The Factory

Omar Abusaada – Mohammad Al Attar

8-11 NOV 2018
Main Stage
Duration: 1 hour and 40 minutes (with no intermission)
With Greek and English surtitles
On the sidelines of the Syrian conflict, there are those who accumulate great profits.The flipside of the war in Syria as seen through the sharp eye of two important artists from Syria.
Onassis Stegi Friends presale: from 12 OCT 2018, 12:00
General presale: from 19 OCT 2018, 12:00

Full price: 7, 15 €
Reduced, Friend & Groups 5-9 people: 12 €
Groups 10+ people: 11 €
Νeighbourhood residents: 7 €
People with disabilities & Unemployed: 5 € | Companions: 7, 10 €

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If the war is a factory, what does it produce? Blood? Disaster? Or riches and power?

The playwright Mohammad Al Attar and the director Omar Abusaada continue to deconstruct the complex struggle over their burning homeland, Syria.

In the “Factory” they shed a light on the alliances between money and power in Syria before and after the revolution, and expose the war trade and its traders, investigating a true story: In 2010, right before the Arab Spring, in the northern Syrian border, a cement factory is inaugurated by the French interests company Lafarge; it is one of the biggest foreign investments in the country. The popular anti-Assad revolution and its culmination into a bloody strife will define the future of Syria, but the factory will continue its operation at any cost.

The two Syrian artists, who continue to report the total disintegration that is Syria in with poetic terms, return to Onassis Stegi with a tale from the core of the clashes.

Syrian actors from come up on stage to chronicle a dark business game, against the background of a broken country.


Director: Omar Abusaada
Text: Mohammad Al Attar
Stage Design & Costumes: Bissane Al Charif
Video: Rami Farah, Samer Ajouri
Light: Denise Potratz
Assistant Director: Amer Okdeh
Masks Design: Mohamad Omran
With: Lina Murad, Ramzi Choukair, Saed Al Ghefari, Mustafa Kur and Saleh Katbeh (Music)

Translation from Arabic: Christos Mollas

Coproduced by: Ruhrtriennale with Volksbühne Berlin

Thanks to: The legal NGO Sherpa & Marie-Laure Guislain, ECCHR & Claire Tixeire, Jobran Khanji, Muhannad Al Ibrahim, Mohammed Al Hariri, Matthieu Fauroux and Aron Lund for their precious time and help during the research to make this play.

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The Syrians Omar Abusaada and Mohammad Al Attar join the Onassis Stegi for the third time. In 2012 they took part in Meeting Point 6, the Arab Spring focused festival of contemporary art, with two performance-lectures. They were back in 2016 with the fiction drama "While I Was Waiting", a performance-protest about a country in intensive care. The trigger was the true story of a young man who, after a brutal beating by soldiers, falls into a coma.
The Syrian revolution and the long and bloody war that followed have been the main focus of the author Mohammad Al Attar for the last seven years. 
Al Attar and Abusaada have recently completed their trilogy working with displaced Syrian women based on major Greek tragedies with Sophocles’ "Iphigenia" (2017) at Volksbühne, Berlin. It followed Euripides’ "Trojan Women" in Jordan (2013) and Sophocles’ "Antigone" in Lebanon (2014).

Omar Abusaada during his theatre studies in Damascus, was involved systematically with political art. While writing and directing plays, in 2002 he compiles the Studio Theatre group, whose first performances are presented in 2004. Few years later he will join forces with the writer Mohammad Al Attar and together they will find the artistic voice to record the events that raze Syria. As part of his research, he has for many years been visiting remote villages in Syria, Egypt and Yemen – countries that have been devastated during the last ten years – organising performances and workshops involving the inhabitants. Despite the obvious difficulties, he continues to live in Damascus, as one of the few remaining independent artistic voices in his homeland.
Mohammad Al Attar born in Damascus in 1980, where he studied English literature, then Theatrical Sutdies. He did his Masters in Theater at Goldsmith, University of London. Since 2011, his focus is almost exclusively directed at the events of the Arab Spring and the ensuing bloody clashes that rage unrelentingly.
His first works were, “Look at the Street…This is What Hope looks like”, then “Online”. His play "Could You Please Look into the Camera?", followed a massive wave of arrests in Syrian during the first year of the revolution against Assad; it is a text made up of testimonies of people who were detained by security forces. His work has been widely performed in festivals, culminating in "While I Was Waiting", which was performed in the 70th Avignon Festival and in the Onassis Stegi. It is a collaboration with the director Omar Abusaada; their theatre combines fiction and documentary. Presently residing in Berlin, he is considered as one of the most important chroniclers of the Syrian war.

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