by Marcus Youssef
from Canadian English by Bastian Häfner
“People think they know. They think they know all about me. They don’t. They have no idea.”
Fatima came to Germany from Cairo with her family three years ago. Now she is in tenth grade. She is self-confident, witty and wears a hijab. After an anti-Muslim graffiti appears on the school walls, her parents insist that she change to another school. At the new school there are no “Jabbers”, which is what Fatima and her hijab-wearing friends call themselves, and it doesn’t look like it will be easy to fit in. But then she meets Jonas, who calls attention to himself mainly by making thoughtless comments on sensitive issues in class. Against all odds, she makes friends with him.
Written in 2012, “Jabber” is a play by Canadian playwright and theatre maker Marcus Youssef that playfully and humorously but also seriously deals with the many ways our perception is influenced by cultural differences and prejudices. By shifting some scenes to virtual spaces, Youssef brings a form of communication on stage that suggests intimacy, but whose full reach is hard to grasp.
Due to the current circumstances, “Jabber” is being shown in a different stage setting than it was last season.