BYBLOS (Jbaïl), ancient Siria, modern Lebanon.
COORDINATES: 34º07’09.59” N / 35º38’42.07” E
TIPOLOGY : Greek theatre. Urban.
DATE: III A.D..
TRANSFORMATIONS: In modern times it was removed from its original location in order to reach earlier levels, originally it was built between the City Gate, the “L” temple and the Obelisque temple.
CAVEA: Facing west. Diameter unknow, probably about
48 m. Ima cavea: It had 30 rows of seat but only 7 are preserved in 7 cunei.
11,6 m. diameter. It was paved with a mosaic of Bacchus, now in National Museum of Beirut. An altar was found in the orchestra.
STAGE BUILDING: Proscaenium is unique for the decoration of the five niches, they represent pediments supported by small columns with Corinthian capitails.
LOCATION: 100 m. west of crusader castle. Jbaïl is 35 klm. north of Beirut.
MY BEDSIDE TABLE: Sear, Frank; “Roman theatres: an architectural study”. Oxford University Press, 2006. // Ciancio Rossetto, Paola; Giuseppina Pisani Sartorio (eds); “Teatri Greci e Romani: alle origini del linguaggio rappresentato”. Rome: SEAT, 1995. // Blas de Roblès, Jean Marie; Pieri, Dominique; Yon, Jean-Baptiste; “Vestiges archéologiques du Liban”. Aix-en-Provence, Édisud – Librairie Antoine, 2004.
OUT OF PRINT: I traveled to Lebanon for playing theatre there. But I did not play in an ancient scenario like Byblos one or like the moderns theatres in Beirut. I played theatre in the streets, in small streets with cars and with not squares, in dirty paths... I traveled to Lebanon with Clowns Without Borders in 2009, I played in Palestinian Refugee Camps, trying to turn toy guns in smiles, trying to distract children from their harsh reality. The auditorium in Byblos is covered by sand... and the silence of the sea... in Refugee Camps there is another kind of sand... not places for playing theatre, there is not places for children to play, all the life is in street, all is the street sand... never in my life my work, acting, had as much meaning as when I fight acting with the sand of the streets in the Refugee Camps, when in the meddle of the barbarism I learned that laughter is truly a world heritage place.