Last Sunday, the fourth annual summer camp started at The Freedom Theatre. For two weeks, 45 children from Jenin refugee camp and surrounding areas are joining the daily activities at the theatre and occasional trips in the wider Jenin area.
The camp started with a word of welcome by Nabil, our artistic director, who is also overseeing the artistic and educational content of the programme. After kick-off, the children were divided into three groups and headed for their first workshops!
Expression through drama
Every day starts with workshops in drama, by Raneen Odeh, Amir Abu Al Rob and Saber Shreim, all graduates of The Freedom Theatre school for professional actors. Over the course of the two weeks, they are working with the groups to present a short performance at the closing ceremony. The workshops consist of exercises focussing on speech, singing and body language. By doing so, the children are educated to express themselves in creative ways with the use of play.
Traditional and modern dance
In the afternoon, the children enjoy several workshops focussing on expression in different art forms. Part of the programme are Hiphop, where a dance with a powerful message is choreographed by Ibrahem Feno together with the children, and teaching of Dabkeh, the traditional Palestinian folk dance, by Sami Sadi.
Something for everyone
Another workshop connected to Palestinian cultural heritage, are explorative teachings about the oud, an Arabic instrument with a rich history, by Loai Balawi. Workshops in drawing and painting, led by Mai Hidarya, allow the children to a express themselves in a different, more individual way – whereas the circus workshops are very acrobatic and teach the children basics about collaboration and trust in a playful way, under the guidance of Alaa Abo Alrob.
Trips in the area
The summer camp traditionally includes various day trips in the local area, for example an afternoon of swimming with the children. The camp ends on Saturday 14 July, when a closing ceremony will be held for the children to show their families and friends what they have learned during the last two weeks.