In November, The Freedom Theatre is coming to New York, Dearborn/Detroit and the Bay Area. Nabil Al-Raee, Artistic Director, and Alia Alrosan, Theatre School student, will participate in a range of meetings and events.
Earlier this year, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. presented Al-Raee as part of a panel discussion entitled World Stages: Recasting Home, Conflict, Refugees, and Theater. In the fall of 2015, The Freedom Theatre will have a two-week residency at the prestigious Public Theater in New York City, bringing its production Suicide Note from Palestine to the U.S. The tour will be hosted by The Friends of the Jenin Freedom Theatre (USA). It follows a highly successful US tour of the theatre’s adaptation of the South African apartheid-era drama The Island in 2013.
This visit in November is a preparation for the 2015 tour, and includes the following public events:
Monday, November 3, 4–5:30 pm
NYU Department of English
244 Greene Street, ground floor
The NYU Department of English and The Friends of the Jenin Freedom Theatre present Nabil Al-Raee, Artistic Director of The Freedom Theatre in Jenin, Occupied Palestine, who will speak about the role of the actor in cultural resistance. Nabil is joined by Alia Alrosan, a student at The Freedom Theatre School. Videos and slides of recent productions will be shown.
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Saturday, November 8, at 5-7 pm
Arab American National Museum
Lower Level Auditorium
13624 Michigan Avenue, Dearborn
Art Knows No Boundaries: Artistic Director Nabil Al-Raee and acting student Alia Alrosan from The Freedom Theatre will appear at the AANM to discuss their important work. With personal narratives and film clips, Al-Raee and Alrosan will explain how The Freedom Theatre is enabling the youth of the camp – devastated by witnessing death, violence and the destruction of their homes in the 2002 invasion – to resist military occupation and internalized oppression. Through free workshops in drama, acting, creative writing, stage production, filmmaking and photography, the young people learn new skills, express their own ideas and develop the self confidence to think independently. Acting students have performed to local audiences in the thousands and have toured the U.S., Europe and South America with a number of staged productions.
Tuesday November 11, at 6:45pm
Kehilla Community Synagogue
1300 Grand Avenue, Piedmont
Jewish Voice for Peace Bay Area (JVPBA) and Kehilla Community Synagogue’s Middle East Peace Committee invite you to listen to Artistic Director, Nabil Al-Raee, and drama student, Alia Alrosan, report on their important work. This fundraiser helps lay the groundwork and raises the necessary funds for a historic U.S. tour, in the fall of 2015, of a new play: ‘Suicide Note from Palestine.’
Suggested donation: 20 dollars (no one turned away)
La Pena Cultural Center in Berkeley
Benefit for the Jenin Freedom Theatre, cosponsored by the Middle East Children’s Alliance
Sliding Scale $10-$15
What is an artist of resistance? Nabil Al-Raee, Artistic Director, The Freedom Theatre, Jenin, Occupied Palestine, and Alia Alrosan, Theatre School student, will talk about their experiences working in a center of cultural resistance in a refugee camp. There will be some short clips of films produced by the multimedia section of the Theatre.
Nabil Al-Raee was born and raised in Aroub Refugee Camp in the Hebron hills of Palestine. He grew up during the First Intifada, trying to go to school between shootings, tear gas and curfew. In the 90’s Nabil joined Theatre Day Productions – a theatre company in Hebron working mainly with children and youth, and training actors. He finished his professional training there, and began training others for the next two years, also working throughout the West Bank as a musician and actor. Nabil then studied and worked in theatre first in Tunisia, and then in Europe, before returning to Palestine in 2006. At the invitation of Juliano Mer-Khamis, he joined the then-nascent Freedom Theatre in Jenin Refugee Camp that Juliano had co-founded. There, he trained young actors and directed The Freedom Theatre’s first play “The Journey.” Following the success of the play, Nabil began full-time work at The Freedom Theatre, coordinating drama activities, and in 2009, became Director of their Theatre School, a professional theatre training program for young adults. After Juliano’s murder in 2011, Nabil stepped in as artistic director of the theatre, determined that Juliano’s work would continue. He has continued to build The Freedom Theatre towards its goal of being a leading artistic and political institution in Palestine and beyond. Nabil spoke on a panel at the Kennedy Center this past March, discussing the themes of conflict, refugees and theater.
Alia Alrosan is from Nablus. She was the coordinator for the Freedom Bus project, and then decided to train as an actor. The Freedom Bus, is an initiative that uses interactive theatre and cultural activism to bear witness, raise awareness and build alliances throughout occupied Palestine and beyond. During Freedom Bus events, Palestinian actors and musicians invite true stories from rural communities across Palestine and subsequently transform each account into a piece of improvised theatre. Alia says that under occupation “our spirit has shrunk. But theater makes us appreciate life. Being really alive means making decisions about your life. I believe in humanity. I refuse to say that occupation is my only reality. This is the first time in my life I feel like I’m in the right place for me and my people.”