published by Koinè.


With David Chausse, Yasmine Nadifi, Françoise Thuriès, Ismaël Tifouche Nieto, Roland Timsit, Marie Tirmont, Mayya Sanbar, Sophie Schlienger alternating with Alexander Gray

Text and direction Tamara Al Saadi
Artistic collaboration Justine Bachelet, Kristina Chaumont
Choreography Sonia Al-Khadir
Stage design Alix Boillot
Lights Nicolas Marie
Music Fabio Meschini
Costumes Pétronille Salomé


Production Compagnie La Base
Co-production La Comédie de Saint-Étienne Centre dramatique national
With the help of Théâtre de la Bastille (Paris), Théâtre de Chelles, Centquatre-Paris
In partnership with France Médias Monde

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