This thesis argues that the assumption that there is no tradition of theatre or the performing arts in general in the Arab World because Islam does not allow figurative arts is not well founded. It shows how and why new theatrical trends have emerged in the Arab World and have become successful. Thus, the study starts with Chapter One - 'The Arab World And Theatical Tradition' - which is a general survey of Arab theatre including aspects of performance arts throughout history. This is followed by a survey of the emergence and development of modern Algerian theatre\ud in which the factors behind this emergence and the success of the three trends described in this study are analysed. These are illustrated through three plays by three\ud major contemporary playwrights in three similar sections each including a biography of the author with particular emphasis on his theatre career and his views on theatre in\ud Algeria and an annotated translation of a selected play followed by a commentary. A major concern of this work has been to make available through original translations\ud important plays from the contemporary Algerian theatre that have not previously been published. Chapter Two deals with Kateb Yacine and includes three parts: a) The life of Kateb Yacine - b) An annotated translation of Falistin Maghdura (Palestine Betrayed). - c) A commentary on the play.\ud \ud Chapter Three deals with Abdelkader Alloula and includes a) The life of the playwright - b) An annotated translation of Al-Ajwad (The Story of The Generous People - c) A commentary on the play.\ud \ud Chapter Four deals with Slimane Benaissa and includes: a) The life of the playwright - b) An annotated translation of Bu-lam zid Al-Guddam (Carry on Bu-lam- c) A commentary on the play.\ud \ud The thesis closes with concluding observations
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