Theatre Day Productions

FAQ

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Why the name Theatre Day Productions?
The English name and the Arabic name "Ayyam Al Masrah" comes from the notion that one day each Palestinian child will have a 'theatre day' during his or her school year. TDP makes plays with adults and performs for kids. We also make plays with kids who perform for kids. TDP has set in motion both a youth theatre company and an actor's training program. The program is carried out in Gaza and in the West Bank and, of course, Jerusalem.

What is the mission of TDP?
TDP wants drama, theatre, and creative activities to be a regular part of the lives of young people in Palestine, so that they can find their individual voice, their sense of self, and discover their creative life; in stimulating these activities TDP aims to provide the foundation for a peaceful development of Palestine, one with respect for human rights and civil society. TDP tries to realize this by working with the formal education systems and local organizations working with and for children and young people.

"I go to the theatre because I want to see something new, to think, to be touched, to question, to enjoy, to learn, to be shaken up, to be inspired, to touch art."

Why youth theatre?
TDP began in the vacuum of power that existed in Palestine in 1994. The founders, who come from theatre backgrounds, looked around as the adults started to build the country. We met young people who hadn't been to school in the years following the first Intifada. This was our first target group: these teen-agers . Theatre and drama require the participants to live in an alternative space, a space where the individual must exist in the group for achievement. Individual expression along with group dynamics is the starting point. Personal development, learning to learn, cultural expression, and social responsibility are all examples of what is required in the search for perfection and quality when working in the world of artistic expression.

Where does TDP work?
As pioneers of art, the founders of the company went in search of those far-reaching places with large population centers and with little understanding from the outside world. We began in Gaza which was always seen as a "hot" place or a "problem place." We began with 4 trainees. Today, TDP in Gaza is a recognized institution of youth theatre and theatre training with over 100 people working reaching thousands of kids of all grades each year. Hebron is a big old traditional city where the huge population  are rich and poor, villagers and city folk, peasants and workers, and refugees. With 99 villages around the city, and with the city itself cut in half by settlers, Hebron became our second big center. At the time, there were no sustainable cultural activities for kids and youth. TDP stayed in Hebron for 10 years before leaving the work in the hands of our trainees there who created Yes Theatre and who continue the work. We spent 3 years in Tulkarem and Nablus. With a few well-trained graduates resulting from that, we could not sustain this third region and we stopped in 2001. Jerusalem and Ramallah will soon be in the hands of the Pocket Theatre, a satellite of TDP.

What are the actual activities?
Training young adults (18 years and above) to make theatre and drama with and for young people.
Making plays with adults for kids and young people... and performing them!
Making plays with kids for kids... and performing them!
Drama workshops of 3 weeks to groups of kids who come from the schools.
Kids making cartoons in week-long workshops which are then shown to the public.
Drama Festivals (collection of the best drama workshops and the best cartoons)
(See Present/On TDP/The Program)

Who participates and who is the audience?
Kids! Kids! Kids! The adults teach and perform and lead all workshops.

How do you work with schools?
TDP works closely with the Ministry of Education and with the UNRWA Education Department. The program falls under co-curricula activities (after school) and kids attend by choice with TDP and the educators organizing. Performances and workshops are organized on a school-to-school basis.

What about the teachers?
Dear Teachers
Theatre Day Productions takes into account that professional youth theatre is relatively new in the country. In order to make plays for youth, we must first train the actors and drama-teachers. In order for these actors and drama-teachers to become strong teachers they need the experience of working with youth. And in order for the youth to become involved in the program, we need to have regular contact with them, with their parents, and with you.
TDP works side by side with the education systems in the country. Over the years we have  provided thousands of students with creative co-curricula activities and we have reached hundreds of teachers with our workshops in using story-telling as an educational tool.
TDP sees story-telling as the ancestor of modern Palestinian theatre. In times past, the story-tellers were the teachers! They were the ones who carried and transmitted all the information that was necessary to know. You could say that each teacher is an actor standing in front of an audience trying to get his or her story across. Acting, story-telling, and teaching makes an interesting education chain for teachers and students alike.

And the students? What do you tell them about theatre? Do they buy tickets for the plays?
Dear Students
You hear one day in school that you have been invited to a play. Buses come. You enter a hall. And then the stage bursts open into a world of imagination and fantasy where all things can happen. Things you can laugh about, or things that might be sad. Sometimes they are things that make you think about yourself and the world you live in.
Theatre is very different from television. In the theatre, the actor is there... right in front of your eyes. He plays a character made of real flesh and blood. He talks, moves, laughs, cries, lives, and breaths. He takes decisions and you are there feeling what he feels and why he does what he does even if you disagree with him. Although theatre is still make-believe, it seems so real that you want to reach out and touch the stage. Television cannot do that.
For spectators, theatre might look easy... but it is a complicated art form that takes time, hard work, and talent. The actors need 60 days of rehearsals (that's 6 hours a day) before they are ready to perform for you. It takes about 3 months to make a play. The director, actors, musicians, writers, designers, technicians, and the management must all work together in their specialized fields to make the play happen. You might see 6 people on the stage, but there are at least another 10 who aren't on stage and without whom the play cannot be made.
Because of all this work, plays cost money. All around the world you cannot see a play unless you buy a ticket. The only way that TDP can present its plays for free is because someone else has bought the tickets for you. These people are the friends of Palestinian school students who believe that you should have theatre as part of school life and for now, they are willing to help. 

Is there an external evaluation? 
Yes & Click Here 

Is there an external evaluation on a 2016 project?
Yes - & Click Here 

NDC Report
Click Here 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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© 2017 | Theatre Day Productions | Gaza | West Bank | Jerusalem