What an incredible event at The Freedom Theatre! Our theatre club kids from Jenin camp and Faquah village performed to an audience of over 200, some of whom who had waited almost 2 hours just to make sure they didn’t miss out!
The theatre clubs were introuduced to provide a space in which girls and boys can express themselves freely and explore their creativity, to play and learn through drama and representation, focusing on training and games as well as creating harmony and teamwork in a safe and fun environment. In addition to activities and games, our facilitators include the basics of theatrical training and practical ways to freely express themselves in society, through art, drama and physical movement. To The Freedom Theatre, the theatre clubs are also an opportunity to hear and share untold histories from more communities in Palestine.
The kids from Jenin camp performed Dreamland but what is Dreamland? A place where all things are possible. Where the clouds are made of marshmallow and you can sit in them to watch the world go by. Where a giant bird taxi will collect you and take you back home for dinner. Where the tree’s are made of chocolate and no one minds if you eat them if you’re hungry. Where homework doesn’t exist and your mean Uncle Ahmed has turned into a snail! Where the sun shines every day and your toys never break. Where no-one is hungry. And no-one is poor. And the guns have turned to flowers.
During a 4 week period in November, the theatre club trainers Moana and Michelle worked with the young people of Jenin Camp to create a short presentation about dreams – a place where all things are possible. Only nine children attended the first class, however as news spread around the camp about a new short term project, we ended with over 30 attendees for the final presentation! Our facilitators shared their thoughts on the workshop; “Through these workshops, we support the use of imagination, we encourage play, but we also teach respect, understanding, tolerance, self-expression, communication skills and listening skills. We encourage the use of imagination as a form of cultural resistance. If we can be free in our minds then we can create a new reality. Without imagination nothing will change. Without play there is nothing to fight for.”
“The Freedom Theatre is the place where the children can Dream again” Juliano Mer Khamis
A HUGE thank you and congratulations to facilitators Moana and Michelle, with support from Asmar and Baha, who made this show possible. Their commitment, passion and enthusiasm will be missed and we hope to see them again soon in Jenin camp!
Moana is an international educator and artist working with young people and communities. She has worked with Ping Chong and Company for the past 18 years and created their Theatre in Education Program.