ME/NA/SA FUTURISMS MENASA FUTURISMS :: 1 - Page 52

SYNOPSIS “Imagine the City” is a science fiction stage play that feels like an illumination of the darker parts of Beirut’s soul and its decaying society in crisis. From a social commentary point of view, this play is an ironically dystopian take on Beirut’s metaphorical future. Mona, a frustrated Beiruti, waits by the sea port to be evacuated to a better place by the Good Samaritan. But her escapism plan is disrupted by Lisa, the flying robot, who seems to have knowledge of both the past and the future. Through the supernatural connection between Mona and Lisa, we are often confused about whether the city is floating or even existing. “Imagine the City” recollects the cityscape and its memory through collective existentialism. Mona and Lisa are the inseparable portrait of a decomposed Beirut. Just like in Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, “Mona Lisa,” the characters in the play pose in front of an imaginary landscape. Act 1 of this three-act play feels like a short-lived moment in Mona’s life that ends with an ordeal blown out of rational proportions. The wave at the end of Act 1 is seen again in Act 2, as a signpost within a conscience system wherein Mona’s mind is being uploaded and her memories are being altered by a group of robots identical to Lisa. We discover that they are watching Mona’s memories while downloading and erasing data of their choice. What will Mona do when she wakes up to find herself trapped in an alternate consciousness? Will she be able to recollect her memory of the city and that of the humans who make it?