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Ashtar Theatre, Ramallah – Newsletter

Newsletter

info@ashtar-theatre.org www.ashtar-theatre.org February 2010

۞ Ashtar celebrates Jerusalem as

Capital City of Arab Culture 2009.

Ashtar theatre

produced a special

theatre

performance, “I am

Jerusalem,” to

celebrate

Jerusalem as the

Capital City of Arab

Culture 2009. The

Ashtar team went to

Jordan in February

2009 to join the

author and director

of the play, Nasser Omar, in order to rehearse

the work. The team rehearsed for one and a

half months in the Balad Theatre in Amman,

where the first three shows were performed

before opening in the Royal Cultural Centre.

A group of Jordanian artists joined the play

and it was produced under the umbrella of

Jerusalem the Capital City of Arab Culture

2009, with its support as well as support from

the Dutch Representative and the Danish

Cultural Organization.

The play opened in Palestine among the

activities of the Manara Festival in Ramallah,

then was shown in Jerusalem and Bethlehem,

and the work also took part in the first festival of

the Arab Theatre Organization in May in Cairo.

The play also represented Palestine in

“Carthage Theatre Days” in Tunis, in November

2009, with several additional performances in

the West Bank and Galilee.

۞ Second International Theatre of

the Oppressed Festival

The second round of the Theatre of the

Oppressed Festival took place the year 2009

under the title of “Raise your Voice … Preserve

your Rights” and was gifted to “Jerusalem,

Capital City of

Arab Culture”

and to all

Jerusalemites,

who have to

keep their

voices raised

to the world

so that they

do not

disappear inside the sphere forced on them by

the occupation.

Six countries, in addition to Palestine,

presented during April and May 09, 45 theatre

performances through a unified theatrical form,

which does not only reach out to people and

deal with their issues but opens the door wide

to them to display these issues and have their

say on them, in search of a solution not merely

a release, and to search for a better reality,

which is the final aim of art, chiefly the art of

theatre.

۞ Ashtar moves Forum Theatre to

television

For the first

time, Ashtar

Theatre

moved the

idea of

Forum

Theatre to

television,

attempting to

reach out with Palestinian social issues to

every Palestinian home in order to facilitate live

participation in solving them.

The theatre partnered with the Ma’an

News Network which produced the Forum play

“The Story of Mona” for television and

screened it, following the screenings with

discussions involving decision makers and

women in influential positions, on the subjects

addressed which deal with the issue of early

marriage and “honor” crimes. This work was

shown with the discussions on all local

stations, and received notable attention. The

experiment will continue with other theatre

performances in the second half of 2010.

۞ Touring the forum play “Story of

Said Al Masoud”

The play was produced, using the Forum

Theatre technique, at the start of 2008. It deals

with the problem of widespread drug use

among youth in Palestine. The play was shown

more than 85 times to date, the latest of which

was a group of 32 performances, with the

support of

UNICEF, to

school

students from

all villages

and schools

in Hebron,

Nablus,

Jerusalem,

Bethlehem

and Ramallah.

۞ Drama Trainers in Clubs

Ashtar led a program to qualify drama trainers

for the benefit of a group of youth clubs run by

the organizations Ma’an and Tamer, in the

villages of Hebron, Ramallah, Bethlehem,

Nablus and Gaza. 73 trainees took part in this

program and were trained by the training staff

of Ashtar. Each group trained on the basic

techniques of Forum Theatre for 80 hours.

These trainees then transferred their skills to

the students in the clubs, with whom they

produced Forum Theatre scenes that were

performed to the local public in the various

Palestinian areas.

۞ “Last Supper in Palestine” takes

part in Algiers, the Capital

Ashtar Theatre took part in the professional

Theatre Festival in Algiers in its round

“Jerusalem the Capital City of Arab Culture”

with the play “Last Supper in Palestine”, which

was shown in the Metropol Theatre and

received great

liking and large

audiences. In

this round, the

Artistic Director

of Ashtar

Theatre, Iman

Aoun, was

honored for her

long theatre

work in Palestine.

۞ Ashtar Theatre’s Artistic Director

takes part in the International Culture

Conference in Johannesburg

The artist Iman Aoun took part in the

fourth round of the International Culture and

Arts Conference held in Johannesburg,

South Africa in autumn with two working

papers: the first on “Culture and politics in

Palestine and the concept of conscripting

culture”, which she participated in at the start

of the conference, and the second,

presented on the second day, on “The role of

the theatre in cultural and intellectual

development in Palestine.” More than 400

cultural activists attended the conference

from various countries around the world,

among them workers in official and

community organizations.

۞ Ashtar Theatre transfers the

experience of the Theatre of the

Oppressed to Yemen

The IRD organization contracted Ashtar

Theatre to extend its experience in the Forum

Theatre to Yemen. A group of actors in the

“Hudaida” province will be trained on using

the Theatre of the Oppressed methodology to

spread theatre techniques as a tool for

expression and change, in the local society,

and to reach marginalized areas in Yemen.

The training program spans a whole year

during 2010.

۞ "Gaza Mono-Logues"

Ashtar Theatre launched an international

art initiative entitled “Gaza Mono-Logues”

to reach out with the voices of the

besieged Gaza children to the world. 36

children from Gaza will take part, who

have been the target of direct and indirect

aggression during the war on Gaza. The

training is led by Ashtar’s trainer in Gaza,

Ali Abu Yassine, accompanied by the

psychologist Nadel Sha’ath. In partnership

with Ashtar Theatre in this project is the

Qattan Centre for the Child and a large

group of worldwide theatres in Arab and

foreign countries. This project spans a

year in 2010.

۞ Translation into Arabic of

Augusto Boal’s “Legislative

Theatre”

Continuing

with its series

of publications

on the Theatre

of the

Oppressed,

the Ashtar

Centre for

Theatre of the

Oppressed in

Palestine

translated

Augusto Boal’s

book,

“Legislative

Theatre” into Arabic. The book is currently

in print and 4000 copies will be circulated to

four Arab countries with the help and

support of the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign

Affairs. This book is dedicated to the spirit

of Augusto Boal, founder of the Theatre of

the Oppressed technique, who passed

away in 2009.

۞ A year full of movement and

colored with new, lively faces

A new group of employees, in addition

to current staff, joined Ashtar Theatre in

2009 to enrich the organization and

propel it forward:

Edward Muallem, General Manager

Iman Aoun, Artistic Director

Fida Jiryis, Executive Director

Abdallah Musleh, Financial Specialist

Olivia Magnan, “Gaza Mono-Logues”

project coordinator

Rabie Abu Dayya, Administrative

Assistant

Mohammed Eid, Actor and Trainer

Raed El Ayasa, Actor and Trainer

Riham Isac, Actress

Athar El Hajj, Actress

Rasha Jahshan, Actress

Mohammed Ali, Technician

Atallah Tarazi, Technical Specialist

Nathalie Kashou, Theatre of the

Oppressed Festival Coordinator, 2009

Ali Abu Yassine, Trainer for UNICEF

program in Gaza

Hassan Daraghmeh, Coordinator of

UNICEF project, north and middle

areas, and Actor

Akram Obeid, Coordinator of UNICEF

program in Gaza

Rami Abu Laban, Coordinator of

UNICEF program in Hebron

Kefah Ayyad, Housekeeper

Ashtar

For theatre productions and Training

Ramallah, Palestine

Tel: 02-2980037

Fax: 02-2960326

E mail:

info@ashtar-theatre.org

ashtar-theatre@yahoo.com

www.ashtar-theatre.org

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