In 2007, ASHTAR Theatre decided to organize the 1st season for the international Theatre of the Oppressed. The aim was to give the local forum theatre groups a stage to perform on and to interact with each other and their international counterparts. This was a significant step to bring Theatre of the Oppressed to new audiences all over Palestine. The 1st international season was successful. ASHTAR Theatre decided to organize other seasons bi-annually with a new social theme and new target group each time.
In this context, it is important to mention that the success of the 3rd edition of the International Theatre of the Oppressed in 2011 focusing on the problems of Palestinian youth led to the organization of the International Youth Festival in 2012 by Ashtar, with the participation of national and international youth theatre groups from various countries.
ASHTAR is Currently preparing for the 4th Season of the International Theatre of the Oppressed, that is planned to take place in April and May 2013, using the methodology of the TO. Taking into consideration the successes of the previous seasons in raising awareness and promoting the emphasized issues and at the same time being confronted with the stereotypes, disadvantages and difficulties faced by female Palestinians, ASHTAR Theatre came to the conclusion that the focus of next year’s season needs to be set on the important issue of gender inequality, women’s rights, and their role in Palestinian society.
This festival will involve several local and international theatre groups, in order to do a real common work around the theme. Ashtar and its foreign partners will do workshops, and will perform plays in disadvantaged areas, as Gaza or in villages across Palestine.
The The use of TO will bring debates during and after the shows, which will encourage women to express their hopes and to think together of new perspectives. This project will also deeply involve local women’s organizations and NGO’s for the shows to have as much impact as possible.
We We will work for example with the women’s centre in Shufat Refugee camp in Jerusalem, with the Palestinian working women society for development, as well as with the theatre training center in Aida camp, and many others.
By vi By rtue of this festival and these exchanges in rural and isolated areas, Ashtar and his local and international partners aim to speed up the evolution of women’s role in the Palestinian society.