Like many outgoing young women, Fatima feels rebellious against parents she sees as strict. It just so happens that she is Egyptian-born and wears a hijab. When anti-Muslim graffiti appears on the walls of her school, Fatima transfers to a new school. The guidance counsellor there, Mr. E., does his best to help Fatima fit in, but despite his advice she starts an unlikely friendship with Jorah, who has a reputation for anger issues. Maybe, just maybe, Fatima and Jorah start to, like, like each other …
As their mutual attraction grows, the lines Fatima and Jorah cross as they grow closer become the subject of an intense exploration of boundaries – personal boundaries, cultural boundaries, and inherited religious and political boundaries. Fatima and Jorah discover that appearances matter; they’ve been exposed for their whole lives to images that begin to colour their relationship: images of the Middle East, the working class, and how teenage boys and teenage girls behave. Put all these reactive factors together in the social laboratory that is a high school and observe: is there a solution for Fatima and Jorah?
High school, like no other social space, throws together people of all histories and backgrounds, and young people must decide what they believe in and how far they are willing to go to defend their beliefs. Inside a veritable pressure cooker, they negotiate cross-cultural respect and mutual understanding. Jabber does its part to challenge appearances – and the judgments people make based on those appearances.
About the authors
Writer and performer Marcus Youssef is a regular contributor of drama, commentary and documentary to numerous programs on the CBC network. He also writes regularly for publications such as Vancouver Magazine, Georgia Straight, Rice Paper, and This Magazine. For many years, Youssef has also dedicated himself to numerous community-based advocacy programs that aim at using writing and/or theatre as a tool for procuring political and social change.
Guillermo Verdecchia is a writer of drama, fiction, and film; a director, dramaturge, actor, and translator whose work has been seen and heard on stages, screens, and radios across the country and around the globe. He is a recipient of the Governor General’s Award for Drama, a four-time winner of the Chalmers Canadian Play Award, a recipient of Dora and Jessie Awards, and sundry film festival awards for his film Crucero/Crossroads.
Camyar Chai has worked in theatre and film for more than 20 years. He is the founder of Vancouver’s acclaimed NeWorld Theatre. He has worked as a freelance actor, director, and writer as well as engaging in Arts Education. In addition to writing plays, Camyar has also written librettos for opera. An award-winning theatre maker, he received his Master of Fine Arts in Directing from the University of British Columbia.
Dennis Foon was co-founder of VancouverÃ¢??s acclaimed Green Thumb Theatre and served as artistic director for twelve years. As a playwright, his body of plays continues to be produced internationally in numerous languages and he has received the British Theatre AWard, two Chalmers Canadian Play Awards, the Jesse Richardson Career Achievement Award, and the International Arts for Young Audiences Award. In 2007 he was made a lifetime member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada for his Ã¢??outstanding contribution to Canadian Playwriting and Theatre.Ã¢?Â His play Kindness received the 2009 AATE Distinguished Play Award. His newest play, Scar Tissue, premiered at the Arts Club Theatre.
HeÃ¢??s won a Gemini, two WGC Awards, three Leos, and a Robert W. Wagner Award for his screenplays, which include Little Criminals, White Lies, Torso, and Terry. He is also the co-writer of Long Life, Happiness and Prosperity and A Shine of Rainbows, which won a Leo and received a Genie Nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. He wrote the screenplay for the feature Life Above All, Prix FranÃ’Â«ois Chalais winner at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, 2011 Academy Award Shortlist for Best Foreign Language Film, and a Leo winner for Best Screenplay. His novel Skud (Groundwood Books, 2003) received a BC Book Prize, and his sci-fi/fantasy trilogy, The Longlight Legacy, has been published in five languages.
- Winner, Best New Text, Montreal ENglish Language Theatre Awards