Libya was and still thrives with art and its different forms, including theatre. As much as society, art has undergone phases of oppression and control. It also faced many challenges and limitations due to social constructs or authority. Yet, imposed social values made art perceived as less critical. Regardless of the enormous transformations within it and because of it.
Last year, I focused on many publications on this platform to highlight musicians and poets from Libya. My efforts could be considered less than what I hoped I would highlight. However, the Libyan Wanderer blog contributes much of its content to art and artists. Not only in covering and highlighting Libyan artists but exceeds from across the MENA region and the diaspora.
There could be a lack of awareness or ignorance that theater presence in Libya is scarce. Nonetheless, many names have contributed to this secondary domain and kept it alive. Regardless of how unalive or invisible to the public, it may have seemed. This state of scarcity has helped the Theatre fight for its existence. Nonetheless, it tells us that it is here to stay.
Since the beginning of the theater in Libya,
Female roles have been assigned to men due to several circumstances, the most important of which are social norms. Some women boldly decided to break this taboo. In this article, I wanted to highlight a theatrical gem in Libya. Her name is Souad Haddad, and she was one of the pioneers in Libyan theatre.
Souad Haddad was among the Libyan families that immigrated to Syria, where she took her first steps in theatre. After graduating high school, Souad Haddad returned to Libya in 1965. It was the same year she was admitted to the Jamal Al-Din Al-Miladi Institute.
After that, she continued participating in the National Theater as one of its founding members and the National Troupe. In addition to the Free Theater Troupe, as well as with the rest of the private troupes. Upon her return to Libya, Haddad had her first play in the country, entitled ‘The People of the Cave.’
A theatre Pioneer,
Since its beginnings, she has experimented with all kinds of arts, from the theater to television drama and radio. In 1968, Haddad began producing bulletins and various programs in addition to her participation in the film “Taqrift” as an actress. She also participated in this movie as an assistant director. In addition, she began her journey with radio through the channel “Sawt Al-Watan”. in 1981.
Throughout her career, Souad Haddad collaborated with most theater directors, such as professors Hassan Al-Turki, Muhammad Al-Qamoudi, Al-Azhar Abu Bakr Hamid, Taher Al-Kabyli, Al-Amin Nassef, Omran Ragheb Al-Madani and others. Haddad passed away in 2016 and left a long legacy in art that greatly enriched the Libyan artistic and cultural heritage.