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Samar El-Zein


Samar El-Zein is the founder and artistic director of "The Kinetic Theater." A teacher, humanitarian activist, and acclaimed actress, Samar leads life-building workshops for children and adults in schools, retreat centers, and other venues.

She studied mime and masks and analyzed movements for two years with The French master Jacques Le Coq, and earned her Diploma in Physical Theater in Paris, after earning her Master's equivalent Degree in Theater at the University of Fine Arts of Beirut.

Samar has worked as an actress—on stage and on screen—in the Middle East, France, and in the United States. One of her most renowned performances in a film includes "Kyrie Eleison," which won the Best Short Film category at the Boston and New York Film Festivals and Australia. She has also performed as James Joyce's "Mary Bloom" at Symphony Space Theater in New York City.

In the early 1980's, Samar hosted 300 episodes of her successful television series "Malaab El-Seghar," a joint British-Lebanese production broadcast that was televised throughout the Arabic-speaking world.

Aside from her previous experiences on the screen, Samar brings an unusual blend of theater experience, mime and masks, and improvisation to her workshops and residencies. She has taught improvisational theater courses at Mercer County Community College and for the Princeton Public School System's "IDEA Center" and has performed with the Pastiche company around the USA.

Her ideology revolves around introducing art into people's education as well as using it as a way to send messages about our modern societal issues. She is able to use theater as a way to build bridges between different cultures, open space for communication, and create ties. Her work in "I'm a Dot," for example, illustrates this as this performance was focused on explaining the spiritual meaning behind the Middle Eastern dance and to help Western and Eastern women understand each other, as they are one. In her collaboration with Liliana Attar in "Behind the Walls," a piece that cried for the destruction of segregation in order to celebrate a unified human spirit, the performance brought attention to the Berlin, Palestinian, and Hadrian walls to note that history has kept repeating itself in this way. Also, she has performed in Marie Snyder's "Love in the Time of Green Card" and Christine Colosimo's "Untitled White," which supported gay rights and abused women. Overall, Samar likes to use her artwork as the medium in which she spreads messages of peace, equality, and human rights.