The fourth Season of
Theater of the Oppressed
“Break your silence…share your stories”
(April 20 - May 11 2013)
The Palestinian society that has been living under long years of political, social and economical constrains and oppression, is entangled in pre-defined settings imposed on them. These settings hinder the society from looking into options of alternative self-realization and means of freedom of thoughts, words and actions, which is supposed to help the society learn to respect differences and praise diversities of opinions. The absence of this practice creates lack of tolerance, imprisons of the society in dogmas, and narrows its aspirations. Therefore, it is important to give the people a platform and a set of new techniques to help them regain their confidence and stimulate their abilities for change… change that starts from within them and not from the exterior.
A siginificant accomplishment was identified in 1997 when Ashtar introduced the idea of Forum Theater ringing a bell on various social issues that labeled “ Banned” such as incest, early marriage, violence in schools, honor crimes and others. Targeting youth and other marginalized groups, a forum production was carried out on yearly basis with a local tour of 50-60 performances each. For the first time, youth were offered an open platform to enhance change for positive development and create social leverage, which shall affect all aspects of their lives. The program moved on step forward when Ashtar started passing the forum techniques to youth community groups in 2003, then introducing the Legislative Theater in 2005 and regional forum theatre training in 2006.
Ashtar Theatre is currently organizing for the International Festival of the Theater of Oppressed “ Break your silence… Share your stories”, for the fourth time in Palestine and for a period of 3 weeks, between April and May 2013: to address social and political issues using the Theater of Oppressed technique. Several international theatre groups, in addition to several local community groups trained by Ashtar Theater from the West Bank and Gaza strip will be invited to share the duty of promoting the idea of the Theater of Oppressed in various areas of the West Bank and Gaza, targeting women, youth, high school students, university students and general audience in marginalized areas. Activities will also include holding two workshops in TO technique.
Participating groups are kindly requested to cover the cost of their international travel; Ashtar Theatre will cover full accommodation and local transportation. The group should not exceed 8 members, and each group will perform their play 4-5 times during the Festival period in different locations. Interested forum theatre groups and artists who would like to take part in this Festival are invited to contact us to receive additional information about the Festival.