Freedom to Create : Artists‏

Al-Bugaa Theatre Troupe

Main Prize – 2010

Theatre in Conflict Zones

Artform: Theatre

Al-Bugaa Theatre Troupe operate in Sudan’s conflict zones. Based out of Khartoum, Nuba Mountain and Dafur, they stage plays in this war-torn region to bring their message of peace and reconciliation to everyone, including militia groups and refugees in camps.

This ‘Theatre between Frontiers’ stages Forum Theatre on the front lines to engage, unify and heal both the perpetrators and victims of human rights atrocities. The troupe is made up of former child soldiers, victims and aggressors.

Ashtar Theatre

Youth Prize – 2010

The Gaza Mono-Logues

Artform: Theatre

This global youth project was initiated in the Gaza Strip. Actress Iman Aoun wanted the world to hear the stories of despair of children in Gaza and to understand how difficult life is for them in a conflict zone. Through art therapy workshops, 30 children aged 14 to 18 have contributed their personal stories to ‘The Gaza Mono-Logues’.

In October 2010, Ashtar Theatre and their partner youth groups launched a global performance from the beaches of Gaza, where each participant in Gaza performed their monologue and cast them out to sea in a paper boat. Partner children in countries across the world read aloud corresponding monologues, as the same hour passed through their time zone, until the 'chain' of monologues returned to Palestine.

Related Internet Links
•  The Gaza Mono-Logues

Freedom to Create World

The Gaza Monologues perform world-wide on October 17th

LEARN MORE ABOUT The Gaza Monologues:


October 17th


The Gaza Mono-Logues in the World's Theatres!

Read More


Israeli Artists Boycott Settlement Theatre

AUGUST 27, 2010, 2:50 PM

Boycott of Theater in Israeli Settlement Grows

Ronen Zvulun/Reuters Ariel Turgeman, the manager of a theater under construction in the Israeli settlement of Ariel, in the West Bank, where dozens of Israeli theater professionals have said they will not perform.

Updated | Sunday | 10:48 p.m. Dozens of Israel theater professionals have signed a letter protesting plans, announced this week, for Israeli theater companies to perform in a new cultural center nearing completion in Ariel, a West Bank settlement built on a site chosen by Ariel Sharon, Israel’s former leader.*

As The Lede explained on Thursday, soon after a slate of performances was announced this week, two actors with Israel’s national theater company announced that they would refuse to work in the Israeli settlement.

On Friday, the Israeli newspaper Web site Ynet News reported that dozens of Israel’s leading actors, directors, composers and playwrights had signed a letter sent to the managers of four theater companies that agreed to stage plays in the settlement, in which they said:

We wish to express our disgust with the theater’s board’s plans to perform in the new auditorium in Ariel. The actors among us hereby declare that we will refuse to perform in Ariel, as well as in any other settlement. We urge the boards to hold their activity within the sovereign borders of the State of Israel within the Green Line.


One of the most prominent signatories is Yehoshua Sobol, the celebrated Israeli author of the Holocaust drama “Ghetto.”

Vardit Shalfi, a dramaturg who who helped put the letter together, told Ynet:

Ariel is not a legitimate community, and as such, is against international law and international treaties that the State of Israel has signed. This means anyone performing there would be considered a criminal according to international law. The theater’s boards should inform their actors that there are apartheid roads for Jews only that lead into the settlement of Ariel. The moment we perform there, we are giving legitimization to this settlement’s existence.

Ynet added that Israel’s national theater said that the question of whether it should perform in a settlement built on Palestinian land first occupied by Israel in 1967 “calls for an in-depth examination of all the issues it includes…. We are looking into the matter.”

The newspaper also reported that an umbrella organization representing Israeli settlers on the West Bank denounced the calls for a boycott:

Our response to the letter signed by a bunch of anti-Zionist leftists and refusniks will be very harsh. This vile letter, which speaks out against the best of the State’s sons who defend them while they are acting on stage, requires a direct, poignant and clear response from the theaters’ boards, and this is what we expect. We will announce our future steps in the coming days.

Noam Sheizaf, an Israeli journalist and blogger, commented, “This is a major development, especially since under the new boycott bill, which stands a good chance of becoming a law in the one of the next Knesset session, any call to boycott Israel or the settlements could result in a fine of up to 30,000 shekels ($9,000), without proof of damages.”

As The Lede noted o
n Thursday, one of the first plays scheduled to be performed in the new cultural center in Ariel, Bertolt Brecht’s “Caucasian Chalk Circle,” deals explicitly with a dispute over which of two groups should have the right to live and work on a contested piece of land.

Update: In response to the boycott call, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at a cabinet meeting on Sunday: “Israel is the target of an international delegitimization campaign – the last thing the state needs to do is fund bodies that are promoting boycotts from within,” Haaretz reported.

In an opinion column encouraging more members of the drama community to join the boycott, Gideon Levy wrote that the fight over the theater is a stark reminder that Israel’s internationally-recognized border — known as the Green Line — does not include any of the settlements built in the West Bank since it was occupied in 1967:

Not much has remained of the Green Line. At a time when the Tate Modern in London is presenting the impressive video work of Francis Alys, an artist who walked with a bucket of paint to draw the Green Line anew, Israel is doing its utmost to blur it. Now theater has mobilized on behalf of this campaign of obfuscation and darkness. Yes, there is a difference between legitimate, sovereign Israel and the areas of its occupation. Yes, there is a moral difference between appearing here and appearing there, in the heart of an illegal settlement (illegal, like all of its settlement siblings ) built on a plot of stolen land, in a performance designed to help settlers pass their time pleasantly, while surrounded by people who have been deprived of all their rights.

*An earlier version of this post referred imprecisely to the name of the settlement. In 2009, the town, which was already named Ariel, was rededicated in honor of Ariel Sharon. Arutz Sheva, a West Bank news organization, reported at the time: “Ron Nachman, the mayor of the Samaria town of Ariel, announced Monday that the city he leads will now be named after former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. The city will keep its current name, but the explanation behind the name will change.”

Ashtar Theatre, Ramallah – Newsletter

Newsletter February 2010

۞ Ashtar celebrates Jerusalem as

Capital City of Arab Culture 2009.

Ashtar theatre

produced a special


performance, “I am

Jerusalem,” to


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


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


۞ Ashtar moves Forum Theatre to


For the first

time, Ashtar


moved the

idea of


Theatre to


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



students from

all villages

and schools

in Hebron,




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



with its series

of publications

on the Theatre

of the


the Ashtar

Centre for

Theatre of the

Oppressed in



Augusto Boal’s



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


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

efah Ayyad
, Housekeeper


For theatre productions and Training

Ramallah, Palestine

Tel: 02-2980037

Fax: 02-2960326

E mail:

The Freedom Theatre Alive & Kicking

Press Release
May 1, 2009

Live and Kicking

The Freedom Theatre wishes to thank all its friends and supporters for standing beside it in the recent difficult days. We have received hundreds of emails, faxes and letters praising our work and urging us to continue our cultural activities. We therefore wish to assure you that The Freedom Theatre is Live and Kicking!

Our children’s acting group, Dragon, is on their way back to Jenin from France after a successful tour during which they performed their play The Magic Flute in font of full houses in several cities. The tour was organised by the Friends of The Freedom Theatre in France. 

Soon the students of The Freedom Theatre’s Acting School will be travelling to Germany as part of a tour organised by KinderKulturKarawane 2009, to present their play Stories from the Camp

Participants in our multimedia programme are preparing new short films and another issue of our youth magazine is to be published shortly. In addition, a new photography exhibition will opened at The Freedom Theatre this summer. 

We also would like to take this opportunity to clarify and correct some distorted statements made about us in recent publications:

The Freedom Theatre is a Palestinian organisation, officially registered under the Palestinian Authority, which fully accepts the latter's policy regarding a two-state solution.

We suffer from an incurable malady: Hope
– Mahmoud Darwish

The Freedom Theatre Foundation – Ägostigen 5, SPÅNGA, 163 44, Sweden

Al Kasaba International Theatre Festival – Ramallah, Jerusalem, Bethlehem

Al Kasaba Theatre and Cinematheque will organize an international Theatre festival in Ramallah, Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

11 theatre groups from Europe, Arab countries and Palestine will perform for the Palestinian audience.

Morocco, Tunisia, Denmark, Britain, France, Belgium, Germany and Palestine

All plays are Ararbic Subtitled

The opening ceremony, April 1st 2009 at 7:00 pm at Al Kasba Theatre in Ramallah.

For more information please visit our website:

Supported exclusively by Bank Of Palestine

Tickets prices 10 NIS

Location: Ramallah 
Contact: Samer tel:+972 2 2965292 mob:+972 599 671 372


Freedom Theatre in Jenin Burned

بيان صحفي
Press Release

English follows Arabic

مسرح الحرية يتعرض للاعتداء

في صباح الخامس عشر من نيسان 2009 تعرض مسرح الحرية الواقع في قلب مخيم جنين لمحاولة إحراق على يد شخص مجهول الهوية. وقد احترق الباب الرئيسي للمسرح بشكل كامل، ولحسن الحظ لم تمتد ألسنة النيران إلى داخل مبنى المسرح، فلم يصبه أي ضرر أو خراب.

كانت تلك هي المحاولة الثانية لإحراق المسرح، ففي نفس الليلة التي أُحرق فيها معهد الكمنجاتي للموسيقى في جنين بشكل تام قبل ثلاثة أسابيع، جرت المحاولة الأولى الفاشلة لإحراق وتدمير مسرح الحرية.

تم إبلاغ الشرطة الفلسطينية على الفور بمحاولة الإحراق الأولى للمسرح، ولكن حتى اليوم لم تسفر تحقيقات الشرطة عن شيء البتة. تبرهن هذه المحاولة المتكررة بشكل واضح أن مسرح الحرية لا يزال بلا حماية وسوف يكون عرضة لمزيد من محاولات التدمير في المستقبل القريب إن لم تتخذ التدابير اللازمة لحمايته.

إننا نناشدكم اليوم وندعو أصحاب الضمائر الحية وكل من يؤمن أن مستقبل فلسطين يكمن في ثقافتها، أن يرفعوا  أصواتهم عاليا وان يقفوا إلى جانب مسرح الحرية في وجه هذه المحاولات الهمجية التي تريد النيل من مستقبل الشعب الفلسطيني برمته.

ونطالب السلطة الوطنية الفلسطينية، أن تقوم بكل ما في وسعها للنيل من أولئك المجرمين وتقديمهم للعدالة وإنقاذ نضال الشعب الفلسطيني من اجل التحرر، من قتامه وسواد أيام مقبلة.  

تطور مسرح الحرية وأحرز نجاحات باهرة في منطقة جنين. زار المسرح في العام الماضي أكثر من 16,000 من الفتيان والفتيات والكبار وشاركوا في أنشطتنا، والتي كان آخرها "مزرعة الحيوانات" التي لقت نجاحا باهرا وترحيبا من قبل الجمهور الذي توافد بالآلاف من جميع أنحاء منطقة جنين إلى المسرح.

لا تسمحوا لهم بتدمير مسرح الحرية

The Freedom Theatre Under Attack!

On the morning of April 15, 2009, an unknown individual set fire to The Freedom Theatre in Jenin Refugee Camp, Occupied Palestine. The main door of the theatre was completely burned, but the fire did not spread inside the building and the theatre remains largely unharmed. 

This was the second attempt to burn the theatre. On the night when Al Kamandjati Music Centre in Jenin was devastatingly set on fire three weeks ago, there was also a first failed attempt to destroy The Freedom Theatre. 

The Palestinian Police was immediately informed of the initial attempt to burn the theatre, but to date nothing has come out of the police investigation. This renewed attempt confirms that the theatre remains unprotected and a target for more attacks in the near future. 

We are therefore calling upon all of You, who believe the future of Palestine lies in its culture, to raise your voices and stand beside us to confront these barbaric acts against the future of the Palestinian people. 

We are calling upon the Palestinian Authority to do whatever in its power to bring these criminals to justice and to save the Palestinian liberation struggle from ever darkening days. 

The Freedom Theatre has grown to be very successful in the Jenin area. In the past year more than 16,000 boys, girls and adults visited the theatre and took part in our activities, and the recent theatre production of “Animal Farm” was a great success, bringing thousands of youth from the whole Jenin district to the theatre. 
Do not let The Freedom Theatre be destroyed!

Drama Academy opens in Ramallah









مسرح وسينماتك القصبة                                      جامعة فولكوانج – ألمانيا

Al Kasaba Theatre and Cinematheque                                 Folkwang Hochschule – Germany



يتشرفان بدعوتكم لحضور حفل توقيع اتفاقية تأسيس

Cordially Invite you to attend the ceremony of signing the agreement of establishing the


أكاديمية الدراما

Drama Academy


بحضور الدكتور يوهانس كلاوس رئيس جامعة فولكوانج

With the Attendance of Prof. Johonnes Klaus (Folkwang Hochschule)



وذلك يوم الأربعاء الموافق 21/1/2009 الساعة 2:00 مساءً في

مسرح وسينماتك القصبة

Wed 21\1\2009 2:00 P.M at Al Kasaba Theatre and Cinematheque.





لمزيد من المعلومات: 022965292

For more information: 022965292




Khaled Elayyan

Executive Director

Al-Kasaba Theatre & Cinematheque


Hospital Street

P.O.Box 2254

Ramallah – West Bank



T: + 97 22 296 52 92

F: + 97 22 296 52 94

M: + 972  599 260 222