Theatre Day Productions

Theatre Day Productions

Crossing the Erez Border into the Gaza Strip last week, we were asked, "What do you do in Gaza?" to which we answered, "We make drama!" The soldier with the stamp in her hand replied, "Isn't it dramatic enough in there!?" Little does she know.

We are Theatre Day Productions... and yes, we make drama in the Gaza Strip with and for a growing age-group of growing children. Our youngest audience members are 5 and at the other end of spectrum are the teen-agers 10-17. TDP is both a drama training center and a theatre playhouse. With a wonderful theatre building in the center of the Gaza Strip, we train adults in our chosen profession of youth theatre. TDP only works with and for young people. They are our inspiration and we are their new look at life.

The company has been working since 1995. For 15 years, the training and production of plays was carried out in Hebron in the south West Bank and in the Gaza Strip (from north to south). As planned, the Hebron team was able to become an independent organization continuing the work in that city. Today Gaza is our huge operation of youth theatre.  A Jerusalem branch is in the plans. The work of TDP is community based. We listen to our kids and students, teachers, and parents, and then we close the doors and begin to make and teach art. This constant dialogue with the community results in plays and presentations that invite discussions, bring laughter and (sometimes) tears, and give the audience a cultural experience that belongs to them.

Every child in Palestine knows "the problem." We work with "this problem" by looking at ourselves, our stories, our dreams, our fears, our daily life, our identity. If TDP has one belief it is that children are full of imagination and are full of creativity but have absolutely no place to test it or try it out in the current social political environment. TDP gives them this environment. It's a struggle. Dramatic means for a dramatic situation.

(Theatre Day Productions is a Palestinian non-profit company.)

 

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