A radically satirical response to the American invasion of Iraq post-9/11, The Adventures of Ali and Ali and the aXes of Evil combines traditional agitprop with the transnational impulses of postcolonial performance to imagine some kind of new world emerging from exile, diaspora, and the ashes of the old. Dramatizing the plight of stateless refugees from a fictional Middle Eastern country, its three Canadian playwrights deploy Canadian theatre's historically ambivalent position along the margins of American cultural and military power to attack American foreign policy as well as to critique Canadian complicity and hypocrisy. This essay examines the ideological origins of the play and the metatheatrical comic strategies that allow it to transcend what Noam Chomsky calls "the bounds of the expressible" and to speak the politically unspeakable.


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pp. 126-144
Launched on MUSE
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