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The first public presentation of Shakespeare in Afghanistan in over 25 years occurred in 2005; it was the first time that men and women actors had shared a stage since the rise of the Taliban. One of the two plays chosen was, surprisingly, Shakespeare's linguistically difficult early comedy, Love's Labour's Lost (the other play was Romeo and Juliet). The actress Corinne Jaber directed a considerably shortened version of the play, translated into Dari (the Afghan dialect of Farsi), in a Bollywood adaptation. The nationality of the characters was changed from French to Afghan, but the play's Masque of Muscovites in Act Five proved once again how unpopular the Russians remained, so they became Indians. The clash of cultures in this production reflects not only the globalization of Shakespeare as a cultural commodity, but the highly specific local issues of this moment in history. This paper provides still shots and excerpts from an interview with the director.
Shakespeare,Love's Labour's Lost,Afghanistan,Corinne Jaber,Performance,Globalization