Lucien Bourjeily

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Lucien Bourjeily
Native name لوسيان بورجيلي
Born Lucien Bourjeily
Beirut, Lebanon
Residence Beirut, Lebanon
Nationality Lebanese
Alma mater Loyola Marymount University (2013)
Occupation Playwright, Director, Filmmaker, Actor

Bourjeily is an actor, director, writer and producer of both theater and film but mostly known for his international work in immersive and interactive theater. He was behind the first professional improvisational theatre shows in the Middle East; defying all censorship laws still applicable in this region: peacefully challenging social and cultural barriers using theatre to set off dialogue, encourage free speech, and as a true force of positive change.[1] He is a Fulbright scholar and holds an MFA in Filmmaking from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

His work in both theatre and film has traveled the worldwide festival circuits and won him many awards of which the YCE international British Council award in Edinburgh, Scotland in 2009. He brought his progressive approach to theatre to London's LIFT Festival in 2012 with his hard-hitting immersive play "66 Minutes in Damascus". While "66 Minutes in Damascus" was a response to the current events in Syria, his work has often been a response to political circumstances.

In 2012, he was chosen by CNN as one of 8 leading cultural lights from Lebanon’s contemporary arts scene that are making an impact in Lebanon and internationally.[2] A year later, he challenged the Lebanese government with an anti-censorship play entitled “Will it pass or not?” which was banned from public performance by the Lebanese general security but created an unprecedented media backlash against the bureau. Therefore, in May 2014 the general security confiscated Bourjeily’s passport in an obscure administrative procedure called “subduing of critics” but they backed down on their decision 48 hours later after Lebanese general public outcry. For his activism against censorship on the arts in Lebanon he was nominated for the 2014 “Freedom of Expression” award held annually at the Barbican Center in London by Index on Censorship.[3] [4] [5] [6]

His latest play “Vanishing State”, performed at the Battersea Arts Center in London as part of the 2014 LIFT festival, implicates the audience in drafting the Middle East’s countries borders along with French and English diplomats (Sykes and Picot) at the end of World War I, a secret agreement at the time, whose consequences are still strongly felt today throughout the Levant region. [7]

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