TWB Digest #342

TWB Digest #342
March 27th,  was International Theatre Day.
Our own Roberta Levitow, together with her friends Julie Hébert & Jill Klein created a series of short videos where women talk about women who have inspired them.
They called the videos “LOOK WHAT SHE DID.”
Roberta talks about a resilient theatre practitioner from Uganda,  the Late Rose Mbowa. Rose Mbowa’s artistry persevered under precarious political circumstances. 

Quote for the week 
“My dream is that The Freedom Theatre will be the major force, cooperating with others in generating cultural resistance, carrying on it’s shoulders universal values of freedom and justice.” Juliano Mer Khamis.
Cultural Resistance Festical of Palestinian Theatre starts this week April 4- 7.

La MaMa Umbria International
Summer, 2018 – Spoleto, Italy
Symposium for Directors: Experiments in Performance Creation
(July 16 – 30, 2018)
Playwright Retreat: Migdalia Cruz
(August 2-12, 2018
This year, we explore cutting-edge experimental theatre that crosses boundaries and intersects with other disciplines. During the 2-week session, you will engage in participatory workshops with all of the following artists.
Semion Aleksanderovskiy (Russia)
This workshop will be devoted to analyze and experience the technology of building relationships between artist and text in the post-dramatic theater. The text loses its status as a subject and turns to be an object. How do we create a character in this circumstances?
Semion Aleksanderovskiy studeied with Lev Dodin at St. Petersburg Theatre Arts Academy, one of the most rooted schools in the tradition of Stanislavsky. His search is also a dispute with the academic school and an attempt to find new ways for development and searching for one’s own system.
Stefanie Batten Bland (USA)
This workshop will explore and increase creativity for makers looking to frame and support alternative productions. This workshop enables action and reaction to learnt and improvised material. Participants will leave with concrete scenic tools and articulate theories to address social and communal issues within work and explore their skills and limits.
Stefanie Batten Bland is a Jerome Robbins Award honoree. Her interdisciplinary creative practice is embedded in human relationships, the communicative choices we make, and how we fit into space and place.
The Talking Band (USA)
In this workshop, Artistic Director Paul Zimet and Founding Member Ellen Maddow will share exercises and techniques -integrating text, image, music, and movement- that Talking Band has developed for creating its distinctive form of music-theater.  The goal is to discover ways to illuminate the extraordinary dimensions of ordinary life, and to find theatrical frames that enable our audiences to see them anew.
Talking Band: Art functions to break our habitual ways of experiencing and perceiving. Talking Band’s original interdisciplinary performance work has been a cornerstone of New York City’s avant-garde theater community for 44 years.
Krzysztof Garbaczewski (Poland)
In our workshop we we will engage in a process of how to work with actors when developing productions that incorporate Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). We will discuss our process in a context of political and ecological paradigms present in the critical writings of Jerzy Grotowski.
Krzysztof Garbaczewski is a Polish theatre director and set designer known for his elaborate sets and innovative adaptations that cross the boundaries between theatre, film, dance, visual arts, and music. His upcoming project will be presented at The Wooster Group in New York City.
MIGDALIA CRUZ is a Bronx-born, award-winning playwright, lyricist, translator, and librettist of more than 60 works including: Miriam’s FlowersEl Grito Del BronxSaltFrida, Satyricoño,  & FUR, produced in venues—across the U.S. and abroad—including INTAR, Latino Chicago, BAM, Mabou Mines, National Theater of Greece, Houston Grand Opera, & Ateneo Puertorriqueño, An alumna of New Dramatists, she was named the 2013 Helen Merrill Distinguished Playwright, and was awarded a 2016 NYFA grant.  Current commissions: OSF’s PlayON! & Princeton University. In June 2018, Migdalia will teach her third Fornés Playwriting Workshop at University of Notre Dame (Chicago campus).

The Magdalena Project
Read the 5 short pieces about culture and Theatre by Culture 360. ASEF
Funding Arts and Sustainability 
Public Art in Urban Spaces
Culture and Migrations
Cities and Cultures

Kampala Public Art Festival (call for applications)
International Community Arts Festival(Look out for a detailed call for applications.)


Thousands of people and organizations around the world stand with Mohammed AbuSakha, a clown, an artist, a wonderful soul with a passion is to make people laugh and
to teach children circus to offer them a bright future.
Read here the statement of the circus school where Mohammed has been a student since 2008, and is now employed since 2011.
The world stands with Mohammed against this injustice.
Check out a video here:
Click here to sign the petition
Contact information:
Telephone: +972-(0)3-697-7957
Fax: +972-(0)3-697-5177
Email: for more information.

Call from a Palestinian Theatre

Call from a Palestinian Theatre

ASHTAR Theatre  is launching a campaign, Words for Gaza to support our people in Gaza. Please read the attachment and send us your messages at

Below is also a short statement from my colleague, initiator of the idea for this campaign.

“Dear world, when you turn on your TV and watch news and hear the word Gaza; listen carefully and pay more attention. The children of Gaza count, they are not just numbers of dead bodies; they are not numbers on news with no names, or no schools or families or dreams. But the biased news of the Israeli war machine makes them number. It’s time to realize that they are endless number of potential artists, doctors, lovers, scientists, and peace makers; yes peace makers!! if Israel didn't attack their schools, killed their dreams terrified their childhood, made them into orphans and put them to death at the age of innocence. The children of Gaza are no less than your own children. They are in need of a true stand and of your sincere understanding of their human rights and not just financial aid. What’s the point of aid if Israeli air raids destroy everything international aid builds in Gaza? They need you to ask your governments to stop supporting and

funding the Israeli war machine and to condemn the Israeli occupation and siege in the United Nations. Collective ethnic cleansing still happens in 2014 and may continue to happen…denial and ignoring the genocide makes you take part in it. It happens with the taxes you pay to your governments. Ask where is it spent? Think before you elect your representatives and your governments, strike and go on streets when your governments are biased to Israel. Think and use the power of your freedom of expression and democracy. You have it, act now…” Bayan Shbib

Iman Aoun

Artistic Director

Ashtar Theatre

Ramallah – Palestine


Call for Participation: ASHTAR THEATRE International Youth Festival “ATiYF”, Palestine

Call for Participation: ASHTAR THEATRE International Youth Festival “ATiYF”, Palestine

June 20 – 30, 2014 

Ramallah – Palestine 

ASHTAR Theatre would like to invite you to its upcoming International Camp-Fest “ATIYF” – second edition, June the 20 In July 2012, ASHTAR Theatre had its first international youth festival in Ramallah; with 50 international and local theatre students, trainers and artists attending this Camp-Fest. For 10 days, the participants gathered in a guesthouse in Ramallah, where they took different theater based workshops with international theater trainers, visited different Palestinian cities to perform and to watch theater performances. At the end of the ten days Camp Fest, the participants have performed a joined performance in front of a huge public audience, which included acting, dancing and singing. 

This year, ATIYF Camp-Fest will be presenting after 5 days of workshops a collective open air presentation in Ramallah city on the 25th throughout the West Bank. 

Therefore, if you are interested in joining us in our 2nd send it back to us before the March 30th

Please note that the festival covers the participants stay and accommodation throughout the whole Camp-Fest period, while the participants have to cover their international airfare. -30, 2014 in Ramallah City.  and will perform the different plays of the participants  ATiYF, please fill the participants form and , 2014.

ASHTAR Theatre International Youth Festival 

ATiYF 2nd 20th Edition 2014  -30th  edition in 2012. This biannual Camp-Fest is a 

 June  edition is a result of the success of its 1st continuation of the achievement of “The Gaza Monologues” project and its global contacts and ongoing accomplishments. 

For more information you can visit the Gaza Monologues website via this 


 ATiYF aims at creating a forum for exchange of experiences  between local and international young theatre students and emerging professionals aged (18 – 26 yrs). 

 ATiYF Camp-Fest is an artistic celebration, a human sharing and an eye-opening experience for participants. It involves  Palestinian and international youth in a way that will break isolation of young artists; permitting a creative dialogue between them and their professional mentors, for the development of future work and the enhancement of future leaders.  The Camp-Fest will be implemented from 20-30 June 2014, and will reach various West Bank 

Cities: East Jerusalem, Hebron, Bethlehem, Ramallah, Nablus and Jenin. It will include several performances, 4 workshops, a Location Theatre performance, a local touring, social gatherings & cultural events. 

 To who is interested in joining the upcoming festival; please fill the participation form and send it to the following email : info@ashtar-theatre.organd 

Note: The Festival will cover your accommodation, meals and local transportation throughout the 10 days Camp Fest.

ASHTAR Theatre Website 

Facebook Page

First Psychodrama students graduate with international certificate

Palestinian Mental Health Workers Graduate with an International Certification in Trauma Therapy

On 7th of July, thirteen Palestinian mental health workers from the Jenin District will graduate from the Trauma Response Training Program – an intensive, 18-month program run by The Freedom Theatre in partnership with the USA-based Therapeutic Spiral Institute.

The Trauma Response Training Program was the first long-term psychodrama training program to be offered in the West Bank of occupied Palestine. Program participants included 13 mental health workers from various organizations including YMCA, Ministry of Education, Arab American School and the Women’s Cultural and Heritage Association. The program was led by Ben Rivers, an international trainer and Registered Drama Therapist from Australia. Psychodrama practitioners from Switzerland, Italy and the USA also provided training to program participants.

The Therapeutic Spiral Institute will award graduates of the program with an International Certification in Trauma Therapy using the Therapeutic Spiral Model™.  

The graduation ceremony will take place on July 7 at 10am–12noon at North Gate Hotel, Jenin.  Journalists and reporters are welcome to attend.

"Over the past 1.5 years, the graduates of this program have engaged in a profound journey of self-discovery and professional development. They have worked deeply to recognize and develop their unique strengths and resources whilst simultaneously addressing their own histories of hardship and oppression. Through many hours of study and practice these graduates have also developed their skills and knowledge in trauma healing and psychotherapy. The graduates of this program have therefore proven their ability to undertake and succeed in the long and sometimes difficult process towards becoming an effective clinician. For this, each graduate is worthy of sincere respect and applause. In addition, we should also thank these graduates for the pioneering efforts they have taken within the new and exciting field of Psychodrama in Palestine."

– Ben Rivers, Director, Applied Theatre Program, The Freedom Theatre.

Urgent: Jenin Freedom Theatre Co-founder on Death Fast

The following urgent message was received today from our friends at
the Jenin Freedom Theatre in Palestine. Please forward it widely.


From The Freedom Theatre
Jenin, West Bank, Occupied Palestine
September 10, 2012

On September 9, 2012 Zakaria Zubeidi announced that he will embark on
a death fast–a complete food and fluid strike, in response to the
continuous postponement of his release from a Palestinian Authority
prison. This effectively means that unless the Palestinian Authority
releases Zakaria he will most probably not make it through the week.

Zubeidi, co-founder of The Freedom Theatre and former leader of the
Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, has been imprisoned by the Palestinian
Authority for close to four months. No charges have been made against
him, no evidence presented and throughout his imprisonment his rights
have been severely violated, as described by among others Human Rights
Watch (

Being one of the last survivors of Arna's Children(1), Zakaria joined
the armed resistance during the second Intifada and became one of its
leading figures. After co-founding The Freedom Theatre in 2006 Zakaria
decided to lay down his weapons in order to join a cultural
resistance, which he deemed a more powerful tool against the Israeli
occupation. Surviving numerous assassination attempts by the Israeli
army and vowing to never again enter an Israeli prison, Zakaria is now
instead facing death in a Palestinian prison unless immediate action
is taken.

The Freedom Theatre urges all its friends and supporters to:

* Contact the local representative office of the Palestinian
Authority(2) and demand Zakaria Zubeidi's release. Since the situation
is urgent we also ask you to take more direct actions such as
organising protests at PA representative offices.

* Contact local or regional human rights offices and organisations
such as Amnesty International and urge them to take action.

* Contact your local MP and MEP and urge them to take action [or
Senators and Congressional representative in the United States].

* Contact your country's representative office in the occupied
Palestinian territory and urge them to take action(3).

* Call these numbers to demand Zakaria's release: +972 (0)599000011
Abo Mohammad Shadeh, Head of the Palestinian Authority President’s
Security Office; +972 (0)2000011 Said Abualheja, Ministry of Interior;
+972 (0)-597778887 Majd Faraj, Head of Palestinian Intelligence.

Social Media Campaigns

* Twitter: #Freezakaria

* Facebook:,

* Website:

Sample Letter

To [Name], representative of the Palestinian Authority:

I am a staunch supporter of the Palestinian people and therefore I am
now contacting you on an urgent matter. It has come to my knowledge
that Zakaria Zubeidi, co-founder of The Freedom Theatre in Jenin and
former military leader of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades has been kept
in a Palestinian prison for over four months without any charges or
accusations brought against him. I have also been informed that
Zakaria's human rights have been violated on several accounts and that
as a result he has started a death fast, refusing water or food. That
means that he will die within 8-10 days and most probably before that
suffer irreversible effects to his health. I urge you to take
immediate actions for Zakaria's release. If you, as a representative
of the Palestinian Authority will allow Zakaria to die then you must
also know that I and many others will consider you partly responsible
for his death.

I trust that you understand the need for your immediate response to this case.

Sincerely Yours,






Previous press releases, background and updates:

Zakaria Zubeidi remains in prison (02092012)

Zakaria Zubeidi's release postponed (27082012)

Zakaria Zubeidi to be released on bail (22082012)

Zakaria Zubeidi temporarily released (19082012)

Human Rights Watch calls for end to harassment of The Freedom Theatre (28072012)

New information on Nabil and Zakaria (11072012)

Nabil and Zakaria on hunger strike (05072012)

Latest news on Nabil and Zakaria (01072012)

Action Alert: Free Nabil Al-Raee and Zakaria Zubeidi (07062012)

Zakaria Zubeidi on hunger and fluid strike!

For immediate release
The Freedom Theatre
Jenin, West Bank, Occupied Palestine
September 9, 2012

Zakaria Zubeidi, co-founder of The Freedom Theatre and former leader of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, has been imprisoned by the Palestinian Authority for almost four months. No charges have been made against him, no evidence presented and throughout his imprisonment his rights has been severely violated, as described by among others Human Rights Watch*.
Today Zakaria's release was yet again postponed for 8 days pending additional investigations. As a response Zakaria announced he will embark on a hunger and fluid strike to death which effectively means that unless the Palestinian Authority releases Zakaria he will not make it through the week.


For more information:

Previous press releases, background and updates:
Zakaria Zubeidi remains in prison (02092012)
Zakaria Zubeidi's release postponed (27082012)
Zakaria Zubeidi to be released on bail (22082012)
Zakaria Zubeidi temporarily released (19082012)
Human Rights Watch calls for end to harassment of The Freedom Theatre (28072012)
New information on Nabil and Zakaria (11072012)
Nabil and Zakaria on hunger strike (05072012)
Latest news on Nabil and Zakaria (01072012)
Action Alert: Free Nabil Al-Raee and Zakaria Zubeidi (07062012)

Stand up for West Bank's Freedom theatre

Playwright Howard Brenton on how it's time to stop the harassment and detention of members of Jenin's Freedom theatre – and it isn't just Israel

What price the freedom to put on plays? The odd bad review in the Daily Telegraph (if you're me)? Or protesters at Shakespeare's Globe (if you're performing in Habima theatre's Israeli version of The Merchant of Venice)?

Or how about being picked up at a checkpoint because you're an actor, or made to stand by a theatre wall in the middle of the night with your trousers down because you're a theatre technician? Or being taken off to a detention centre and denied a lawyer or family visit ? Or being shot in the head with your baby son in your lap because you're an artistic director?

All these are part of the price being paid by the staff of the Freedom theatre in the Jenin Refugee Camp on the West Bank. On 3 April last year, its artistic director and co-founder, the Arab-Israeli actor and peace activist Juliano Mer Khamis, got into his car outside the theatre with his son Jay and a babysitter. Reports vary as to the exact details, but it appears that 100 yards from the theatre he was waved down, then shot five times in the head by a masked gunman, who fled into the maze of the camp's alleys. Jay was uninjured, the babysitter hit in the arm. No one has yet been apprehended for Mer Khamis's murder. From that shocking day there has been what can only be seen as a systematic harassment of the Freedom theatre by the Israeli army.

On 27 July last year, masked Israeli soldiers attacked the theatre in the middle of the night. They hurled blocks of stone, smashing their way into the auditorium. Adnan Naghnaghiye, the theatre's head technician, and Bilal Saadi, its chairperson, were taken away. Then in August Rami Awni Hwayel, a 20 year-old student at the theatre's film school who was about to perform in the theatre's adaptation of Alice in Wonderland – an extraordinary project for the West Bank, typical of the Freedom theatre's élan – was stopped at a checkpoint, singled out from among other students and taken away handcuffed and blindfolded.

And just last week the theatre's present artistic director, Nabil Al-Raee, was abducted in the middle of the night by the Israeli army. His wife, Micaela Miranda, described the scene in testimony published by the theatre: "The dog started barking so I went outside and saw soldiers jumping over the gate and come into the yard of the house. They asked for my husband and I asked what for, for it's my right to know and it's my house. The soldiers replied they were not going to tell me. They then took Nabil, brought him to an army jeep and drove off." Al-Raee is now reported to be in the Jalameh detention centre, north of Jenin, inside Israel. According to the theatre, interrogations at Jalameh commonly involve sleep deprivation, psychological pressure, binding in painful positions.

Now the intimidation of the theatre's staff and their families is ever more frequent – and it's not just the Israeli army. The Palestinian Authority has also joined in the attacks. On 13 May Zakaria Zubeidi, a co-founder of the theatre, was arrested by them and taken to Jericho prison. He has not been allowed visits by a lawyer or his family.

The Freedom theatre began as a community project for young people of both sexes. It has expanded into an arts project for the West Bank that also entertains an enthusiastic adult audience; it has started an acting school, and recently launched a film school to train young people for the growing Palestinian film industry. It is a small pool of enlightenment and joy in a dark place.

Israel: many of us defended your National Theatre's right to perform recently at the Globe in London. From the same argument, stop your attacks on the Freedom theatre and release its artists from your prisons.

• For more information please contact

ASHTAR Theatre international Youth Festival

“A Step into Tomorrow”        “ATiYF”

For its 20th Anniversary & post the global success of The Gaza Mono-Logues;

ASHTAR Theatre would like to invite you to participate at its International Youth Festival from 7 to 17 of July 2012. The Festival of performances and workshops will be held during a period of ten days in Ramallah. The Festival will bring students and young theatre people from around the world to join ASHTAR Theatre team and students to learn from each other and create a dynamic international event accessible to the people of the West Bank.

During the 10-days Camp-Fest we will have a program of performances representing a range of countries and cultures. The Camp-Fest aims at bringing happiness and development and awareness to the participants and a chance for international exchange and growth.

ASHTAR students in their fourth and fifth year of drama training are currently responsible of this festival and actively preparing for it; they hold continuous brain storming meetings, and created a post for the Festival on facebook: ATiYF 2012.

Message from ASHTAR Students:

We the students of ASHTAR Theatre in our 4th and 5th years are coordinating this Camp-Fest; which represents our graduation project from Ashtar’s program for training young theatre students. We have lived together through theatre; we faced some obstacles on our path. We were a group of children when we started our training program but now we are young theatre students. We started our path with the play “Emperor’s New Clothes”. At this stage we will be ending our plays with The Gaza Monologues and For “Adults Only”.

This Camp-Fest will help us finish our road knowing that we were trained not only on how to stand on stage and perform, but also how to create, coordinate and implement a project. ASHTAR theatre does not only teach theatre performing, but also provides us with the knowledge and experience to be successful in the various fields of life.

We aim from this Camp-Fest to interact with young theatre students from all over the world; exchange our cultural and theatrical knowledge with them.   The name of our Camp-Fest, “A Step into Tomorrow “, highlights our desire to explore our future in the best way possible. We seek to answer the various questions that run in our mind; not only about theatre, but about our lives, and our social, political, and economical plans.

We believe that theatre can make a change so we’re planning to be part of this change.

2012 Educator Programs | Seeds of Peace

2012 Summer Course: Expressive Arts; Educational Transformations


OTISFIELD, MAINE | In the Summer of 2012, Seeds of Peace will hold its second two-week summer course for educators from the Middle East, South Asia, and United States. Drawing on the power of the arts to empower youth and address conflict-related issues, the session will focus on “Expressive Arts; Educational Transformations.”

Where there is conflict, the creative arts have a vital role to play as an effective vehicle for engaging youth and building the capacities required for peace. This is especially true when the hostilities and sensitivities of an active conflict make it difficult for educators to use a broader range of curriculum to address issues between divided communities.

This summer, Seeds of Peace will bring educators and arts practitioners together to share best practices, strengthen techniques and develop new skills and resources for educating and empowering youth through the expressive arts. Educators will learn from a diverse range of visiting faculty, staff, and one another. They will have the opportunity to visit local schools, colleges, and organizations engaged with the arts and education. Over the course of two weeks, participants will work together to create action plans for independent and/or cooperative projects to be implemented in their home countries.

This initial group will form the foundation for an ongoing and growing network of educators and artists committed to using the expressive arts as a vehicle for empowerment, cross-cultural understanding, and peacebuilding. Seeds of Peace will also engage internationally-renowned personalities to act as “ambassadors” for the group by using their influence, voice and platform to heighten awareness about the power of the arts to promote and advance peace.


Seeds of Peace welcomes educators and artists to apply from South Asia (Afghanistan, India, Pakistan), the Middle East (Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Palestine) and the United States. Specifically, Seeds of Peace is looking for formal or informal educators with experience in the expressive arts—music, drama, visual arts, creative writing, and/or film making—or a desire to incorporate these tools into their work. Seeds of Peace also encourages practicing artists who want to use their work to engage youth in peacebuilding to apply. Successful applicants will show creativity, competence, and commitment to peacebuilding. Priority will be given to those who have not been to the Seeds of Peace International Camp before, though all applicants will be considered.


The session will take place over the course of two weeks, from July 23-August 7, 2012.


The session will take place at the Seeds of Peace International Camp in Otisfield, Maine, approximately 45 minutes from Portland, Maine, and three hours north of Boston, Massachusetts. Participants live in a traditional American summer camp setting located on Pleasant Lake.


Each participant is asked to contribute 375 USD, a small portion of the costs for lodging, food, activities, transportation, and airfare for international participants. American participants are expected to cover the cost of their transportation to and from Camp. There are scholarships available, and Seeds of Peace will not turn away any participant for financial reasons. Participants must cover the cost of “incidentals,” e.g. gifts or snacks.


Applications are due April 1, 2012. Seeds of Peace expects to select approximately 32 participants and will notify all applicants by May 1, 2012.

APPLICATION"  Fill out my Wufoo form!