Theatre for Everybody, Gaza, Palestine

Young people growing up in Israeli-occupied Gaza face many limitations on what they can do, and the repeated failure to resolve the political and military conflict in the region has led to widespread hopelessness that their future will be any better. The level of unemployment among graduates is high – around 62%. Poverty and frustration often fuel aggression, and many young people lack the opportunities to express and share their fears, hopes and concerns in a safe space.Theatre for Everybody has been using theatre and drama for nearly 30 years to address social and political concerns, working with both children and adults. The Mandala Trust has supported a project involving young people aged 13 to 25, funding a series of drama workshops culminating in two theatrical presentations which were publicly performed and also filmed.

The younger group of 12 teenagers aged 13 to 17 created a performance called `The Wizard’, in which they highlighted how neglected and ignored they feel, in families where parents are often too busy trying to secure basic needs and deal with the many practical as well as psychological impacts of the Occupation. The presentation (in Arabic) can be viewed here.

The older group of 7 young people aged 17 to 25 focused on the absence of hope, creating a performance called `Absent Dreams’ about two new graduates who fell in love while at University, got engaged with the approval of their families, but cannot marry as they are unemployed and have no money to start a life and a family together. The man decides to leave Gaza in search of work, and travels to Turkey with the aim of reaching western Europe via Greece. Months pass without any news of him, and eventually the young woman’s father instructs his daughter to break off the engagement. The presentation (in Arabic) can be viewed here.