ASHTAR Theatre Youth Festival, in its forth edition, is targeting young people from marginalized, remote areas to attend theatre performances. The experience will provide them with a chance to engage in a social-transformative experience, get entertained, raise their aspirations and cultivate hope. Over the course of 9 days in July 2018, the festival will target 1000 adolescents from remote cities, refugee camps, villages and Bedouin communities in the West Bank to attend 9 plays at the theatre
Due to illegal practices of the military occupation, which continues to fragment the West Bank into isolated, impoverished areas, many people lack access to culture. Particularly vulnerable are those living in remote areas; villages, refugee camps and Bedouin communities. Despair, anguish and fierce reactions develop all too easily in such vulnerable situations. ASHTAR Theatre Youth Festival is targeting young people who don't normally have the opportunity to participate in cultural activities.
The 9 performances will be interactive, in order to encourage the young audience to comment, discuss and reflect on the issues raised in the plays. With the help of a facilitator, the audience members will be invited to become 'spect-actors', get on the stage, propose solutions and change situations. This method stimulates the young people's abilities to develop their voice and talk in public, thus enhancing their communication skills, raises their awareness towards their surroundings.
Interactive theatre, is a tool for transformation. The youth who will perform in the festival and the children who will attend the performances, will develop role-play abilities, skills of self-expression, creative thinking and public dialogue. Developing these skills enhances self-esteem, enriches imagination and opens up new horizons, allowing transformation to happen, introducing new ideas and perspectives to help create social change and sustain hope, in their difficult life conditions.