Yara Bou Nassar is a Lebanese stage/film actress and theater maker.
As theater maker, She is interested in exploring the paradoxical binaries of her society that often intersect in their absurdity. She is triggered by this absurdity and constantly inspired to dive into it to better understand her identity with respect to the collective memory and her current surrounding.
It is crucial for her work to organically originate from an actual necessity and urgency to approach certain themes which are often focused on the deconstruction of social stereotypes and daily behavior in the urban context. She is particularly interested in how this can be manifested in the discomfort of the body and in physical transformation.
Most of her projects stem from an autobiographical starting point before branching out to a more inclusive treatment. Her work is often based on documentary material and blurring the lines between fiction and reality. During performances, she uses a constructed persona that is inspired by her own reality but also distant from it, in order to tell stories on stage. She is constantly interested in experimenting with different aesthetics, exploring new ways of approaching my creative work, and challenging her comfort zones.
She recently created an interactive solo performance titled Sometimes I like to stand up right based on letters written by members of the LGBTQ community (commissioned by Dima Matta for the exhibition Love Letters To Meem)
In 2017 she collaborated with performer/choreographer Annalena Froehlich and musician Paed Conca to create a new performance titled Everything Is Just Fine نفس عميق which explores the limits of anxiety in a crisis, how the human body receives violence and translates anxiety in daily behavior and questions the thin lines between the fiction and the truth.
In 2016 she created The Wedding, which tackles the social violence inflicted on us by imposed gender roles and ridicules the current power structures of our societies.(commissioned by Nabil Canaan for the opening of VIVA DADA exhibition at Station Beirut)
In 2015 Yara collaborated with Ruth Schwegler and Paed Conca to create a short documentary theater performance entitled Dream Team which debuted in Das Sechste Kleine Festival Der Anderen Art in Bern and which tells the stories of women who live a life different to what they have envisioned as a result of the war.
In 2014, Yara created a solo performance Collecting Home, a collaboration with Swiss musician and composer Paed Conca, which premiered in Bern before being presented in Beirut. The autobiographical performance confesses through an imagined reality her own reflections on her relationship with her homecity Beirut.
In 2013, she collaborated with Elie Youssef for I Have a Goldfish. The play tackles the issue of one’s homeland, identity, and belonging via the scope of the human memory. In 2011, She co-directed and acted in Adam in an Unfruitful Paradise alongside Youssef, text by Raymond Jbara.
She graduated from the Lebanese University of Arts and attended workshops in varied techniques, from improvisation and character work to mime and dance in New York (Strasberg Institute), Barcelona (Esquella de Mimo), and Beirut with directors such as Nathalie Garraud (FR), Federico Leon (ARG), and Kassem Bayatli (IQ) among others. As actress, she has worked with various directors such as Julien Bouffier, Shakib Khoury, Fouad Naim, Sahar Assaf, Wissam Arbache...
Yara has acted in various films, among them Listen by Phillipe Aractingi, Faces in the Sun by Farah Shaer, Southern Springs by Wassim Tannious, Wahl by Emile Abu Diwane. She also starred in Jad and Assil by Bane Fakih which earned her a nomination for best actress in leading role at the New York International Film Festival.
She has been a Clown Doctor since 2010 with the Smile Foundation working across various hospitals in Beirut.