As we prepare to say goodbye to 2016, we look proudly upon an exceptional year, our ten-year anniversary, when we reached further than we ever have before.
More than 10,000 children, youth and adults in Jenin refugee camp and across the occupied West Bank were involved in our workshops, trainings and performances in theatre, photo, film and creative writing. 5,400 children and youth from the whole Jenin district participated in theatre and circus performances, including our in-house production Math Exam, based on accounts by children in Jenin refugee camp, and Litter, performed by the young participants in our ongoing child & youth theatre workshops, as well as two summer camps focused on theatre and painting.
Our photography students made three photo exhibitions, Childhood and Shadow and Palestinian Identity, presented to 2,100 children, youth and adults. Two issues of our youth magazine Voices were distributed in 1000 copies each.
We reached even further by organising a ten-day Freedom Ride with interactive cultural events in some of the most marginalised Palestinian communities and toured Return to Palestine across the West Bank, to audiences of 1900 young and old. We were also honoured to perform for 840 Palestinian and Syrian refugees in camps in Jordan.
The highlight of 2016 was our ten-year anniversary celebrations that gathered hundreds of friends of The Freedom Theatre from Palestine and abroad in a six-day festival of theatre, music, circus, stand-up, poetry and dance performances by some of Palestine’s top artists, including a re-staging of one our most successful productions, The Siege, and a discussion forum focused on the concept of cultural resistance.
Internationally we embarked on our very first multimedia tour in the US, Palestine in Focus, that showcased our work in film, photography, and creative writing in four cities. Our third-year acting students went to India to create a co-production Hamesha Samida (Forever Steadfast) with street theatre group Jana Natya Manch, that was performed to many thousands in eleven locations across India. The Theatre School students also toured Portugal with two theatre productions, Return to Palestine and Images from the life of Ghassan Kanafani, and participated in workshops, talks, debates and documentary film screenings. In addition to the performance tours The Freedom Theatre was invited to conferences, festivals, talks and events in Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland, India, Cambodia, UK and France. We received many hundreds of international guests at The Freedom Theatre and reached thousands more through our social media channels.
These accomplishments were all made possible because of friends like you. To all who donated, fundraised, spread the word, volunteered their time: a heartfelt THANK YOU for being the best supporters we could wish for!
In 2017, we aim to increase our outreach both in ongoing activities and through performances and cultural events. We will do so by expanding the after-school program at The Freedom Theatre to include painting, storytelling, games, photography, dabke (Palestinian folkdance) and by initiating theatre workshops in communities around Jenin. We will tour our street theatre play Return to Palestine as well as present several new theatre productions, including a play about women in Palestine and an adaptation of Pippi Longstocking, performed for children.
To make our goal a reality, we need your support.
Donating to The Freedom Theatre means not only giving money, but giving a voice to those who need to be heard. Your contribution will help us continue to improve the lives of children and youth by making art where art is most needed. Through updates, pictures, video clips and stories we will make sure you know just how far your contribution is going. Every recurring donation will be rewarded with an exclusive gift from The Freedom Theatre.
You can also make a contribution on behalf of a loved one! In the spirit of the season, now is the perfect time to make a gift in honour of the people who are the lights in your life. If you choose to make them a monthly donor, you ensure that we can continue to foster the next generation of artists, leaders and change-makers in Palestine.
If you choose to make an honorary donation, send us an email with the name and email address of the person you would like to dedicate your contribution to, and we will send them a gift card!