Darkened State Illuminated by New Talents, a Play

A scene from “The Circuit Breaker Tripped” at Idlib City Cultural Center – April 25, 2019 (Enab Baladi)

A scene from “The Circuit Breaker Tripped” at Idlib City Cultural Center – April 25, 2019 (Enab Baladi)


On Thursday, April 25, the stage at Idlib City Cultural Center bore witness to a play titled “The Circuit Breaker Tripped”, performed by the Syrian Group of Dramatic Arts.

The play’s title, alluding to power cuts and derived from the people’s reality in Northern Syria, attracted a massive audience, which filled the center’s hall and interacted enthusiastically with the play’s details.


Black Comedy Conveys Idlib’s Reality

“The Circuit Breaker Tripped” is a famous expression in northern Syria, a derivative of service shortage and the deteriorating social conditions the people are suffering, as the playwright Diaa Asoud told Enab Baladi.

“We attempted to present a projection of the circuit breaker tripped expression on the social state of affairs in general; included are young people unable to find jobs, young people with diplomas which they cannot benefit from; the inflating security conditions, the lacking services, the gas crisis and many more”, Asoud added.

Aboud al-Shami, the play’s director and the head of the Syrian Group of Dramatic Arts, defined the work as a social piece of a comic character, with an inclination to black comedy. The play aims to voice “the tragedy and pain of every household inside Syria.”


Mohammad Hamadh’s role, one of the play’s protagonists, as a graduate young man incapable of finding a convenient job, reflected the young people’s social dilemma. He explained to Enab Baladi that getting a suitable job requires favoritism and nepotism. He said: “These days, those seeking the top shall find patronage.”

According to the United Nations (UN)’s evaluation of needs for 2019, of the 4.9 million some of the potential labor force, between 18 and 65 years old in Syria, more than a half are not getting a sustainable job.


Acting Training Courses

This play comes to celebrate the efforts of the “acting training courses” conducted at the Idlib City Cultural Center, through a cooperation between the Syrian Group of Dramatic Arts and the Bassmet Mubader/ Initiator’s Print Assembly, which represents several entities including Tahdi/Challenge Team and Homs Volunteering Team.

The courses’ organizers, to select the trainees, depended on talent, passion, the love of theater and development, al-Shami told Enab Baladi.

At the end of the one-month-training, 20 young people graduated, who all have participated in the largest of shows presented on Idlib City Cultural Center’s stage.

The Syrian Group of Dramatic Arts was founded in 2018, out of the integration of “Nour al-Sham” and “Bambino” groups, which experience dates to 2009.

“The Circuit Breaker Tripped” is the first play to target adults by the group, which already has five children plays in store; however, it would not be the last, according to  al-Shami, who said: “[It is] the journey’s beginning following the absence of theater for years due to the war’s circumstances inside Syria.”

Theater Changes Nations

“Theater, if accepted and embraced by an aware society, is definitely capable of changing peoples”, the playwright Diaa Asoud said, commenting on the play’s desired effect.

The essence of the play is manifested by its last scene, where all the young people gather around a candle, the symbol of hope, future and education, being the solution after all the problems that the play depicts.

“The candle is a literary symbol; it means the future; it means Syrians’ life after the crisis, after the breaker that trips and blow,” Asoud added.





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