Ian Geldart and Mariana Tayler in 'Jabber', Geordie Productions, Photo by: Gabrielle Kellock

Jabber

By Marcus Youssef

Like many outgoing young women, Fatima feels rebellious against parents she sees as strict.

It just so happens that she is Egyptian-born and wears a hijab. When anti-Muslim graffiti appears on the walls of her school, Fatima transfers to a new school. The guidance counsellor there, Mr. E., does his best to help Fatima fit in, but despite his advice she starts an unlikely friendship with Jorah, who has a reputation for anger issues. Maybe, just maybe, Fatima and Jorah start to, like, like each other …

As their mutual attraction grows, the lines Fatima and Jorah cross as they grow closer become the subject of an intense exploration of boundaries – personal boundaries, cultural boundaries, and inherited religious and political boundaries. Fatima and Jorah discover that appearances matter; they’ve been exposed for their whole lives to images that begin to colour their relationship: images of the Middle East, the working class, and how teenage boys and teenage girls behave. Put all these reactive factors together in the social laboratory that is a high school and observe: is there a solution for Fatima and Jorah?

High school, like no other social space, throws together people of all histories and backgrounds, and young people must decide what they believe in and how far they are willing to go to defend their beliefs. Inside a veritable pressure cooker, they negotiate cross-cultural respect and mutual understanding. Jabber does its part to challenge appearances – and the judgments people make based on those appearances.

Smartly probes the lives of high schoolers struggling with peer expectations and identity problems. As they attempt to navigate the minefield that is the high school hallway, they are warned repeatedly that actions have consequences.

Winnipeg Free Press

(Jabber) is not afraid to deal with difficult subject matter such as discrimination, domestic abuse, sexuality and the danger of online sharing on social media. 'Jabber' is a great show to bring any high school age student to.

The Charlebois Post Toronto, Canada

Production Details

2 Male

1 Female

  Theatre for Young Audiences, Ages 12-18

60 minutes, no intermission

By Marcus Youssef

Purchase Play Script

Production History

Jabber was commissioned by Geordie Theatre in Montreal.

French translation by Maryse Warda.


  • 2012/13, Premiere, Quebec / Maritimes tour

  • 2013/14, Young People’s Theatre, Toronto

  • 2014, Vermont and New Hampshire, USA

  • 2015, Manitoba Theatre for Young People, Manitoba Tour

  • 2015, Licensing of German rights, translation into German

  • 2016, Showcase, International Performing Arts for Youth, Montreal QC

  • 2016/17, US and Canadian Tours

Manitoba Theatre for Young People Poster

Awards

Best New Text – Montreal English Language Theatre Awards, 2013

Top 30 plays of 2013 in Toronto, Stageworthy Toronto

License this play? Contact