Opening Of The Freedom Theatre
Jenin Refugee Camp
Sunday, February 19, 2006, 15:00
The Freedom Theatre, inspired by activities initiated by Arna Mer-Khamis during the first Intifada, was established by residents of the Jenin refugee camp in cooperation with Palestinian activists and artists from Haifa and the Galilee, as well as activists from Sweden and Britain.
The Freedom Theatre, a registered non-governmental organisation, is planning on establishing a community-based cultural center that will house a large theatre, rehearsal rooms, a music studio and a library.
The Freedom Theatre will be the home of a local theatre group and it will host Palestinian and international theatres and theatre group productions for children, youth and adults.
The Freedom Theatre will also provide drama and movement workshops, and music classes for children and youth. We will also train youth counsellors to work with local children and youth.
Furthermore, The Freedom Theatre will provide psychodrama and movement therapy.
Currently The Freedom Theatre is housed in a temporary hall which was renovated by volunteers from the refugee camp. The hall includes a large theatre with a stage as well as a light and sound system.
In the coming months, The Freedom Theatre will host the following productions:
The Pessoptimist, featuring actor Mohammed Bakri Juha and Bahalool, a children’s production by the G’beina theatre group of Haifa,
Shams and Nahas, featuring actors Hanna Shamas and Aiman Nahhas.
In the coming week three children groups will embark on their activities, joined by a drama workshop for youth led by Mahmod Kaniri and a youth facilitation training group led by Juliano Mer-Khamis.
The Freedom Theatre is joined by an advisory committee that includes: poet Mahmood Darwish, Professor Judith Butler, author Elias Khoury, Professor Noam Chomsky, Professor Avi Oz, actor-director Mohammad Bakri, Dr. Henry Ascher, human rights activists Abeer Kopty and Khulood Badawi, director of Jenin camp Nazmi Iebadi, Public relations – Jenin governorate, San’a Badawi, actress Salwa Nakkara, Professor Suzanne Osten and composer Dror Feiler.
The opening ceremony will host the following speakers: Abd el-Razak Abu Alheja – head of the Jenin refugee camp committee, Nazmi Mohammad Salem Abadi – head of social service of the Jenin refugee camp, Kadura Mousa, governor of the Jenin region, Juliano Mer-Khamis and composer Dror Feiler.
The opening ceremony will be followed by a performance of ‹Diab›, donated by its creators. Diab – a play written by Alaa Helhel, directed by Salim Daw, acting by Amer Hlihel, music by Habib Shehade, set and costume design Ashraf Hanna and lighting by Ne’eme Zaknoon.
On March 19, 2006 we will host a fundraiser for The Freedom Theatre in Haifa highlighted by a performance of ‹Shukran›, donated by its creators.
We call upon all organisations, NGOs, cultural institutions and activists to assist with donations, equipment and advice. All donations, large and small, will be gratefully received.