Black Box Debut Organs Tissues and Candy Games

On Oct. 13, the NYU Abu Dhabi Theater Program premiered “Organs, Tissues and Candy Games,” a Zoukak Theatre Company collaboration. The piece was ...

On Oct. 13, the NYU Abu Dhabi Theater Program premiered “Organs, Tissues and Candy Games,” a Zoukak Theatre Company collaboration.
The piece was “inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus,” and focused on investigating monstrosity in current times. The Zoukak Theatre Company from Lebanon believes in collaborative creation and devised theater.
“We want to work in a collaborative and horizontal way… the creation starts in the room with everybody: we [write] the text during the creation process and actors have a big role in the creation of the play, not only the directors it’s really a collective process,” Director Maya Zbib commented.
Sophomore Alex Bagot shared how this creative process process took place.
“We started actually making mini scenes. The company members would give us assignments [to create scenes] and then we would, at the end of rehearsals, perform the scene to the entirety of the group, and I guess little by little we saw, which scenes we liked, which topics or topic or themes were touched upon, and which little scenes we wanted to use for the actual play.”
Originally, the company members gave the actors topics to explore based on the specific idea of what they wanted: policy making in scientific advancement, exploring immortality and security, etc. The text was mostly written by the students but then went through edits by directors for content and coherence. Once this collaboration between Zoukak and NYUAD had produced something that could fit into around two hours, they started to perform it, trimming it down until the very day of the dress rehearsal.
Natalie Kopczewski, a documentary filmmaking apprentice, enjoyed seeing this behind-the-scenes process.
“[Zoukak] making a script and ... the actors coming up with ideas, and how all that came together was really interesting and inspiring.”
Lamia Abi Azar, a workshop and acting director, said that rather than trying to deliver a specific message, Zoukak tried to pose open questions.
“The play [doesn’t] deliver a clear message, it questions really these social and political policies and our relations with that system ... much more than giving an answer saying ... it triggers the spectator to be shaped and question and touched.”
For senior Mohit Mandal the message was at times too explicit:
“It started off with a lot of potential, but I think that the political message was too explicit at times, I thought that they were hitting us too hard over the head with the actual message. I would have liked to see a little more subtlety in terms of the allegorical side to the play.”
For freshmen Wesley Huang the play challenged some of his preconceptions.
“I thought the show was very confusing at parts, but I thought it was very thought provoking; it raised a lot of themes that I think the audience thought a lot about,” said Huang.
Melinda Szekeres is the deputy news editor. Email her at
Connor Pearce is the managing editor. Email him at
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