An Interview within an Interview: Samer Mohamed Ismail play: “Colors Correction”

My interview with Samer Mohamed Ismail in regards of his play “Colors Correction” was an imitation of Shakespeare adoption of a play-within-play device in “Hamlet”, since Ismail’s play was about a press interview between a female young journalist with a male renowned writer in regards of his prize for his new novel.

“Have you stolen the play’s script?!” That may seem a rough question to initiate a journalistic interview with a well known writer, journalist and literature critic as Samer Mohamed Ismail in the Syrian theatrical and cultural society. However, my intention to mime Ismail’s plot in “Colors Correction” by using the tool an Interview-within- Interview was only through form. As a matter of fact, our entretien was far away from the play’s entretien that was set by the journalist in order to disclose the truth of the writer who has stolen the novel manuscript of her dead father. A dialogue that turns into a quasi-politicized investigation of crimes, treason, defamation and misdeeds committed and still carried on by a spurious writer.

 The play “Colors correction”, written and directed by Samer Mohamed Ismail, was displayed on damascus Opera House stage after winning two awards from Carthage Theater Festival, starring Yousif Al-Maqbal and Miryana Maalouli with Ayman Zeidan special appearance by voice acting.

The play has shown artistic and social audacity, with its sensitive approach to the Syrian scene, whether through its plot or characterization. Commencing by the play’s title “Color Correction” as a threshold borrowing a cinematic term used by the director to obscure content and ensure the suddenness character of the play plot, which deconstructs datum of twenty years retrieved by the journalist Rasha in her dialogue with the novelist Jaber Ibrahim about the prize he received for his novel “Fear”, yet the press meeting is not the essence of the play.

The first event is a trap followed by several traps for the novelist that unfolds his story with Alexander Yassin, the father of the young journalist who spent twenty years in political prison after a tirade from Jaber, who will steal the father's novel and will publish it under his name after his death.

A decisive confrontation that will not leave spaces between the victim and the executioner, everyone here is at war. The journalist condemnation for the novelist will take a symbolic dimension to serve as an inventory account of a whole generation of leftist militants, that have been taint by bloody clashes with Authorities and certain political parties, leaving space to multiple readings of Ismail’s play in his second collaboration with the National Theater band in Damascus after his play «Nighty Indoor» (2013)

"Color correction" focuses on several techniques by borrowing the art of press dialogue, filmmaking and narrative writing, to provide a hot and exciting dialogue on stage; with a strongly growing rhythm, bringing the audience to many surprises.


Interviewed and Edited by: Lama Alhassanieh