This year ASHTAR conducted the fifth edition of its international youth theatre festival, under the title ARTIVISM, which brought a strong highlight of what is needed in different countries and between different cultures.
After two years pandemic and in the aftermath of many social and political injustice events that are happening around the world ARTIVISM became a necessity to our youth to realize their roles and abilities in making change in their world.
Keeping the above in mind, ASHTAR Theatre invited 15 theatre groups to participate in its festival this year. The groups presented plays by their youth that are related to the theme.
The local groups were able to attend the festival and perform live except the group from Gaza, whom because of the continuous siege imposed on the strip they were not able to attend the festival in Ramallah, so they participated like the internationals via zoom and through their recorded performance. Thus the festival was a hybrid edition this year and it was implemented at ASHTAR Theatre, Ramallah Municipal Theatre and on the special webpage of the festival.
The groups that participated in the festival this year were:
Aula Theatre de Mataro – Mataro/Spain - with the play Refugees
Mandala Theatre – Oxford/UK - Blood Oil
Crooked House Theatre – Kildar/Ireland –The Penal Law
Stages Theatre – Sri Lanka/Rwanda – Dear Children Sincerely
Generation – Massachusetts/USA – Tenderness
Madani Theatre – Paris/France - F(l)ammes
Work for Hope – Biqa’/Lebanon – Ich Libe Dich
YV Mic – Gaza/Palestine – Where are we going?
Freedom Theatre – Jenin/Palestine – Kifieh/ Made in China
Nablus Circus School – Nablus/Palestine – Levant Labyrinth
Rassael – Nablus/Palestine – The photo owner
Palestine Circus School – Birzeit/Palestine – A letter from the past
Inad Theatre – Beit Jala/Palestine – The Little Match Girl
Al Mina Group – Ramallah/Palestine – The Port
ASHTAR Theatre Students – Ramallah – The Brainwashers Conference
After each recorded performance a zoom meeting took place and the audience discussed the play with the performing team (director and actors).
In addition to all these performances; there were two days webinar that took place with the different participants locally and internationally; the four sessions webinars discussed the role of art in making a change in society. The topics of the webinars that brought a group of presenters each session were:
ARTIVISM and Politics presented by: Mustafa Sheta - Freedom Theatre, Khalil Batran – ASHTAR, Piumi Wijesundara& Nadie Kammallaweera – Stages Theatre
ARTIVISM and Capitalism presented by: Peter Hussey – Kildar Theatre, Luis Ribeiro and Katie Scallon – Mandala Theatre, Tayma Shoaibi – ASHTAR.
ARTIVISM and Society presented by: Khalid Massou – Inad Theatre, Bassem El Dirawi – YV Mic, Ali Abu Yasin – ASHTAR
ARTIVISM and Racism presented by: Ferran Farre Aguila – Aula Theatre, Jerry Iwu – Crooked Theatre, Wize Uwizeyimana – First Generation Theatre.
The webinars were attended by 42 students in Ramallah and some about 30 students in Oxford in addition to 10 more online followers.
Besides the webinars, various workshops that took place on daily basis between the 2 – 7 of July, at the Evangelic House in Ramallah from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. every day. Those workshops were:
Breaking the ice with Khalil Batran attended by 42 students
Creative writing with Hope Azeda from Rwanda attended by 42 students
Voice workshop with Felitica attended by 38 students
Movement with Rima Baransi attended by 31 students
LARP workshop with Beit Buyout attended by 36 students
Theatre of the Oppressed with Edward Muallem attended by 38 students
Stanislavsky Acting Technique with Saji Dumairi attended by 38 students
In addition to a master class on the work of Ahmad Madani from France, attended by 28 students in Ramallah and 30 students in Oxford.
The workshops gathered ASHTAR students and the different youth from the theatre companies who were participating in the festival.
- The festival was attended by 1000 audience members in Ramallah, who saw the live and the recorded performances both at ASHTAR and the Municipal Theatre. While 2425 people followed the performances online via the festival’s page https://www.ashtar-youth-festival.com/
- 42 youth learned new techniques in theatre and developed their acting skills.
- New ideas for further collaborations emerged between the different groups and ASHTAR Theatre.
- ASHTAR Facebook followers grew from 7,485 to 8,587