Four full-length plays by Sa'dallah Wannous, the leading Syrian dramatist of the twentieth century, published in English for the first time: Rituals of Signs and Transformations, The Evening Party for the Fifth of June, The Adventure of the Mamluk Jaber's Head, and The Drunken Days. Together they represent three decades of Wannous's remarkable career and indicate the range of his political, social, personal, and metatheatrical contributions to modern drama.
Sadallah Wannous, generally considered the leading Syrian dramatist of the twentieth century and one of the most important modern Arab dramatists, has long been a well-known figure in the Arab world. Although his most important works began to appear in the wake of the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, he only began to come to Western attention near the end of his career when he was selected in 1996 by UNESCO and the International Institute of Theatre as the first Arab playwright to deliver the keynote speech on International Theatre Day. A number of his works have been published and produced in Germany and France, most notably a lavish production of Rituals of Signs and Transformations at the Comédie Française in 2013. To date, however, only a few of his plays, primarily one-acts, have appeared in English translation.